My Hippy Teacher

Image of the Day – Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My 4th Grade Class Picture

My 4th Grade Class Picture

During the spring and summer of 1968 it must have seemed as though the world were unraveling to many. It was during that time Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King were gunned down by assassins. Also during the summer of ’68 artist Andy Warhol was shot by a struggling actress and Chicago was the scene of the “police riot” at the Democratic National Convention. Those events, the Vietnam War and more were the headlines of the world I lived in as I prepared to begin my 4th grade of school at Claiborne Elementary School in Baton Rouge. It was a time in our history and our culture that echoes across the more than forty years that have passed since.

It was that year I had my first and only “hippy” teacher. As I recall Mrs. Wagner was from the Pacific Northwest, possibly the SeaTac area of Washington. She wore mini-skirts which was unheard of attire for a teacher in the south. She wore bright, flowery shirts and love beads from time to time. Tall, young, blonde and West Coast Mrs. Wagner was the first teacher I remember putting her arm around my shoulder and told me, “Ronnie, you’re a smart boy. You can do this.” My mother had told me the same thing but she was my mother and mothers say things like that. But Mrs. Wagner did it to inspire and uplift me and make me believe in myself and over forty years later I still not only remember what she did for me but appreciate it to this day.

I have no idea what happened to Mrs. Wagner as I never kept track of her which shouldn’t be any surprise. However, I do remember her fondly and hope and pray she has had a happy and wonderful life to date.

By the way, I’m the 5th from the right on the back row in the orangish shirt.

~ by rfoxx on July 28, 2009.

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