By Peta Copper
A Funny Encounter with Gary Radnich
One of my favorite things to do for teachers in high school was to go get their mail, partly to get out of class to stretch my legs, the other part was to see if I could pick up on any good gossip going on in the office.
A long-time English teacher, and our former speech team coach, the late Mr. Chandler, would pop in. I knew whenever he was in the office, he would either have a good story or a corny joke. He was talking to Betty in the office, who was responsible for doing all the Xeroxing for teachers and other admin tasks.
I was eavesdropping on their conversation. (I know, very nosey of me!) Mr. Chandler said he was bringing Gary Radnich to our school.
“Oh, Mr. Chandler! I used to watch him all the time during the ’80s, the Niners’ heyday! I would love to meet him!”
Mr. Chandler being Mr. Chandler had this cheeky grin on his face
“Alright young lady,” he said. “Meet us here by the office. I’ll introduce you to Gary!”
The next day, as promised, there was Mr. Chandler and Gary. I told him how much I loved his commentary and how I enjoyed watching him when I was younger.
And, of course, on cue, Mr. Chandler had to throw in one of his one liners.
“And Gary, she told me yesterday, she has the biggest crush on you!” For the record, I said no such thing. But that was Mr. Chandler! I took it on the chin and we posed for a picture.
His wife, Danise, was always my favorite substitute teacher. Unlike other subs, it was just business as usual with her. I always felt challenged and she gave me some helpful tips with my writing. Hopefully, if she’s reading this blog, she has a smile on her face, knowing that I’ve benefited from some of her teachings.
Did you know, for a long time Mr. Chandler was actually a writer for the Richmond Review?
As I write this, I’m on the planning committee for our 20th year George Washington High School (GWHS) reunion. I manage the day-to-day social media postings, we have this one activity where people answer four questions of what they have been up to.
Normally I’m pretty switched on because I love celebrating all GWHS alumni, I’m always proud to say Bonta Hill ’00 from the Morning Roast was an Eagle! He and the Butcher have done so much for the GWHS football team. But these survey answers to me, is a way of celebrating my classmates. No matter if they fill it out or not, they are all rock stars to me.
But one classmate was brave enough to comment on a post about good times and bad times. I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflecting recently. Things from my formative years have come up as well. I had an amazing time in high school, but a not-so-amazing time in Catholic school. I could empathize where she was coming from.
After I turned 38, I did a lot of self-reflecting. I once spent nearly nine hours with the legendary actress Shirley Maclaine, but we will save that for another story. She wrote this awesome book called “I’m Over It” where she talks about things she is letting go, and other things she can’t let go.
I’m planning to do a survey here for the Richmond Review. Please leave a comment “Peta I’m over _______ , but Peta, I’m not over ________ in the Richmond District.” Or, you can always email me the things you’re over and not over with here in our neighborhood at PetPetzUk@gmail.com.
Supervisor Chan’s team is aware of this activity. Let’s let our voices be heard with constructive criticism ending in a positive statement.
If you would like my personal list of what I’m over and not over, check it out here: https://petz415.medium.com/im-over-it-3dd558a24058
“I’m over it” is such a powerful statement. I hope it empowers and inspires you in some way.
Peta Cooper is a lifelong Richmond District resident, a 2001 graduate of George Washington High School and is currently a digital nomad spreading positivity and dry wit.
Categories: Richmond District Yesteryear