Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ham And Teachers

Well, beside the fact that none of the kids could out today except for Lily and Jason, it's been a pretty perfect Easter.
Here's what the food looked like.

And yes the greens were delicious and the frittata thing with the onions and peppers and potatoes and mushrooms and asparagus was just fine and the deviled (or as Ms. Rebecca says) Jesused eggs were terrific but oh my god...the ham and the pineapple casserole and the biscuits.
Chile, please. 
That pig was sanctified and bona fide. That casserole was sweet and cheesy and buttery and crunchy. And the biscuits were like little pillows of soft, warm heaven.

And no, I did not take the ham into the closet. There was plenty for all and in fact, my ham needs may be satisfied for another year. 

Eggs were hidden, hunted and found. 

And then two more warm ones, a brown and a blue, were discovered in the hen house. 

Bamboo jousting was enjoyed by Owen and his mama.

There was chick cuddling and goat-feeding and mule-feeding. 
And the men did the dishes. 

Pretty darn perfect. 

But here's another thing I want to talk about. This article was in the paper this morning.

We all had one, at least. A few if we were lucky. The teacher that made you hungry to learn. That made you want to do your best. That took an hour's lecture and turned it into the best hour of the day. That made it all come alive. 
That was Dr. Jones who is set to retire this year at the age of 83. 
I took his two of his American Politics classes. Neither one were required for a nursing degree but the basic American History class was filled up when I went to register and so somehow, I got in his class and I couldn't wait to take another. So I did. 
The first class I ever took from him, that man right up there stood in front of his class room, leaning over the podium in that exact posture (and '82 was one of the years I had him) and he began to lecture. He went right into it, never followed notes, just began to talk. And he'd barely begun when a timid knocking came from the door and he swiveled his eyes, then went and opened it. A worried-looking woman beckoned him out into the hallway and he shut the door and there was murmuring from outside it and then he strode back into the room, said, "Class dismissed. Goddamn fucking Datsun piece of shit." 
His 280-Z had caught fire in the parking lot. 

And that's the way he was. He cursed like a sailor. He called Richard Nixon "Trick", he made the presidents of old live and breathe. He didn't mince words when it came to subjects like slavery and politics, Civil Rights and Joe McCarthy. There was no text book. All of the exams (written in bluebooks) came directly from our notes on his lectures. He was amazing. 

I was in the process of getting a divorce when I was in his class and one day he came in and said to me, "You get divorced?" 
It had been in the legal ads of the paper. Do they still do that? Publish divorces? Anyway, they did then.
"Yes I did," I said. "How'd you know?"
"I've been divorced so many times I read that part of the paper everyday to see if I've gotten divorced again," he told me. 
I remember once when we had a paper due and I was overwhelmed with my nursing classes and my children and everything in my whole life, I went to him during office hours and asked if I could have an extension. 
"Sure," he said. "No problem."
And of course, the pressure being taken off of me, I got it in on time. And made an A on it. 

Here's another thing- I can almost bet you that if I ran into him today, he'd remember who I was. Of course, I sat on the front row and I paid attention but, still. He was (and I'm sure still is) a man who became deeply invested in his students. And not the sort of invested that my creepy-ass chemistry teacher was who closed and locked the door when his female students visited him during office hours and sat behind the desk and made subtle but not that subtle leering comments to us. Not Dr. Jones. He was straight-up and at the end of every semester, hosted a get-together at a local beer garden. 
He was awesome. And I'm sure he still is.
And I'm glad there was a lovely piece about him in the paper today and that he's still with us and sounds as vital and interested and interesting and invested as ever. I hope his retirement is a time of great and vast enjoyment for him. Maybe he'll write another book. Or four. Hell, maybe he'll even get married again. 

All right. Here's one more picture. And Mr. Moon took this one.

The grosbeaks have arrived. What a nice thing to happen on Easter or, in fact, any day. 

It's been such a good day.  And I'm still full from our lunch and rested from a nap. And restored. 
And according to those who blew bubbles today, Ninja Turtle bubbles are freaking amazing. So if you want some good bubbles, go to the Walgreens (which Hank calls the flea market of drug stores) and get you some. Because bubbles are magical and beautiful and wonderful and I can only imagine that if I was celebrating 4/20 that I'd be sitting in the back yard blowing some right now.

Love and kisses...Ms. Moon


  1. I am sorry I missed the feast, but I am glad I missed the feast.

  2. Mr. Downtown- We missed you! Owen said, "Where's Uncle Hank?" I still have an entire pepper-free frittata in the refrigerator.

  3. Oh, I loved the profile of your teacher -- he sounds wonderful. You should have been the one to have written the article in the paper -- I bet he would love seeing what you remembered of him and his class!

  4. I agree with Elizabeth. What a lovely tribute to what sounds like an amazing teacher and human being. I hope he somehow finds a link to this post and reads it. I love the idea of giving flowers to the living.

  5. Elizabeth- I should call him and ask him to meet for coffee. Would I ever have the courage?

    Gradydoctor- Me too! Give 'em while they can see and smell 'em!

  6. Mary, your day sounds lovely. I hope you do call your professor or at the very least email him this post. Especially now that he's retiring it will mean a lot to know the impact he had.

  7. It sounds like you had a wonderful day and what a nice thought to email your former teacher this post AND meet him for coffee. You have the courage Ms Moon. What a wonderful thing to do. I notice Gibson's basket is empty of eggs :(. Sweet Jo

  8. What a wonderful tribute to your teacher. And oh, those birds! And that food. I love Jesus-ed eggs.

  9. I love the grosbeaks photo!

    I had a politics professor named Art Levy at USF who sounds very, very much like Dr. Jones. In fact, I'm wondering if Levy took pointers from him!

  10. Angella- I bet he does know the impact he's had. He's won every teaching award and he's ranked very high every year. Fifty-seven years of teaching! Can you imagine?

    Sweet Jo- Gibson had eggs. They were just buried under the grass in the basket. Not as many as Owen, though, that's for sure.

    Denise- We feel thrilled when the Grosbeak come back.

    Steve Reed- Could be. Surely could be.

  11. I really agree with a quick passing along of the blog post -I know I would be touched if someone had written of me this way. He would appreciate it --considering you knew how to contact him, which admittedly could be tricky. <3.

  12. Is being the flea market of drug stores a good thing? I choose to think yes.

    I am so glad you got to have Dr. Jones as a teacher.

  13. Your prof seems like the type of professor that people need to have--one who is real and not pretentious. I had a few of those and they challenged my mind and shaped my life philosophy. I am grateful to have had them show me a way to think that sustains me to this day.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.