At our junior high second period was always ‘Homeroom.’ Meaning we had an extra 30-minutes to discuss topics not related to the period’s curriculum. This was seventh grade 1956. The curriculum was metal shop. Our teacher was Mr. Leo Fanar. A tall balding man in his thirties and about six-foot two. He stood head and shoulders over we yet to be grown midget boys and looked down with serious intense dark eyes. We called him ‘chrome dome’ because of his shiny balding head. But never ever call him that in his presents. He had jet black hair below the timber line. A man of Lebanese descent but obviously born and raised in the United States. When we boys were in his presents Mr. Fanar always wore a long white shop coat. He seemed stern and direct. One would never take issue with Mr. Chrome Dome. He had a loud PA system voice and could be heard from one end of the shop to the other. When he spoke, we boys listened.
But back to this homeroom thing. Our homeroom activity started at the beginning of the period and always started off with the pledge of allegiance. Then Mr. Fanar would read the school’s morning bulletin. Before he would read the school bulletin, he would neatly use a ruler and cut out any announcements concerning religion. Such as announcements for Tri gray Y a faith based social club. Mr. Fanar would read the rest of the school bulletin then pass around any remaining faith-based announcements for we boys to read in private. He obviously believed in separation of church and state. Today, Evangelical leaders would not care for Mr. Fanar.
But Mr. Fanar was the only teacher I had that invited we shop boys to his nearby home for a after school backyard BBQ and picknick. Funny thing was Mr. Fanar asked for a volunteer to say a prayer of blessings before we dove into our hotdogs and chips.
In retrospect he certainly was one to respect and give we boys the straight scoop. We boys were in his class for only six-weeks and then moved on to other shop classes. I am almost sure Mr. Fanar at to laugh at the end of the day after spending all day with twelve- to fifteen-year-old boys who had no clue what life could bring. I sincerely hope Chrome Dome or Mr. Fanar had a rich and rewarding life. God bless him if he’s still around and RIP if he’s not.