Sometimes my columns seem to write themselves. My thoughts flow and in no time my column is written and ready for submission. This is one of those columns.
Last week I wrote about plans for East Rome High School’s ’70s Decade Reunion. I mentioned that the preferred choice for venue is the old East Rome Junior High School. I wrote some of my memories from having attended school there. One of those memories was of my science teacher, the late Martin H. “Buddy’ Mitchell. His son, David, is director of operations for Atlanta Preservation Center. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of southern history.
David read last week’s column and was overjoyed that I mentioned his father. He wrote me a wonderful email in which he explained that he collaborated with an author, Ted Barris, on a book in which Mr. Mitchell was remembered: “Rush to Danger, Medics in the Line of Fire.” On Aug. 22, 2019, the day my column mentioned Mr. Mitchell, David’s book hit the shelves!
Attached to the email were two pages from David’s book. He also attached a copy of a letter Mr. Mitchell wrote him many years ago.
I recognized Mr. Mitchell’s excellent handwriting right away.
I emailed David and told him it was fun writing about Mr. Mitchell. I also told him I’d see Mr. Mitchell Sunday mornings at Shorter, while I was waiting for my ride to First Untied Methodist Church. Mr. Mitchell would say, “Hey!”, and give me a hug. Then he’d say, “You’re not married yet, are you? Finish school!”
Miss Frances Raines taught at East Rome Junior High School for many years. I believe she retired in 1978. Miss Raines’ cousin, Vicki, from Carrollton, read my column last week and emailed me that Miss Raines wants to attend the reunion. I emailed Vicki and thanked her for contacting me.
Saturday afternoon I called Miss Raines and she was thrilled to now have my phone number. She said, “Come see me!” I plan to go see her after work one day soon.
A third generation native of Rome, I was born and raised here. I love Rome for many reasons. I was educated in the public schools here. I am a graduate of Shorter College. I have a lot of great friends here, many of whom are native Romans as well. My associations to Rome are ongoing and far reaching. They keep me connected to Rome and probably always will. Keenly appreciative of new discernible associations to Rome, I am always happy to make a new acquaintance with a connection to Rome. New acquaintances, such as family members of two former teachers, strengthen and perpetuate my story of being a native Roman.