Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mrs. Mary Young, A Cog in the Wheel

My home town.  My home folks.

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Young was one of the Tanner sisters.  She was also one of the most influential people in my young life, outside of my family.  She was "good" on so many levels in spite of suffering great tragedy in her young life; her husband John had died very young.  It was clear to all that she loved him and missed him.  WE became her/their children.

Her life, already marked by tragedy, ended in tragedy before I reached my teen years.  She died shortly after being anesthetized for a "routine" surgical procedure.  Poof, the bright light of a caring, talented young woman was extinguished...unfathomable, even now.  I still remember the shock & sadness I felt upon learning that her life was over.

So much has changed since those days.  So much has yet to change.  Would Mrs. Young even recognize the Canton, Georgia of today?  (Sometimes, I don't!)

Mrs. Young's tenure as a teacher in the recently integrated public schools of Cherokee County could not have been easy.  I'm sure she had her resolve tested on so many levels to fulfill her dream to teach my 4h grade class in 1968.  She was the remarkable product of a remarkable family.  

She, they and I are all cogs in the wheels of history.  How momentous the "everyday" can seem in hindsight.

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