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Reflections On A Silver Ball
Ricardo Moraga Lucero, GHS Class of 1949

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Recollections

Going to the State Fair
on a school day
with J. Revello and F. Strong
was great
but, against the rules.
I believed a good face
and a note from home
would excuse me too.
I was wrong.
Dean Helmke accepted theirs,
rejected mine.
He gave me hell,
then sentenced me to 7th hour study hall
for life.

After English class
Miss Kennedy called me.
As we talked,
sunlight from the window
distorted her face, and
her large eyes boiled.
Next morning the Dean
changed my sentence to
a stern lecture
and a threatening stare.

It was said
Blanche favored the boys
and ignored the girls. Perhaps so.
We do know she was
an accomplished English teacher -
a brilliant academic,
small, but imposing;
aloof, yet gentle.

After leaving Globe
I'd visit her and her beloved cats,
confident I could impress her
with sophomoric drivel.
But I really went there to learn.

She told me
there's more virtue
than vice out there
and promised I'd find it.
She neither moralized
nor expected thanks.
Never did she allow me
self-pity; charging me instead
to work hard and love hard,
always directing me to literature.

We also know
her peers were not just teachers
(given little space in yearbooks,
whose faded pictures line
the dim halls of GHS).
These were noble persons
who worked with us
and spoke for us
who left us their "legacy of thought."
Fortune linked us with them.
Our lives were changed by them.

Today, we come as heirs,
to celebrate our heritage,
remembering them who challenged us
to seek the intellectual high-ground
to excellence.

To be here today is to express our culture.
To be in the splendor of these mountains today,
is to experience communion.


 
Copyright © 1994, 1995, Ricardo M. Lucero, all rights reserved.
Used with permission of author.