Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Wednesday's Post

July 18, 2012

Jesse Stuart was larger than life

July 18, 2012 — I’m not sure when I first became aware of Jesse Stuart but it may have been when I first read what he wrote about teaching:

“I am firm in my belief that that a teacher lives on and on through his students. Good teaching is forever and the teacher is immortal.”

I believe millions of K-12 teachers and college education professors have had a poster or plaque with those inspiring words.

We studied a couple of his books in high school but my personal relationship with this world famous poet, novelist and educator came during my college years.

It began when I noticed a beautiful young woman and her parents waiting to see the president of the two-year college where I was enrolled at the time.

I was working as a reporter at the local newspaper and the college president insisted on introducing me to these visitors.

It turned out to be Jane Stuart and her parents, Jesse and Naomi Stuart. Jane was taking some classes with us that semester.

That was about the same time the college theatre decided to present “The Thread That Runs So True," Stuart’s only major novel adapted as a play.

Recognizing my acting skills immediately, the director put me in charge of sound effects and publicity.

Stuart personally introduced each night’s performance of his play and, to his credit, freely admitted it was a thinly disguised account of his early teaching career in a one-room school.

I probably didn’t know the meaning of “charisma” at the time but this outgoing man had it in abundance, acting more like your favorite uncle than a famous author.

He gave a public lecture on campus and I covered it for the newspaper. He wrote me a gracious note saying I had organized his remarks better than he did.

Text Only
Wednesday's Post
  • What happened to the art of roasting?

    I was channel surfing recently when I happened upon one of those late night programs selling videos of old television shows.

    April 16, 2014

  • Some political stories are worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 9, 2014

  • What happened to the safety of childhood?

    In the years before air conditioning, we slept soundly and safely with the screen door often unlatched. Our family home never had a working lock on an outside door until our parents died and it became a rental property.

    April 2, 2014

  • Memory of an old foe brings reflections

    We hadn’t seen each other for about 50 years but his face came instantly to mind when I saw his obituary. He was three years older and newly out of the military when we met as college freshmen.

    March 26, 2014

  • Parents have always scared kids straight

    The tactic of “scared straight” has been used for several years to shock misbehaving teenagers by exposing them to short stints in a jail or prison cell. But that concept actually started when a mother first told a scary tale to keep her kids from doing something dangerous.

    March 19, 2014

  • She was ‘a ghost with a beating heart’…

    Be warned that this is a tragic tale of someone who couldn’t believe that others loved her for the person she was.

    March 12, 2014

  • The one-eyed monster that changed our lives

    I’m not exactly sure of the date but was at least 25 years ago when that “thing” came out of a storage closet and changed my life forever. It was a personal computer.

    March 5, 2014

  • More stuff I wish I’d said or written…

    The old sports writer wasn’t happy when the editor asked him to cover a high school band concert after another reporter became ill.

    February 26, 2014

  • Out of the mouths of babes come good words

    As the grandfather of 16 I’m constantly amused or impressed by the things our grandkids say and do. Here’s another sampling.

    February 19, 2014

  • We must say what we feel in our hearts

    He was a proud old sailor, a veteran of World War II, and he was anxious to tell me about a book written by one of his former shipmates on a destroyer in the Pacific.

    February 12, 2014

Poll