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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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Free to Be the Dads We Want to Be

Free to Be the Dads We Want to Be

(p.154) Free to Be the Dads We Want to Be
When We Were Free to Be

Jeremy Adam Smith

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents what, according to the author, is a horrible mistake: He chose to play the flute in his school band. He was the only boy to do so. At first, he was just awful. There were twelve chairs, and for the first half of the first year, he was dead last. The girl flutists ignored him. The all-male drum section made it their habit to inflict on him the full range of junior high school torments, from tripping him up in gym class to writing “faggot” on his locker in magic marker to straight-up beat downs. Like William with his doll, however, the author would not give up his flute. William was the protagonist of a cartoon segment featured on the 1974 television special Free to Be … You and Me—a little boy who was far ahead of his time.

Keywords:   school band, flute, girl flutists, drum section, William

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