When I think of the people who had a great influence on my life I have to put my Mother (Mama) at the top of my list. Even if her influence was usually done with a peach tree switch. (joking) I know I never mention my Daddy. Daddy died when I was at the age I really needed a Dad. Jane was only six. He had been sick for two years before he died. Jane had been his little nurse while Mama worked and the rest of us were in school. Jane started to school a few days before his death. I know she and Daddy were Great Buddies. I never really stopped to think how she must have suffered her loss.

Also, on my list there were the faithful Sunday School teachers I had growing up. Sunday School for me was in the basement of the old Methodist Church. The late Mrs. Cora Hile, Mrs. Grace McConnell and of course the late Miss Reba Dawson made Sunday School a happy place to be. I loved going to Sunday School. I felt so important putting my few pennies in the collection. How important I felt when my birthday came around and I got to put my birthday pennies in the steeple of the little wooden church. It was even more fun when the older members came to the front of the church during church service to put their birthday pennies in and we’d try to count the number of pennies dropped into the little church. That

little church had been in the Methodist Church as long as I could remember. I don’t know its history, who made it etc. After the new church was built it suddenly disappeared. People searched and searched to no avail. Why would someone take something that was part of a church’s history? I taught the little children’s Sunday School class for several years. I only hope I left some HAPPY MEMORIES for those I taught like the ones my teachers left for me. I don’t think I ever let my teachers know what they meant to me.

One day the late Kermit McNabb taught me a lesson I will never forget. I was telling him how much I loved someone. He asked, “Have you ever told them that you love them?” When I told him no he made this statement, “Don’t tell me—tell them while they are still alive.” I really try to do that. Another lesson I learned was from the late H.B. Stewart. I made the statement that I HAVE to give the children’s lesson in Church the next day. He looked at me and said, “You don’t HAVE TO, you GET TO. What a lesson. I love to tell people I love them and I get to do things instead of having to. It really does make a difference in my life.