Senior Connections Senior Connections Mar 2019 - Page 13

‘Well, can’t do that. Or why would you ask me to do that?’ I fi gure I’m here to help. I fi gured it was al- ways whatever could I do to make things run a little smoother in the whole school. No matter if it was getting extra silverware out during lunch. It was not my job, but somehow, I end up doing it. It’s a lot of little things that are not in the job description. It could be just about anything from un-jamming zippers on kids’ coats to whatever ... un-jam a locker because a backpack is stuck in it. But I never felt unappreciated, not in this building!” The Humphrey Elementary staff and students ex- pressed their affection and esteem for Bell by honor- ing him at a recent school assembly, which Rod de- scribed with genuine delight. “We had an assembly the other morning. It was the end of the quarter assembly. Lot of times at that time I have to go and get the mail, but they said, ‘Don’t go get the mail!’ So, I had to be in there. Well, they pre- sented me with a golden plunger. They had a book that they had wrote in, staff and kids, and another thing was 26 years ago (the music teacher happened to be here that long), they did a play called School Days. She enlisted a lot of the staff to be in it, and I was in it. I was sitting in a chair, sleeping and dreaming. Tony Bakeberg, who was a fi fth-grader then, had on one of my work shirts and he was running around me with a broom, while they had this song going on. A lot of it was ‘Rod, Rod, where are you?’ Well, [at the assembly] the whole school started to sing that song. Out of the lounge there come, with a dust mop, Tony Bakeberg in one of my shirts. Here he comes out 26 years later. (He lives out here. He’s farming with his dad.) Anyway, he’s going back and forth. I thought it was great that they enlisted him. That was pretty fun! I couldn’t believe they got him to come over and do that. Things like that you will remember!” Despite his obvious fondness for his job, there are a few things that Bell will not regret leaving behind, including cleaning up some of the unpleasant messes. He is also looking forward to a later start to his day. “I don’t consider myself a morning person, but the job dictated that ... It’s not too exciting being here at 5:30 am and having to clean up snow and stuff every morning. [Now] it will be easier to sit and look out the window with a cup of coffee and say, ‘Well, maybe, I’ll clean my driveway at 10 o’clock.’” Bell is something of a world-traveler. “One teacher called me a jet-setter one time,” so he hopes that his future plans will involve more travels abroad. Europe is among his favorite destinations, � particularly Italy and ��������������������������� France, having visited Rome, Venice, Florence, �������������������������������� Nice, Monte Carlo, and ����������������������������� Paris. “I’d like to go ������ back to Europe,” Bell ���������������� said. “I’ve never been to �������������������������������������������������� Portugal and Spain ... I got a new passport last December and haven’t had any stamps put in it yet ... Every place has its own unique things ... I like seeing different things.” Summing up his ca- reer at Humphrey, Bell said, “This job worked out well for me. If I had had to sit at a desk and do paperwork, I’ve thought many times that I never could have did it. So, in that respect, the job worked out well for ���������� ������� ����������� me. I very seldom ever �������������� �������������� ������������������� missed ... I tried to make ������� ������ the job fun ... I never iso- ���������������� �������������� �������������� lated myself. I became part of what they con- sider a little family here. It’s a pretty tight group, actually ... There isn’t a ���� Senior Connections HJ.COM Senior Rod Bell retired Jan. 29 after nearly 40 years as a custo- dian at Humphrey Elementary in Waverly. PHOTO BY JAN ENGELHARDT day you come here that you don’t laugh. I thought that was pretty important. I never complained about my job ... Some people go home and say what a tough day it was. I don’t think I ever said that, but now it’s time to ride off into the sunset.” Do you know a senior that should be in the spotlight? Please send your information to us by calling 320.485.2535 or by emailing Connections March 2019 13