Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Lady of Influence

I would like to say a few words about a lady who profoundly influenced my life, although I didn't know it at the time. She is not one who gained fame so outside a certain circle within a small geographic region, she would not be known. Most of the people who truly influenced me fit such a description. Such people are too often lost in the glare of the superficial star of the moment, some Hollywood heartthrob (more likely in these day to be a L.A. train wreck) or a money magnate - a golden idol building towers to himself; even perhaps a politician riding a mount named charisma.

It is not to say people of fame and wealth are necessarily bad and cannot offer good example to us. It is just that glamour, glitz and gilt may cover a lack of character and blind us to what we might have to give up of our soul to be such.
Yet we can find influence in plain wrappers if we would put on sunglasses against the glitter that emanates from the TV tube or movie screen.
Such is Elizabeth Ezra.
Exactly, who?
Miss Ezra was my third grade teacher and if not for her I might not be writing this Blog today. I was the new kid in the class, joining it after Christmas break in January 1950. It was at this time, in this class, I met and befriended two people who remain my friends still, although at a distance, one in Florida and one in Lower Delaware (the one who writes the Retired in Delaware Blog I mentioned previously.) They too feel influenced by Miss Ezra. I have learned that many feel this way.
Miss Ezra standing behind The Kid, 1950
In third grade she challenged the class to write a short story. She praised my story, put it up on the wall for the world to see and this was the first of few moments I shown in those early years, and I believe this was the seed that grew into a vine entangling my life. I can't say if it produced a garden or a weed patch, but it certainly made me a cultivator of words my whole life.

Miss Ezra never married. Her students were her children and her life. She was a quiet woman, a humble woman and is still. She turned 101 late last year.
Miss Ezra now and then.

My friend, the one in Lower Delaware, and I visited her a couple years back and she was still spry and cognizant. She walks through town each day and is much the gracious teacher she will always be.
My friend Ron and Miss Ezra at her home

I would hope we all have a Miss Ezra in our life, but more importantly, may we all be someone else's Miss Ezra.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.Proverbs 22:6

Ron said:

A wonderful thoughtful tribute to a kind and gracious lady. We were very lucky to have such a wonderful woman as our third grade teacher during those important formative years. Miss Ezra celebrated her 101st birthday November 10th at Simpson Meadows Retirement Home in Downingtown, PA. Her health is excellent and she is as sharp as she was 54 years ago.

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