Write Again … A sense of pride

Published 6:34 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

Today’s writing endeavor — at least in the attempt — is a nostalgic-seeming look back at some memories from 1973-74, a year in which I was a teacher/coach at Pantego High School. I was 34-35 years along in my journey.

My very good friend Harold writes often, and well, of his growing up days, and of those who still hold a special place in his heart. Sad, are the ones who have no sweet and enduring memories of such days.

I am blessed to have good childhood memories, especially of those, both young and not so young, who were a part of my passage.

I digress. Pantego High School. A venerable institution, long before I came along. By ’73 the building was “tired,” its enrollment small, but there was a palpable sense of pride among both students and faculty. They were the Pantego Warriors.

I remember the young people I taught and coached with genuine affection, many who came from modest, even meager economic backgrounds. My admiration of them has grown through the years. Being there was good for me, serendipitously so, I came to realize. I have to restrain from mentioning some of their names, for surely I’d omit some, from a memory deficit, that would do them an injustice.

Mr. Joe Windley was principal, a kind man who loved his school and his community.

Mr. Frank Ambrose was both assistant principal/teacher, who was a positive and steadying influence. A very good man.

Mrs. Myrtle Carowan was a trusted, dependable teacher whose presence ensured continuity and stability.

Mrs. Velma Roland was truly a teacher nonpareil, whom students loved and respected.

Mr. Albert Baker, a fine man, who as a teacher and coach brooked no nonsense. I liked Albert.

Mrs. Carolyn Carrow was a good home ec teacher. I could have learned a lot from her, for sure. We commuted together during the oil crisis.

Mrs. Cynthia Heath was a strong academic aspect of PHS. Her standards were high.

Mr. Tom Sawyer, a man of many diverse talents, was a fixture on the faculty. There was only one Tom Sawyer (besides Mark Twain’s Tom).

Mrs. Martha Davis was the “Music Lady” of PHS. Marvelously talented, she was special.

Ms. Norma Jean Respess was a genuine asset.

Unfortunately, I’m leaving some names out. In no wise is it meant as a diminution of their worth.

One non-faculty member I must mention is Rev. Dennis Davis. U.S. Postal Service carrier, minister, supporter of PHS. He helped me coach, and provided both tangible and moral support. I will always love Dennis. Always.

That which I have shared with you was from a goodly number of years ago. Not memories from my youth, but certainly those of a relatively young man.

Now the days dwindle down, inexorably so. The natural order of things, I like to say.

I feel blessed to have had so many of them. Blessed.

And we have our memories.