Jean - Harry - Earl had a nice time talking about good times at Panther Valley Middle School.
Jean and Earl have 6 kids - 3 older ones - 3 younger ones. The young ones wanted to talk to me about the time I paddled Earl in school. I told them it never happened.
Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is Stennis Space Center. They used to work on rocket engines there. At the welcome center they have a LM (lunar module). Of all the big fancy rockets we built - this little LM is the only space craft that ever landed on the moon.
Halfway home from New Orleans - I stopped in Crestview FL to visit two of my students - Jean Santore Eidem and Earl Eidem. You know you are old when you visit one of your students and he is retired. Earl has already served a 20 year hitch with the Air Force - and has visited the world. Now he has a small ranch in the woods on the Panhandle of Florida.
Both Earl and Jean now work for Northwest Florida State College. They have 6 kids - 3 are almost grown up - and 3 are little cuties.
They build a new home in 2006. Since both Earl and Jean are coal crackers - they insisted on a full basement in the new home. They have 10 acres of hilly forest in their backyard with a running stream. The built a 1/2 mile long nature trail that zig zags through the property. Earl also built a zip line ride for the kids.
Last year Earl and Jean came to our house to see a basketball game at FSU. They are real Seminoles - their home is full of FSU sport mementos. We are looking forward to them visiting for a football game this fall.
Thinking back over my 33 years of teaching at Panther Valley - sometimes you think you were wasting your time - other times you thought you weren't helping anyone. It is so nice seeing your students when they are grown up and they are doing the good things and fighting the good fight. I left the Eidem home with a big smile on my face. 33 years of teaching - about 150 students a year - that is about 5000 kids I taught. If even 1/10th of my students turn out as good as Jean and Earl - I will have helped accomplish something. I am really proud of all my students.