Was it the last class of the day? What made it so long? And why, in Lubbock, Texas, surrounded by countless Spanish speaking individuals were we taking THIRD YEAR FRENCH? Miss Holman had reunited with her girlhood beaux and retired to enjoy a marriage she had never thought possible. I think they lost track during WWI, and she thought him dead and neither ever married.
We had a new, chic, French teacher who was married to an airman at Reese AFB. Her name escapes me, but she was cute, and sweet, with a bubble haircut and full of stories about her life as an exchange student in France. I sat beside Gary Porter, and I never recall her reprimending us for our awful behavior.
Although I can truthfully say I made A's and B's, Gary and I seemed to be laughing and joking for the entire class. When not thus engaged, I was watching the clock. It ticked slowly, unrelentingly, as the wind blew the treetops outside. Why did they put windows there so you could see what you were missing? Perfectly blue sky and with the exception of the occasional sandstorm, an ideal climate. Great friends to hang out with. . .
Everybody was really NICE at LHS. Westerners through and through. You didn't have to be best friends with people to call them friends. But you really had to like about everyone there because, well, in retrospect, Lubbock grows the Salt of the Earth. We might see one another at the Hi-DE-Ho, at Char King, or somewhere else because we were all getting to drive a little.
When and where did I hear it? Michael Jobe had been in a car wreck. He was in critical condition. It seemed to last for days and weeks that we didn't know when or if he would be better. It was a head injury, not good.
Then the day came when the clock and the sky and the wind and the laughing became irrelevant. Out in the hall were some of the other cheerleaders and the counselor or whomever she was, was asking for Cathy Lack. Through the glass I watched Cathy's face as she heard the words we couldn't hear and she could hardly bare.
We all knew at once. Our teacher as well. The class was over for that day. Who could recite, read, continue? Among the good and there were so many good at LHS, Michael Jobe was one of the best. I thought of him doing a toe-touch in his white shirt and pants, the inevitable smile on his face.....He was turning toward the sun.
We all left French class that day different people. We had all lost a good friend.
Nita Walker Boles