Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Still Call Him "Mister"

In my travels, I see a lot of neat things -- one was on Saturday, pretty close to home.  In fact, it was in my hometown of Hampton that I fixed the computer of our retired school superintendent.  From the time I was in Kindergarten until today, I have had the utmost respect for Jim Alexander.

When he called and said who he was, it was very hard for me to just call him, "Jim."  From when I was a little guy, his first name was always "Mister."  I don't know what it was about the man, but he just demanded respect. I'm sure there were people/students/teachers/etc who may not have cared for him, but I never met one.  If there were the same people who didn't care for him, I bet they damn well respected him.

A little slower to answer the door, a little hard of hearing, but a whole lot of Mr. Alexander was still in the room. I'd never been to his home before, but when a cat greeted me, I knew it was a friendly house.

When he asked me, "Where did you learn all this??" I knew I'd be a fool if I didn't say "Hampton High School!"  I told him that when I was in 11th Grade, it was just Mr. Reibsamen and myself who played/studied/learned on the Apple II that the school had gotten free.  He had a big smile on his face.

Mr. Alexander said, "When I left the school district, we had 96 computers.  Now, every kid has one."  Yes, they do.

So, after an hour or so on his computer, he was getting his email again -- from what I could tell, some stories and jokes from a few other retired teachers.  I'm glad they are in good company.

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