By Ed Baranosky
I plagiarized one of the first stories I ever wrote. I was a sophomore in high school. The war was on and the factories were running three shifts a day. Bowling leagues were organized as a form of relaxation for their employees.
After school I worked as a pinsetter at the Kingsway Bowling alleys in Fairfield. I would get to the alleys at 6:30 p.m. and work until midnight weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays I worked from 1 p.m. until midnight.
In English-language class we were given an assignment to write an essay on a book we read. With all my other homework in math, science, history, geography and my limited time to do all these things I thought I could get away with a bit of deception.
War stories were printed in the centerfold of comic books of the time. The story I stole was about the war in the North African desert. I copied it word for word and turned it in.
The teacher must have picked up the difference between the work I had been turning in and this story. The first person he called on was me.
The year was 1943 and those events had just happened. He asked where I got the book. I was not a great thinker on my feet. I was trapped like a rat. I spilled my guts. My classmates, being typical teenagers, took every opportunity to remind me of my embarrassment for the rest of the school year.