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 Thank You, Mrs. Eckert

When someone reaches your center, you're enslaved.


My mind was enslaved in 1953. The culprit? Mrs. Opal E. Eckert, English teacher. She set me up on the first day by giving us an official football rule book with the admonition that we would enjoy the game more if we knew the rules. Piece of cake. I'm a guy. I knew the rules... Wrong! But I did learn them, write about them and was hooked.


Two years later I had her – more accurately, she enslaved me – in her Journalism class when, as I was handing in my first story, she said, "Is this the best you can do?" "No, Mrs. Eckert." "Then work on it some more, Gordon. Hand it in when it's the best you can do." Hooked for good. That line echoes in my mind these sixty years hence, especially when I'm tempted to give a slap dash to something important. Thank you, Mrs. Eckert.


Who hooked your mind? Have you thanked them? I did and was surprised by her response. Mrs. Eckert, having been one of our class sponsors, attended our twenty fifth class reunion. I was able to spend some time with her and thanked her for being a big influence in my success. She looked me in the eye and said, "Gordon Hill, you did that yourself, I had nothing to do with it." Okay, Mrs. Eckert, I won't argue with you, but whatever it is you didn't do has been a tremendous influence in my life. 



  1997-2016 Gordon Hill as of February 22, 2016