2018-08-08 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

School Days, School Day
by Terry Toole

The teachers were back last week, old and new. Bless their hearts! I'm writing this before the students came back on Friday. Never have figured why the schools here open on Friday, and everyone goes home for the weekend. I guess the teachers, students and bosses need a quick break. It seems to work, so if it “ain't” broke, don't try to fix it. Some of the boards could do good to go by that rule.

Have you ever wondered what kind of a teacher you would be? All my life, I've been told stories of how my grandma, mother, aunts, uncles, daughter, granddaughter, cousins and lots and lots of friends have been teachers. I can remember some of my teachers. There are a few of my teachers who are still living that probably remember me.

Wait a minute, I'm nor sure any of them are still among us. There is an older lady who resides at the nursing home who remembers me. I take those who can still see and read, a copy of the Miller County Liberal each Tuesday.

This lady never fails to tell me, "You were the meanest little red-headed boy in Colquitt."

It's good to be remembered, I think! There aren't too many folks who can remember that far back.

I remember stories about Grandma Zula who was teaching at five or six schools over the county. She rode a bicycle from her home in Light to teach in several schools each week. She didn't have enough to do, so she established the Miller County Liberal in Colquitt in 1898. It was the first newspaper in Georgia and maybe the nation that was run by a woman. She was 28, and women couldn't vote back then.

Many of my folks had something to do with teaching. Ma, and her sisters, Willie Priest, my aunt, and many of my cousins were teachers. Our daughter, Donna, just retired from 33 years as a teacher, and Joanna, our granddaughter is in her third year as a teacher. My favorite son-in-law, Kent, was a teacher here and went on to be principal in Seminole County. Many of our employees have been and still are teachers. I guess you could say it runs in the family.

It takes a very special person to be a teacher, I mean really special.

I can't keep up with it, but if I had a nickel for every photo of Miller County and area school children that I made, I could start a bank.

There were four generations of one family standing together at a funeral I was attending a while back. "Mr. Terry, you took all of our graduation photos in our one family," noted one of them.

I told you I had been around here for a long time. It's not unusual that birth, school, marriage and obituary photos were taken by "ye scribe,” not to mention life photos of many people.

We were at a meeting last week when a new coach was telling about his coming up in Colquitt. The second most asked questionis,"Areyougoing to work the sidelines at the football games this year?"

I think the sideline photo takes are where I was knocked out the only time in my life when one of the players hit me square in the chest, knocking the breath out of me, and leaving me unconscious. One of the players said, "He's dead." Then I started coming to and said something to make him believe I would make it.

"He's all right!" the EMTs said as I got up and finished taking the game. That was bad, but that bad mosquito last year almost did me in.

I asked the coach to add a little skeeter spray to the want list before the game. On many occasions, I took a gallon or so of mosquito spray. Body heat draws mosquitos. I would ask the coach permission to spray them. He said, "Spray me too."

With a few exceptions, I have found that your legs seem to get used up among the body parts at the tender age of going on 83. The want is there, I'm not sure the will is strong enough to out-run those young, big, strong fellows.

Although some leaders want schools without God, it hasn’t worked. I wish all the students, teachers and parents a great new school year. Go with God!

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