Mr Ward & Mr Wells

"You pineapple, you." As that cry reverberated across the fields and hills near Brown Road in North St. Louis County in the fall of 1954 or '55 or '56 you knew that you were at the Lower School football field on a weekday afternoon at the 'old school.' Craggy faced and craggy voiced Mr. Ward was threatening and exhorting his football helmeted and padded eleven year old or so charges in his own inimitable way, as only he could. He put us through our exercises, gave us play sheets to study, strictly single wing formation of course, trained us in simple defensive stunts, offensive holes and blocking assignments, and pulling guards. Drills on setting up walls of blockers for punt and kick returns. Drills for how to fall on fumbles. Dick Lynch passing. Steve Lord running. Outside of the lower school study hall on Friday afternoons on the big bulletin board Frank posted very officially the names of the "Back of the Week" and of the "Lineman of the Week". He would get you out of study hall and proudly show it to you. I learned so much about football, about teamwork, about perseverance, about conditioning and health, and about life from Mr. Frank Ward. He was simultaneously frightening, inspiring, and endearing to a kid. His enthusiasm, energy, commitment, and knowledge are among the many faculty resources at Country Day in my early life that I continue to find formative for me more than 50 years later now.
  -- Charlie Homeyer


We were working on English grammar and studying parts of speech. It was English class in Class 6 or perhaps Class 5. We had probably been diagraming sentences. Mr. Wells was at the blackboard in front of the room with chalk in one hand and an eraser in the other. In a relatively large class by CDS standards we were in rows of individual desks. He was bespectacled and pasty complexioned. His black hair was receding severely from his forehead. (I should talk!) I believe that Bob Wells was droning something about the fact that the English language doesn't always follow the rules of grammar we had been learning. For example, a single English word can act as two different parts of speech. The word duck, he said, can be a noun meaning a bird that swims on a lake. It was afternoon on a gray day. We were sleepy. "Or," said Mr. Wells... Wheeling rapidly 180 degrees around, he fired a chalk dust laden eraser over our heads and past our ears at an astonishing speed. "Duck," he yelled, adding quietly, "can be a verb." C Robert Wells was my English teacher for two years, during which I certainly did learn English grammar. To this day, more than 50 years later, whenever I read a long and convoluted sentence, whether written by a sports writer, a German historian or theologian, or by St. Paul, I ask, "How would you (Mr. Wells) diagram THIS sentence?"

   -- Submitted by Charlie Homeyer