The Farmer's Wife: Remembering a special teacher


We've had a gentle rain off and on all day, a very welcome one. Much better than all the tornado warnings and wind of last Friday! Every time I read of another tornado, as they had in a suburb of Wichita that night, I count my blessings.

I attended the visitation last week for a former teacher/principal at good old Waco High. We were Marvin Maurer's first job right out of the Army. I think he was probably a newlywed, also; I do know their first child was born in York, just as we all were.

Mr. Maurer taught the business classes; typing (keyboarding), shorthand, and accounting, and sponsored the year book. A year book was what the senior class put together as a summary of activities at the school for that year. We had to sell ads in order to afford one, and we spent a lot of time formatting it and trying to make it special. Most of you probably had one, even though today, there is no such thing.

On the day they came out, there was much trading back and forth, with good luck messages from the underclassmen and the faculty.  The one we did as seniors used a deck of cards; we were the kings and queens!! It's really an unique keepsake.

Anyway, there have been messages back and forth, and phone calls, among the classmates to let them know of the death, and to reminisce about this special teacher. He  also directed the class plays, and one year, he even did a community play. I recall that my dad was in it!

We decided we had a pretty good education, even if it was a small school. Our class had 14 members, so that meant maybe 60 or 70 in the whole high school. Of course, we were in the upper story; the elementary grades were on the first floor, and the gym and the kitchen were in the basement.  

My cousin summed it up nicely this evening; she said Waco was such a supportive community. I bet you all could say the same thing. The social activities revolved around the school, they came to all the events, athletic or otherwise, and they were behind you, win or lose. When you left for higher education, you did not want to fail, as  you would have been letting them down.  

It's really no wonder small towns try hard to keep their schools. It seems to me Waco has become a bedroom community, as has Hoskins. When you lose the school, you lose community continuity. Of course, some consolidated schools have done very well; I think Elmwood-Murdock is a good example. But no matter if the school  your kids attend is large or small, it's important, I think, to try to make it a good one, and to support it to the best of your ability. That's so they can look back as I did this week, and be thankful for the education, and backing, I received in my high school. And thank you, Mr. Maurer, for all you taught us. We are grateful.  

Now, it's time to brace ourselves for Mother's day, graduations, and track meets!  I feel for the thin clads who have had to buck all the wind this year. I think it's still too early to plant the petunias. But at least the grass has a chance now. Hang in there; the forecast for the weekend is much warmer.