Good old English Language, I hated studying it, you know, diagramming sentences, learning the 8 parts of speech and so on. I did love the writing aspects and the readings assigned although I never got them done on time. Teachers were reluctant to call on me fearing another attempt at humor no matter what the subject. It was in 10th grade it really began to get my attention, we had a knockout for a teacher, Barbara Grant, I would even stop after school to chat only to find other drooling young men in line. I always liked writing poetry and wrote several humorous poems about events in her class. Low and behold upon entering her class one day I found all of them posted on the bulletin board where she proceeded to break them down for the class and encouraged me to continue in my writing efforts, I of course ignored her advice. The next year my instructor was a distinguished character of a certain High School nobility John McWhirter or "Scotty" as I referred to him out of earshot. The subject was "Topic Sentences" and I knew it would be my duty to provide humor. When it came my time he threw me a couple of subjects and I was to provide a topic sentence...Dancer..."To be a good dancer you should have feet"...Tennis team...."How would you like to be a member of the Racquet Squad?" He asked me to stay after class and I feared I may have crossed the line. Standing before his desk he rose up to his full 5'6", looked me in the eye and said " I've heard about you and evidently it's all true, I hope my class will help you further develop your talents". Admittedly I didn't know how to respond, paused and then said "Thank you?" it's taken 52 years for this to soak in but I will be eternally grateful to all the educators in my life who saw potential in this class clown and never gave up.
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