Saturday, July 29, 2006

#2: May I borrow your daughter?

When I was five years old, my parents took my sister, brother and me to a restaurant in Miami called "Thurman's Two-Way Restaurant" . Well Thurman Napier was the owner and his wife Ethel was my kindergarten teacher. Yes, I still remember them both! Well we were eating in there and Mrs. Napier came over to our table and asked my parents if she could borrow me so I could read "Jack and the Beanstalk" to a table of friends of theirs. I went over with Mrs. Napier and read the book and all the people were so excited. Who was this 5 year old prodigy who could read beyond her years?

I never forgot that day or Mrs. Napier. She was such a lovely woman. Years later, when I was 17 and had just graduated high school and moved to Miami before I joined the military, I ran into her. Can you believe it? I was working at "Get Smart" an educational bookstore which sold educational books and supplies for teachers and lo and behold at the checkout I rang up a lady who I vaguely recognized and then she gave me her credit card and it said "Ethel Napier" and I just about had a fit.

I said "OH MY GOD MRS. NAPIER IT'S ME JESSICA C......!" and I think she about had a cow when she realized who I was. We talked a bit and then she left. I'll never forget that day running into her. I am so glad we had that chance because I believe she's gone now and I will never have that chance to give her a hug again. She was an inspiration to me. Amazing that a kindergarten teacher could have such an influence. I mean how well did you remember your kindergarten teacher?


  1. hi i'm katie, i'll be your monitor for the duration of the (very very long) 'thon. i'm just dropping by to say hi and wish you luck.

    if you're interested in checking it out, the monitor's blog is at

  2. Thanks Katie, I'll do that!!!

  3. Mrs. Ruloff would give kids extra credit if they brought in some specific women's magazine because there was something she collected from it. I don't remember what.

    She also had lots of plastic cowboys and indians that we played with. And one of those plastic birds that you put on the edge of a cup of water and it just keeps rocking back and forth like it's drinking.

    She taught us lots of patriotic songs (Sweet land of liver-tee).

    That's all I remember.