The Fastest Kid in 5th Grade

I wrote this story and presented it for a Tall Tale contest at my Toastmasters Club.

I was the fastest kid in 5th grade. I was in Mr. Clappaloochi’s class at Hamilton Square school in the early 1960s. He liked to have races between students during our class recess.

We would just go out in the ball fields and run. He would pick a couple kids for a race and say run to that pole and back. It was good exercise before I ever knew what a gym class was. I kind of liked running because I was fast and I usually won.

I even beat Tommy Schrudenfaster and Carly Runallday on a regular basis. They came close, but they never beat me. Carly was a girl, but she was pretty fast too. I was smaller than I am now and I could run all day.

Eventually, Mr. Clappaloochi got bored watching me beat all of the other kids in our class all the time so he challenged another 5th grade teacher and her class. I beat all of them too.

Mr. Clappaloochi got tired of watching me beat all of those kids too so he went to the Principal, Miss Ezzler Mezzler. He asked her if she would challenge another school to a race against me. Ezzler Mezzler said yes. I beat those 5th graders too.

Miss Ezzler Mezzler challenged every grammar school in Hamilton Township to a race. One by one, I beat them all. I even got my name and picture in the Hamilton Tattler, the local paper.

It said, “John Tedder, The fastest kid in 5th grade.” The picture of me was posed with me looking over my shoulder smiling at the camera pretending I was running.

Mr. Clappaloochi really liked his races. He arranged for me to run at the Mercer County Fair. He took out a newspaper ad and he said I could beat any 5th grader in Mercer County. I was really feeling the pressure, but I won again.

Next, I raced at the NJ State Fair when it was a really nice fair with cows and everything. I got new sneaks for that race. I got a pair of white, high top U.S. Keds. They were $2 a pair.

At the State Fair, Mr. Clappaloochi and Miss Ezzler Mezzler cheered me on at every race. I beat all of the other 5th graders and it wasn’t even close. Well, some of the races were close, but nobody beat me.

After that, I got invited to race at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City. What an honor. It was there that I met, for the first time but not the last, —-Forrest Gump. Thee Forrest Gump.

Nobody knew who he was at the time. He wasn’t famous or anything yet. There was no Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. He wasn’t a ping pong champion. He hadn’t met Lieutenant Dan yet either. But he was fast.

It was a close race, but he beat me fair and square. I think it was Jenny cheering him on from the sidelines that did it. Mr. Clappaloochi was inconsolable. He wept. Miss Ezzler Mezzler said to me, “Ya done good John. Ya done good.”

Forrest, I found out later, wasn’t really a 5th grader. He stayed back a year in 2nd grade. He should have been a 6th grader.

So you see, I really was the fastest kid in 5th grade.

6 Responses to “The Fastest Kid in 5th Grade”

  1. judy doonan says:

    Fantastic! And really fun.

  2. Howard says:

    Great story.

    Where did you get the idea for this story?

  3. John Tedder says:

    Fifth grade. I have been telling people I was the fastest kid in 5th grade for years. We actually did race in 5th grade. The whole idea behind the Tall Tale contest in Toastmasters is to get speakers to present exaggerated stories. Some people in my Toastmasters club actually thought this was a true story until I mentioned Forrest Gump.

  4. carly (runallday) brooks says:

    Hi John
    well long story but I was emailed this story on your blog from dean Patterson in Sedona Arizona! He seems to think that I might be the carly that was in your story? I am opretty sure that we were in iappalouchis class (5th grade) I really have no recollection of running and really of that whole year!! wexcept I think he was fired after that year. I remember he would pput his feet up on his desk and read his newspaper1 do u remember that.. I liked him tho… And I believe new were in his class the day kennedy was assassinated…any way im gonna take this as I was the carly you beat!!!! and its such a great story… I hope you are well and I am going to follow your blog now that I know it exists.. there is a group on facebook newly formed called “grew upin Hamilton Square. U might like to ck it out…Its been a week or so that I have been on it and its been a lot of fun! Take care, Carly Brooks

  5. John Tedder says:

    Carly, thanks for commenting! It is nice to hear from you. You are the Carly in the story. I remember the feet on the desk too. You are probably better off not remembering a lot about that year. I remember him standing in the door telling the class about the assassination. Do you remember writing letters to foreign countries so that we could get the stamps on the evenvelopes when they wrote back? How about Thanks for letting me know about the “grew up in Hamilton Square” group. I will check it out.

  6. Carly runallday says:

    Wow. I just now saw this john. Thanks
    Again for ur Recent post. ❗️❗️❗️

Leave a Reply

Image | WordPress Themes