Last night I grabbed an old paperback off my bookshelf as I had nothing to read and my tablet was dead. I couldn’t remember how old it was but the pages were thin and yellow and the print so small I could barely read it with bifocals. The Future King – E.B. White.
I fell asleep quickly and this morning when I moved it to my nightstand, I saw a half dozen pieces of paper sticking out along the top edge. I thought I’d see what scenes or words had moved me enough to mark them. As I opened to the first one, what fell out took me back to 1967.
Not the words on the page, not some wonderfully written phrasing – no – a hall pass for a student in my 9th grade English class – my first year of teaching at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, OK.
I was slammed into a past I’d prefer to forget: 5’2” and couldn’t see the back row of kids so I used a high bar stool behind a podium and walked around a lot. January following their teacher’s death. I don’t recall having any discussions around that issue with the students, but I pray that I did. Scared rabbit saved by a veteran teacher across the hall. Newly married a year and a half living in Army base housing. A war I protested as friends and pilots flew off on missions – weekend parties to say good-bye and fears I’d never see them again.
I won’t bore you with the rest plus there are dozens of scenes in the movie of my life I’m not particularly proud of – ah, youth. Just enough sharing on my part to perhaps take you back – to an item that jogs a memory each time you pick it up – a book you open – a box filled with cards and event stubs – what has jogged your memory recently?