Tag Archives: John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band


Hi All,

I got to tell you guys that these blog posts for this category are harder and harder to write.  I am bringing up old wounds.  It has been very rough.  I will try to get through them for you and for me.

The only thing I remember from preschool was my two teachers.  One was very nice, the other was a witch.   Also, I remember a kid by the name of Tom Zabelski who use to grab me and stuff me in my cubby and close the door.  Then he would basically pin me in there.  This happened almost every day.  Yeah, I got bullied a lot.  I never really could stand up for myself.  I was always afraid of getting hurt, or getting in trouble.

WINTHROP SCHOOLAnyway, the picture on the right is Winthrop Elementary School in Ipswich, Ma.  Still there today.  I found out this weekend that my 1st grade teacher is still teaching.  I had the biggest crush on her way back when.  Not like the Van Halen song, “Hot For Teacher”, but you get the point.  She was so nice and not mean to me ever.  She cared about every child.  You really don’t see that anymore.  Oh, I want to make a quick note about most of my teachers; You will find that I hate mean teachers throughout this category.  I had a lot of bad teachers, and some good ones.  Some teachers I thought were mean, but ended up being fantastic teachers.

Some of my memories of elementary school are good ones.  Not many but here are a few.  My resource room teacher, Mrs. Bowman, was great.  I may have mentioned this room in a past blog.  I honestly forget.  A.C.C. rearing its head at me again.  This was the special classroom I had to go to everyday for a certain amount of time and work on things.  These tasks ranged from working on fine motor skills like finger dexterity, to reading and reading comprehension.  I remember because of my fingers and hands having poor nerves, (not sure if that was because of A.C.C. or not), I had to have a special  grip that slipped over my pencils so I could write better.  My penmanship is pretty bad.  One of the things I wish I got from my mother, but it wasn’t to be.  Of course, the plan of action for my sessions here where probably pretty vague.  This was before they started diagnosing A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. like it was going out of style.  This was before anyone had heard of an anxiety attack, or social anxiety disorder.  Obviously I didn’t know I had A.C.C at this time in my life.rocky-4-beardrocky4loft

I did have my coming out party as a drummer.  It was really great actually.  Now I know I am dating myself here, but one of my favorite movies was the Rocky saga.  Rocky IV had just come out and one of the songs was, “Hearts On Fire” by John Cafferty.  I loved it and I played it on the drums, every darn lick of it.  Everyone in the cafeteria went nuts after I finished.  I felt like I was on top of the world.  I felt like, wow, I am finally getting noticed.  Maybe that gorgeous girl Jaqueline Rodham that I see in mt classes will ask me out on a date and maybe we will fall in love and get married and have kids.  Well, it was 3rd grade, but still, a kid can dream can’t he?  There is a picture of me right before I play that song in the photo album, but I need to dig that out.  My mom was my roadie that day and cued up the music and everything.  Here is the video.  If this doesn’t get you fired up, you have issues.

Alex+Van+Halen+Van+Halen+Dress+Rehearsal+Forum+IQw6zuGVZV_lIt was great, I felt like Alex Van Halen for a day.  Everyone was coming up to me and saying what a great job I did.  The fifth grade teacher, who played saxophone on the side, actually called the middle school/high school band director and told him he has to meet me and told him how I apparently blew the doors off the school.  Everyone before that thought I was off, a little awkward, a little slow, and I hated that.  For the next week, I was suddenly king of the school.

bully-cartoonThat didn’t last very long though.  Jacqueline never came calling, asking for my number.  Or for a date at the Parish House for ice-cream.  After that week, everything went back to the way it was.  People crapping all over me, beating me up for m lunch money and I was crushed.

The other memory that sticks out in my mind from that year, and throughout my elementary school years happened in late January.  The event was watched challenger-explosionvery closely because it felt like this special teacher was one of us.  She was a New Englander.  I know that 9/11 happened and that polarized everyone in America like nothing else.  This was very much like 9/11, though.  From that day forward until 9/11 happened, it was like our JFK assassination.  Where were you when the Challenger exploded.  It was awful, it was a tragedy, and the sad thing was, all they had to do was wait for warmer weather.  So sad.

challenger-crewI remember my third grade teacher Ms. Sirois and the other 3rd grade teacher Ms. Fallabella stopped the class and we had a television brought in to watch the launch.  Everything went as planned.  Then main engines started firing six seconds prior to launch.  At zero the main boosters fired and challenger ascended to the starts.  They had cleared the tower.  73 seconds later, the unthinkable happened.  We lost seven amazing souls that day.

Now it has been so long since I was in elementary school, that I don’t really remember much.  I do remember taking up the trumpet in 4th and 5th grade.  Our band was good I guess.  The trumpet didn’t last long.  I guess I was born to have sticks in my hand, not a big brass horn stuck to my lips.

I hope you are enjoying my posts.  I am enjoying this great journey as well.  Catch my next post when we delve into my middle school years.  Oh, were they Hell!  Until next time?

Brian Malaquias