Over the past six months, I've enjoyed doing lots of speaking gigs and meeting with several small book groups. But the group of women I visited yesterday was particularly special: It included Miss Elizabeth Papps, my A.P. English teacher when I was a senior at Bowsher High School in Toledo.
A woman named Mary Dedes, mother of several Bowsher graduates, visits the Sunset House every Sunday to read to a group of the center's residents. The women are currently reading "Finding My Badass Self," and after they learned I was a Bowsher graduate and that Miss Papps remembered me, Mary invited me to join them for the afternoon.
It was such a joy to talk with these ladies, most of whom are in their eighties. Their many questions and fabulous insights proved, once again, that it's never too late to enjoy what life has to offer.
In addition, it also gave me a long-overdue opportunity to personally thank Miss Papps for introducing me to so many amazing works of classic literature. Her enthusiasm and her love of books has remained with me--nearly 40 years later.
And a special note to any fellow Bowsher graduates: If you remember Miss Papps as fondly as I do, I'm sure she'd be thrilled to hear from you. I hope you'll consider writing her to say thank you or to just say hello. Her address is: Miss Elizabeth Papps, Sunset House, 4020 Indian Rd, Toledo, OH 43606.
Nearly all of us have had a couple wonderful teachers who have influenced our life forever. Having the chance to thank them is a terrific feeling.
I'm pretty certain it's not a half-bad experience for them, either.