Some people come along in life that mean more than others. This is about two such people. What sets them apart? They believed in me. There are others but these two really stick out in my mind. My second grade teacher Mrs. Kimbrough has always held a special place in my heart. I tell everybody she was the first person who believed in me. I have wanted to locate her for many years and tell her thank you and let her know that she made a difference. Thanks to facebook, I now talk to her on occassion. I promised her a painting and a trip up to see her sometime in the near future.
I have a lot of memories of Mrs. Kimbrough. This one is still talked about to this day. I've always been somewhat of a free thinker. One day in the second grade, the thought began to cross my mind to walk home from school. It was a nice day, and I didn't feel like riding the school bus. I saved my lunch money so that I'd have money to stop by the store and get a Coke to enjoy on the 6 mile walk. The bell rang for school to let out and I started walking. I didn't make it very far, probably a quarter-mile or so, until one of the other second grade teachers Mrs. Caraway saw me and picked me up. She asked me who my teacher was, so I told her Mrs. Kimbrough. She took me back to the school and turned me over to Mrs. Kimbrough who told me she would give me a ride home. Mrs. Kimbrough knew my mom. My mom volunteered on Tuesdays at the school. We got to my house, and Mrs. Kimbrough came inside and talked to my parents for a bit. My dad was just staring at me. I knew what immenent danger awaited upon Mrs. Kimbrough's departure. As soon as Mrs. Kimbrough had the van cranked and in reverse. I took off to my favorite hiding spot in those days, under the bed. My dad was right on my heels pulling his belt off the whole time. I shot under the bed and got all the way up in the corner near the wall so he couldn't get me with the belt. He tried several times then I saw his feet going thru the door. I'm thinking to myself, that was easy. Moments later I saw those two feet come back in. He had gotten the broom. He started gouging me with the broom until I gave up and came out. By this time, my mom had intervened and Daddy decided that my brother Stanley was the one who really needed the whipping because he saw me walking up the road and didn't say anything. I could ramble on for hours about Mrs. Kimbrough. Anyone who was in her class will tell you, she was the best teacher ever.
I've recently been humbled by another friend. We've never even met in person up until this point. That will change tomorrow, and I 'm so looking forward to it. She believes in me. I don't know of a better feeling than to know that someone believes in you. She has gone way out of her way to help me get really rolling with my art as a business. She is a great artist, and I tell her all the time that I'm going to have her teach me how to paint. We're planning on doing some collaborative work together in the near future. Thank you Sandy Hall for all you've done. It really does mean a lot.