Not that Marion Anderson. This Mrs. Anderson was the principal of my elementary school from Grade One to Grade Six. She was (probably still is) a great artist and encourager of children's talent. She, along with the school librarian, team taught Grade Six as well. Do I have powerful memories of Mrs. Anderson? Not really. She was strict, but fair, as most teachers were. She had a dark office with a large walnut desk and a leather strap on the wall. She used it, but never on me. Her husband Don was a farmer and drove a school bus, but not the one I rode.
At the end of July, this newspaper clipping showed up in my mail, with a little note from my mother. "Mrs. Anderson is 90. She still looks the same, doesn't she? It would be nice if you sent her a card." For a few weeks the note and picture sat on my kitchen counter, a tiny little mom with her hands on her hips, toe tapping. Occasionally she'd bring it up when we talked on the phone.
I don't know what my problem was, except maybe I resist being told what to do. Eventually, I got over myself and did the nice thing. I dug a notecard out of the drawerful I have, and sent Mrs. Anderson a short note - a reminiscence of grade school and best wishes on the occasion of her momentous birthday written inside a card featuring the art of our elementary school students. I thought she'd get a kick out of that. I guess she did, she called mom a week or so later to express her delight that a former student had made the effort to send a card.