As much of a scholastic non-conformist as I was, Mr. Baker's love of books did leave a lasting impression on me.
One of the things my great Aunt Eva had given me was a leather bound copy of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It seems that she expected the book to cultivate and civilize my behaviour.
High expectations for a boy who thought "The Merchant of Venice" was the owner of "Miss Italia".
It was in the spring of 1960 and I spoke to my mom expressing my desire to give the book to Mr. Baker, after all "what use was it to me". She gave me permission so as the term was coming to an end I waited until class was over and I stopped Mr. Baker in the aisle between two desks and presented him with the book. He was stunned, I am sure he couldn't believe that this scholastic boob had a book never mind that it was the works of William Shakespeare.
At the time the book must have been at least 60 years old as it was given to my Aunt Eva when she was in school and she was born in 1884. He asked me if I was sure that he could have, he seemed very childlike in his query. I assured him he could and that he was the only person who I knew would take an interest in such a book.
It wasn't until my late 50's that I realized, as a child I was not a scholastic failure, I was a gifted child who's IQ was superior to those around him. Now that I am in my 60's I am able to console myself with that illusion.