My high school history teacher, Mr. “T,” was a good man. He had earlier retired from the military, was a veteran of World War II and began teaching high school as a second career.
He must have been in his late teens or early twenties when he was taken prisoner by German soldiers. During class he would sometimes tell us about his experiences as a POW, and I remember listening intently as he told us of the mistreatment and filthy conditions that he and the other prisoners endured. We enjoyed getting Mr. “T” off track and hearing those stories. And I could tell that he, too, enjoyed talking about the war.
I honestly don’t remember learning a great deal of textbook history under Mr. “T,” but I learned so much more. He opened up and showed us his frailties while also demonstrating great strength in overcoming the odds. Some stories would bring tears to his eyes, and others, happiness. I learned that a man could live through even the most abusive hardship and still find beauty in the world. Over time Mr. “T” and I became good friends, and between classes we would sometimes talk about golf or share a good joke.
His best experience while serving in the military overseas was meeting his wife, an attractive German lady with strawberry blonde hair. Together they were the perfect couple. They seemed to love each other very much, and I always enjoyed seeing them together hand in hand. They’re both gone now, but my memories of them remain fresh.
Day 27 Guide
Today, think of someone who has at some point along the way inspired you and made you feel better about life — maybe a parent, a grandparent or a friend, maybe a teacher.
© 2005, Levi Hill