Friday, April 30, 2010

My first meme…

My mom was/is not a crafter in any sense of the word.  She worked full time and kept an immaculate house (still does), so I guess she didn’t have time or the inclination for crafting.
When I was in high school, my Home Economics teacher was like Martha Stewart to me – although that was a name I’d never heard – almost 40 years ago.  She was new to teaching, but had the most brilliant ideas!  Some class projects I recall are reupholstering a grand sofa with a fully tufted back, in red velvet.  We drew basic house plans.  We knitted slippers.  We did a needlepoint piece.  We sewed a piece of clothing – mine was a peach colored dress with scalloped hem and pristine collar with topstitching, and you could not tell that it was ‘homemade.’  I’m surprised it wasn’t thread worn I had to take out and re-sew so many time, but it was perfect in the end.
Over the years when I’d make a pair of curtains, slipcovers for the sofa,  a dress, or even hang pictures, I’d think of Mrs. Campbell.  How many times have I thought I’d love to see her or know where she is now to send her a card? 
Yesterday I got an advertisement that Hancock was having a sale, so I decided to run by there on the way home from work.  While standing waiting for cutting, I saw this woman who had the stance of Mrs. Campbell.  She had a little twist/bun near the nape of her neck, and her sweet face was deeply furrowed, and then I saw her kind eyes.  Mind you, it has been nearly 40 years, but I just HAD to ask.  I walked up behind her and asked, Excuse me, did you teach at NW High School?  Yes…  Are you Mrs. Campbell?  Yes…  I couldn’t believe it.  I was SO happy, I had to hug her; right there in Hancock’s!  As we stood and chatted for quite a few minutes, I was so happy to have seen her – just to get to tell her how much of an impression she had made on me in those early days of my life.  Primarily due to her, I’m a crafter and love fabric and handwork, and really have no fear of attempting any crafty thing.  It may not work out perfectly the first time, or ever for that matter, but try I will. 
We talked about some things I remembered, some she recalled, and some things about her long married life to ‘the love of her life’ who passed nearly four years ago.  One of her daughters is an interior designer, and now she sews for her business.  We talked about the decline of public education, discipline of current students, and the Home Ec program.  She said when she went through that program, they had to take a class from each of the things I mentioned – upholstery, basic engineering/drawing, etc.  Funny thing she said about teaching was, I didn’t know what I was doing – I just showed you all what I had learned to do.
As we parted she told me 'you have made my day and hope to see you again, maybe in the cloth store'!  That made my day!  I thought this morning that I wish so much that I had asked if I could snap her picture with my phone, but just did not think of it.  Maybe I’ll get another chance – in the cloth store??  And hopefully you will have the opportunity to tell the person who inspired you how much they mean to you!  It really did feel wonderful.       
d Happy Stitching!



  1. What a great story! And I love the way she refers to it as "the cloth store."

  2. That is just the greatest story Charlene. How wonderful that you met up with her let alone recognized her after so many years!

  3. How amazing to run into an old teacher in a public place like that! I have been inspired by a few of my teachers and have had the pleasure of going back to let them know. Fortunately, they are still teaching (or were at the time)!

  4. Thanks for sharing such a nice story.

  5. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing that.

  6. What a beautiful story! I am sure you made her day!

    My home ec teacher was supremely talented and a task master. At the time, I thought her as a wench but now I know that she just expected a lot from her students. I wish I had paid more attention to her and took more classes from her. She sewed beautifully and could do ALL the needlearts.
    My mentor in HS was my art teacher. She inspired me!

  7. What a nice story! I can't believe you recognized her after all these years, Charlene! She must not have changed much... I would never recognize one of my old teachers.

    You were lucky to have such a wonderful home-ec program in high school. Reupholstering, knitting, drawing house plans--amazing! All we ever did was learn to cook and sew (and not well, I might add!!).

  8. I don't even remember home-ec, let alone my teacher. LOL. It's wonderful that she made such an impression on you. How fun!

  9. What a wonderful story! I don't even remember most of my old teachers and it hasn't been that long since I left school!

    I have to admit I don't remember anything about Home Ec. I think we learnt to cook (didn't take) and to sew (I could do way more than those basic stitches).

  10. Charlene,
    What a beautiful story! I'm so glad you got the opportunity to share with her what a difference she'd made in your life. Hope you see here again. :)

  11. What a neat story, Charlene! Thanks for sharing it.

  12. Such a great story!! I loved home-ec and remember my teacher so well. We didn't learn near as much as you did, but I can still match plaids and make hospital corners LOL. How nice that you were able to visit with her after all this time.

  13. What a neat story, Charlene! I'm sure you made her day. :)


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