We’ve got a 90th birthday ad for Jennie Barritt this week. Yes, I’m a product of Mrs. Jennie Barritt’s 8th grade science class. It was the first time I had to change classes, I think. Mrs. Shirley Vickers taught English, if I remember correctly. Mrs. Maurine Moss was my home room teacher. Jim Tharp, a big ol’ high schooler, married Peggy Carterman, the prittiest girl in our class.

I don’t remember anything specific from those classes. I just knew, as did everyone else, that these were no nonsense teachers. In Mrs. Moss’ class we were filling out our class schedule for our freshmen year. I had heard stories about Miss Mina Althen, who had been Mom’s math teacher, so I marked that I wanted to take General Math. Mrs. Moss walked by and saw what I had marked, She tapped on the paper with her finger and said, “No, you want Algebra. You’re going to college.” I made the selection change. It took me four years to get out of Miss Althen’s math classes: Algebra I, Geometery and Algebra II. For my senior year, they weren’t going to let me take the Math Analysis and Trigonometry class because they said I needed a Fine Art. I asked Miss Althen if I could take it after hours by correspondence.

Soon I found myself summoned to the office of Joe Walsh, the High School principal everyone feared, wondering what I had done. Mr. Walsh told me he had heard I wanted to take the senior math class. I told him that was correct. He said, “Tell you what I’m going to do. We’ll let that class count as your Fine Art if you won’t tell anybody.” I quickly agreed. I was out of High School for about 30 years before I told anybody.

Kimball found my High School diploma the other day. The attached certificate said I got the Math Award that year. I’ve lost some brain cells since then. Didn’t remember the award and can’t even remember what Trig is about.

– I was glad to see that the school staff here got all grade levels outside to see the eclipse. What an education for the kids and young adults.

– Folks, somebody had better start paying attention to the Cedar County Ambulance Board. They have so much money they have to figure out ways to spend it. They started with paying themselves to attend meetings – nobody else does. They are in the planning stage to spend close to a million dollars on a new Stockton ambulance barn. CCMH CEO Jana Witt may have hit a sore spot when she asked Board President John Wilson why the board declared as surplus an ambulance he offered for sale in such glowing terms. It’s your tax dollars.

– The other day while we were at lunch, Charlie Prough walked in the door followed closely by Dr. Bill Heisman (hope I got his last name right). I asked Charlie, “Were you an amateur before you became a pro?” Bill laughed immediately. I think Charlie immediately started plotting a payback. KL