Stuck On The Ottiwell School Roof
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 11:15 AM

 We usually spent some of our playtime at the Sarah D. Ottiwell’s east playground doing something when I was still in 5th grade.  After school one day about 5 PM my friend Dennis Amaral and I were hitting pop-ups at the Ottiwell playground using his bat and ball and my glove.  Then the unexpected,   Dennis hit a pop-up and it went up on top of the Ottiwell roof. Nice hit but now we had no ball to play with.  If you recall having a baseball back then was quite important.

So Dennis mentioned that his dad had an extension ladder in the backyard. So we went to get it and up the school rear balcony steps we went with our ladder. We both climbed up the ladder and soon we were running around on the Ottiwell roof throwing a ton of balls down into the school’s grassy side lawn. We searched all over the roof and had actually had a difficult time finding Dennis’s baseball because there were so many. But now we were rich and had many baseballs, softballs and rubber balls.  Wow!  We could sell and trade them! We finally found the right one and we both headed back to the rear of the school roof to come down the ladder.  When we got there much to our surprise we saw that our ladder was now lying down on the balcony.  Darn!  Who the heck took down our ladder? We were left stranded on the roof!  Not cool! We thought it was a kid prank but it got worst real fast as some kid hollered out to us that that Miss Chase the Principal had come out and taken down our ladder. Holy Cow!  She was still in the building? She must have heard us running around up there on the school roof.  So now what?   
After some thought I told Dennis that the only way down was probably off the ledge under the school’s marquee in the front of the school. That was very risky because it was very close to Miss Chase’s front  office.  But now we had to move fast and had few choices.  We also feared that the police would arrive soon. So we both ran to the front of the school and sure enough Miss Chase’s car was still there. This was truly risky business!  Now we were quite worried that we would be arrested for attempted burglary. But all we were doing was retrieving a baseball! If we got caught I bet that no one would believe our story.  
 So we checked out the ledge under the name Sarah D. Ottiwell and it looked low enough for us to hang from and drop to the playground.  We both got on the ledge and hung down and dropped.  I thought for sure Miss Chase would come walking out of the front door and catch us red handed.  It was a good long drop and we hit the ground running our butts off.  Luckily, Miss Chase never came out. She may have suspected that there were real burglars up there and been afraid to come out.  HA! Next, we had to retrieve the ladder and return it to Dennis’s house.  But not before we collected all the balls we had thrown down. Dennis was a little older and attended Normandin. If he got caught we conspired that his story would be that he knew nothing and someone must have borrowed his ladder. If I got caught I promised I would not tell on him.
The next day in my 5th Grade class Miss Chase walked in and said she wanted to see me.  Someone had snitched on me!  I was taken to the office and she asked if I had been on top of the school roof.  I confessed and said, yes, that I had gone up there to get a baseball that had been hit up there. I was careful not to snitch on my friend Dennis. She said I should not have done that because I could have gotten hurt.
So my punishment was to sit in the corridor outside her office with a sign that said, “I will not go on the school roof anymore.”  Many students thought that my  roof adventure was pretty cool. Some asked me what it was like up there. They would never know!
In the aftermath my friend Dennis did not get caught and escaped any punishment.  But he did laugh at me when he heard I had to sit in the corridor.
Later, we gave many of the balls we had found to other kids. Unintentionally and  probably, to the undeserving snitch?  Lucky for him we never found out who that was. 
But after that episode it could be said that Dennis and I had more balls! 


Endless Sunshine!
Rick & Barbara Dias