May 26 2008
09:08 am
By: WhitesCreek

by Ray Collett

Hello Readers...This week Tom Scott,Jr. (Class of 1961) answered my call for help on some memories to store on my computer until my surgery heals. Tom is regular emailer also and I always enjoying seeing his Dad, Tom Scott, Sr., at Hardee's. He, as most of you know, is the local Rockwood Historian and is a wealth of information, especially family histories. Here is what Tom, Jr. had to say....

" Ray, while your hand is healing, I thought I'd send some memories for you to share with your readers. I enjoy working puzzles. In two of the daily newspapers I read, there are single letter substitution cryptogram puzzles. one is called "Daily Cryptoquote" and the other is "Celebrity Cipher." A recent solution of one was, "A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops. Henry Adams." (Of course, now it should be "his/her.") This started some thoughts about the teachers we had in the Rockwood school system. They provided us not only with a sound foundation in the three R's, but also with other lessons that have influenced us throughout our lives. I offer just a couple of examples"

"My first grade teacher was Blanche Pickering. Her classroom was the first one on the right after entering through the main doors. In addition to teaching us our ABCs, and how to print our names, she taught us about art. She would hold up a copy of a famous painting, such as "The Blue Boy" by Thomas Gainsborough, and ask us to identify both the name of the painting and the name of the painter. I have always thought that was an amazing departure from a standard first grade curriculum and wondered if she had any purpose other than to try to instill in us an appreciation of beauty. While that instruction did not lead me into a life of art, it has helped me appreciate works of art in museums and galleries as well as enjoying the art segments on the television program, "CBS Sunday Morning."

My fourth grade teacher was Christine Grant. One day she asked the class to prepare a flower arrangement for a contest. it was spring and my grandfather's apple trees were in full bloom. I got a blue vase from my mother, filled it with a bunch of apple blossoms from the variety of different trees, and carted it off to school. The entries were set up to be judged on tables in the cafeteria downstairs. At the end of the day, we went down to see how we had done and to pick up our flowers. At the base of my vase was a three by five card with my name and someone had added "BLUE." I thought that meant that I had been awarded a blue ribbon, but there was no ribbon. Someone said, "That just means that your flowers are in the blue vase." (Oh the injustice of it all! As I recognize the sense of what's NOT FAIR in a grandson who is now the same age I was then.) The teacher saw me clouding up and, from her fist full of ribbons, handed me a blue one with some comment like, "Here's yours." I still have that small piece of blue ribbon, whether I won it or not, as a reminder of her kindness and caring attitude toward her students."

"Henry Adams was right. A teacher cannot tell where his/her influence stops. To all those other teachers from the Rockwood school system who had to put up with me, just because I didn't mention you does not mean that your kindness and influence are not also fondly remembered." Tom Scott, Jr. RHS Class of 1961.

Thanks a lot Tom, and until next week...........Ray

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