Monday, March 19, 2012
When I saw his name on the program....
When I saw his name on the program, I just about jumped out my chair to catch a glimpse of him. Ben Skardon. My favorite teacher. EVER. I could have just stayed seated. After all - it was 25 years since I was a student at Clemson. It would be awkward. He certainly won't remember me. How old would he be now? 90's for sure.
But.....I told you in my first post. The "c" word has a way of changing you. It was about ten minutes before the program that night would begin. I had time. And there he was. Across the room. He hadn't changed one bit. There was no way I was going to miss the chance.
I walked straight for him with my hand outstretched. "Hello.....you don't remember me, but I just wanted you to know....you were the best teacher I ever had.... I signed up for every class that you taught....including a speech class I never thought I would survive. I was painfully shy - but you had a way of encouraging me that made me feel I could do it. I've never forgotten you. I just wanted you to know that."
He seemed genuinely pleased. And while he probably "stretched" it quite a bit to say that he thought he did remember me, it didn't matter if he did or not. I got to see Ben Skardon again - after all those years....and I got to tell him what he meant to me. I don't waste those opportunities anymore. They don't always come again.