Being in the right place at just the right time can bring about most pleasant experiences — the kind that really cannot be planned.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Dorothy Randals said she was going to spend part of the day keeping the museum open so the Moores could go on a field trip. Well, one of us does not believe that a woman should be alone at that place and moseyed down to sit for a few hours.
As usual, I preferred to be outside and was watching some robins eating their breakfast when someone called my name. I looked up to see two former students approaching — Bruce White, who was in the eighth grade when I began teaching at Forrest in 1955 and his wife, Peggy Dyer White, who was in the eighth grade when I began teaching in Tucumcari in 1956.
The fact that we could all recognize each other was something of a miracle, but the thrill of seeing two of my very first students was almost overwhelming.
Not long after we began visiting, Dorothy came out to greet them because she sees them fairly often at church. Shortly thereafter, Jack Dyer, Peggy’s father who now lives in Logan, also came along to join in the exchange of memories.
Although Bruce and Peggy had moved to Las Cruces not long after I did, we had sort of gone our separate ways for the last twenty or more years and certainly had much catching up to do. Actually, we did more remembering those early school days than we did checking on the more immediate past.
Both remembered specific incidents that had occurred in those first classes and seemed a bit amazed that I could remember them as well. Of course, they chose some of the more outstanding incidents that no teacher could forget. Bruce was just a bit ornery and was very much alive as he helped to break me into my teaching career. Peggy was not so ornery but was all girl when it came to having fits of giggles with the others during class. She recalled that I even broke down into such fits on occasion as I couldn’t remain serious when funny things were occurring in class.
Perhaps I didn’t set very good examples back then, but I had great fun watching those kids grow and learn and now have just as much fun seeing them in their more mature years with that same lively sense of humor they had all those years ago.
Naturally, Mr. Dyer maintained the high regard in which I had always held him when he began talking about what outstanding parents I had. He and I had no trouble talking the same language and recalling many happy times from our past.
The chances of my having been at the museum on a Saturday morning were slim to zip, and the chances of those two students recognizing me as they drove passed were just about nil. Had Dorothy not told me her plans, I would have ambled down my usual trail and would have missed one of the most pleasant hours any teacher could have with her former students. One of us believes very strongly that we are placed at just the right place at just the right time!