When I was in high school I went out, as they
say, for oratory. When the Southern
California Oratorical Contest came around,
the situation was ticklish. L.A.
High had won the contest two years in succession.
If we won the third year,
the cup would stay in the school’s possession
forever. I was chosen to represent
the school and I passed through the
sectional contests and came to the finals,
which were held in the Hollywood Bowl
before an audience of about thirty-five
people. My coach, however,
informed me the day before that my
speech in its written form had gotten a
very low grade from the judges, that
in order to win in the finals, every
single judge would have to give me first
place. I decided that the situation
was hopeless, and that the only
thing to do was to forget about the contest
and just say what I had to say.
Apparently that’s what happened.
The cup still belongs to the school.