(Note- featured photo, my sixth grade class, Haddon Elementary 1972 Bremerton Washington. ¬†Me to the right of the teacher)
I’ve been delighted at the response I’ve received from people I know when I have told them we were going to swing through Arkansas on this road trip to visit my 6th grade teacher.
My sixth grade teacher from 1971-1972.
A long time ago, but not so long ago in my memory. Just yesterday.
Everyone who hears this is first of all pleased but secondly fascinated that I am in touch with my sixth grade teacher.
The miracle of Facebook.
When you look back on your life there are periods that stand out more than others. ¬†Luckily for me I have very few bad memories, mostly good ones – and 1971-72 is one of my fondest. ¬†My sixth grade year. My favorite grade school teacher. All my friends together in the class.
I often watch little girls today at that tender age of eleven going on seventeen going on thirty. ¬†It’s sentimental to me. ¬†Still children but on the edge of adulthood. ¬†Still innocent, but pushing the boundaries. ¬†I remember sixth grade like this. ¬†So in the moment. No worries or cares. Full of joy, friendship, laughter, fun. ¬†Full of hope and excitement.
I moved the summer after my sixth grade year to a new school district. ¬†It took about a year but I eventually found my niche and enjoyed my junior high and high school years.
But sixth grade is forever emblazoned on my brain.
I remember the movie “Love Story”, The Osmonds and the Jackson Five. ¬†I remember Mark Spitz and the terrorist at the Munich Olympics. ¬†I remember Don McLean’s “American Pie”, Girl Scouts and The Brady Bunch. I remember Herbal Essence Shampoo and bell bottoms.
And through all of these memories is the central figure of my sixth grade teacher’s kind and caring face. ¬†His smile and patience and support not just for me at this launching point in my life but for each student in the class.
And that is why we took a detour off of Route 66 the past few days to come to Arkansas and see him and his wife in this beautiful area they have retired to.
Because it mattered. ¬†And the memories remain. That year. ¬†The year I grew up.