Prior to the 1970s, the furnace room of the upper school (now Eaton Hall) was used to hang athletic clothing and to store maintenance equipment—including a tractor. During their inspections, the fire chief made it clear to the maintenance manager, James O’Brien (right in photo, with William Jernigan from the 1966 yearbook), that he did not approve of parking a tractor in the furnace room. Unfortunately there was no place to put the tractor as the maintenance shed had not yet been built. One sympathetic firefighter, however, was nice enough to let the school know when the next “surprise” inspection was scheduled. This gave Mr. O’Brien the chance to get the tractor out of the furnace room. His trick was to send Kenneth Penn out to “mow the grass” on the visit days. One day, after six inches of snow hit the campus, the chief dropped in for a visit. It just so happened that Kenneth, and the tractor, was out doing his job. Kenneth waved to the fire chief and kept “mowing the grass,” snow and all.
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