MISS ANDERSON, a substitute fifth grade teacher, Pistol was one of her students.
I'd been called to the school that fall and I'll always remember when I saw Pistol's name on the roll call sheet. It's a name one doesn't forget. I thought it was a joke. Believe me, as a substitute teacher, I'd seen and heard it all. But he didn't show up that day. When I skipped his name on the call sheet the little girl after him in the alphabet, Polly or Rebecca or something, I don't quite remember the name, asked why I didn't call out Pistol? I thought, oh my goodness, this is no joke.
I was expecting some kind of walking talking firecracker. A real whizbang kid. The next day when I called out his name a little hand poked into the air and there was a normal looking little boy with eyeglasses too big for his face and slick backed hair. He never said one word during class. To think I'd actually trembled when I first saw his name. I laugh now when I think of it.
Can you imagine naming a child that?
The regular teacher returned the next day.
Over the years I've often wondered what ever happened to that little Pistol.