My favorite junior high school teacher at Appleby Junior High in Florence, Alabama, was Mr. Johnson, our band director. I played the alto saxophone. Mr. Johnson was probably in his mid to late 20's. He was so energetic and enthusiastic. All of the band students worshiped him so much that we ate, slept and breathed "band". Mr. Johnson was always entering us in a parade, band competition or some other fun event. The most exciting thing I remember is that one year he brought us to the Blue-Gray bowl game in Birmingham. There were eighteen band students. We marched in the half time show. Our eighteen students formed the "hyphen" in "Blue-Gray" when the college bands spelled out Blue-Gray on the field. That is such a funny and special memory to me. Mr. Johnson did so much for us even though he had a wife and young family. I don't know how he found the time to arrange so many special opportunities for us. How many people can say that they were once part of the "hyphen" in Blue-Gray?
In high school, my favorite teacher was a young woman named Gloria Brown, my 10th grade English teacher at Baker High School in Baker, Louisiana. I happened to have her class with my twin sister, Julie. Mrs. Brown was so sweet to all of her students and always in a pleasant mood. She recommended me to take part in the East Baton Rouge Parish spelling competition. I came in fourth (so close yet so far)! It was a fun experience and made me feel very special to be the student she recommended that year.