Don't Shoot the Messenger, Jan. 2, 2019


Everyone has a forte. We are all given talents and what we do with those talents is a personal aspect of who we are. My brother took about six weeks of piano lessons from Mrs. Bardot and can play anything. I however, was chained to the piano by my Grandmother and hauled weekly to a woman that I cannot even recall her name and forced to perform scales like a trained monkey until my fingers cramped. The result for all this forced cultivation of my perceived talent? I can play half of the duet of Chopsticks, the easy part, and a one fingered rendition of the theme song for The Young and the Restless. I tried to pay attention to my children’s budding talents. And of course, being my children they are all very talented. When someone offered me a free piano I was astounded, but jumped at the chance to give my children the gift of music, and at no cost. I, however, soon realized that there is nothing for free in this world and I learned this lesson when it came time to move that beast. Every friend you have develops a bad back or is extremely busy when it comes time to move a piano. None of my children developed an affinity for the ivories except to drive me insane by pounding on it, usually when I had a migraine. But they did like drums and stringed instruments and all play at least one instrument. Not everyone is a prodigy but everyone has talent. That talent varies from person to person. Maybe you are kind to all, perhaps you are good with animals. Some are good at organizing, cleaning or cooking. Some people are so good at their particular talent that they don’t even realize they have one. Mrs. Linnie Grove was my first grade teacher, and to be honest she scared the hell out of me. Now while I didn’t have much trouble with Mrs. Grove, my classmate Kirk Wasson did. I don’t remember what he did, but I remember what she did. As we were quietly coloring at our desks, or at least most of us, Mrs. Grove came up behind Kirk and cracked him over the head with a dictionary. I don’t think it fazed Kirk much but I was traumatized. A few weeks later I discovered a loose tooth. My peers immediately told me I needed to go to Mrs. Grove and she would help me. After seeing how she helped Kirk with his understanding of the English language, I was skeptical. But peer pressure won. Mrs. Grove gently but quickly removed my tooth and placed it in a little box with gold letters. Now while I was still leery of misbehaving in her class I knew she possessed a very fine talent. Guess I should have had Mrs. Grove in high school.

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