|The Hot Rocks from Hot Shoppes
The year is 1964 and Friday night after the
basketball game everyone is at Hot Shoppes at the corner of Keene Mill and Backlick, when
there is actually an intersection and when commercial civilization stops at Giant Food.
On a sugar high from eating too much hot fudge
ice cream cake, Jackie Montague and some other Lee Seniors throw a huge pumice boulder
from Hot Shoppes rock garden into the back of Jackies station wagon and Jackie
makes a squealing tire exit onto Keene Mill heading East toward Lee. Some fortyish to
fiftyish adult calls the cops and a police cruiser cuts Jackie off before she can get the
rock to Lees Senior Court. Jackie has to drive the rock back to Hot Shoppes with
At one a.m., Ron Gabaldon, John Harms, Jerry Hall
and Jack Duckworth throw the rock into the trunk of Jacks 1954 blue Chrysler bomb
and head back to Lee where they drive around back and place the rock in the garden in the
seniors smoking court.
Monday morning, during homeroom period, Bill
Simms, Ken Cole and Principal William Parrish, contemplate the rock. After much
consternation, Bill Simms pulls his Jeep around to the Senior Court. With the students in
all the classes surrounding the court watching, Bill and Ken load the Senior Stone in the
back and return it to Hot Shoppes.
One week later, Bill, Ken and Mr. Parrish
contemplate the rock again and the scene repeats itself. This is historys first
videotape rerun and it happens ten years before videotape is invented.
The reruns continue every Monday morning for six
weeks until one day Bill Simms returns during second period to the senior court. After
much consternation and a special consult with Mr. Parrish, Bill places the Senior Stone
back in the senior court (to the cheers of the on-looking seniors) where it will reside
for many years.
What Bill, Ken and Mr. Parrish dont know is
that the seniors of 64 are more creative than the average student. Following the
return of the first rock, various seniors take turns bringing rocks from the new Post
Office at Brookville Plaza, the West Springfield Golf and Country Club, the West
Springfield Post Office, and the other Hot Shoppes in Arlington, Seven Corners, and
Alexandria. For some unknown reason, only the manager at Springfield Hot Shoppes realizes
that the mountain of pumice rocks out front of the restaurant has grown aesthetically
displeasing. He refuses to allow the pumice pile to grow any more and tells Bill to dump
no more rocks.
It was from such humble beginnings that Pavlov, a
less well-known alumnus of Lee, developed his salivating dog experiments. This story
explains why to this day, Bill Simms breaks out in a sweat whenever he sees a decorative