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Wife Made the News this week

Started by WV Sawmiller, September 14, 2023, 09:45:44 AM

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WV Sawmiller

   Well, my wife made the front page news of our local paper today yesterday at the link below for the September 13, 2023 edition. She is the retired High School Band director for our local high school.

 Our daughter and several of her friends were talking about class reunions and such and one said "I'm not interested in a class reunion but I'd sure like to get together with the old gang in the band". It snowballed from there and they put together a get-together and tribute to my wife who taught locally from 1990-2010. Since we don't do Facebook it was fairly easy to keep my wife from knowing about it. In fact, she thought she was going to a baby shower. One group gave her a framed plaque that says "Where Words Fail Music Speaks" I have it hung in the hallway and may try to frame a copy of the article for her.  I was real proud of my wife and the kids for putting together such an event.

Below the link is the actual write up in the paper.

Here is the write-up for the article:

Sunday afternoon at the event center of Bluestone State Park near Hinton WV was the site for a surprise party given to honor retired Hinton High school/Summers County High School Band Director Mrs. Becky Green who taught there from 1990-2010. The building was decorated with banners, trophies, old band uniforms, and music from songs played over the period she was teaching. The tables were covered in the school colors of black and orange and on the wall were hundreds of pictures of students at practices, performing in parades, at competitions, ball games or on special band trips to New York, Washington DC, Florida and other venues. Band members, their spouses, children, parents, grandchildren, Band Boosters and Chaperones from the first through the last year Mrs. Green taught in Summers County were present to visit and reminisce with their friends and former classmates about the good times and what the band had meant to them at the time and in the following years. For many their time in the band offered them their first exposure outside Summers County. Several said "If it weren't for Mrs. Green and the Band, I would not be alive today and certainly would never have completed school".

Among the former band members were several who have pursued careers in music and education including a college music professor, high school band directors, teachers, retired military, engineers, nurses, and a wide range of other careers who were affected by their time in the Hinton/Summers County High School Band. The current Band Director at Summers County is one of Mrs. Green's alumni. Band alumni came from all over the country with one former foreign exchange student coming all the way from Norway to attend.

Mrs. Green thought she was coming to a baby shower for one of her daughter's friends who was a former band member (which was true but not the main reason for the event) and commented as she drove up "Boy this is a big crowd for a baby shower" and right behind, her 4 year old granddaughter followed her in and saw the crowd, food and decorations and said "Wow, this is the best Baby Shower ever!"

Many former band members who were unable to attend still sent pictures, recollections, comments and congratulations on Facebook and shared their fondest memories and what their time in the band had meant to them and the effects it has had on them. Among their memories was the trip to New York City. While the band was attending a Broadway show there was a bomb threat in the area and the streets were blocked to their hotel so the former band members attending said Mrs. Green yelled at everyone to "Fall in. Form a line." They did so, locked arms then marched several blocks around the detour till they reached their destination without losing anyone in the large crowds and confusion.
Many former band members recalled their nicknames, usually tied to the instrument they played. While probably not acceptable in today's society or guidelines for teachers, Mrs. Green often assigned and used nicknames to help her remember and communicate with the kids and often the members were so proud of these nicknames many have used them the rest of their lives.

Many who couldn't attend also sent messages via, the link has been extended for any former students and family members that would like to send video messages.

It was heartwarming to see how many second and third generation band members were present. The teens and younger kids seemed to enjoy hearing tales from their parents and grandparents time in the band.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once


Thanks for sharing a great story.

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Thank you for sharing, Howard.  That is awesome that they planned and pulled off such a well-deserved tribute to your wife in the form of a band reunion.  After her retirement, the one who filled her job position probably had a difficult first year or so.  

Last year, one of my best friends, who was also a co-worker retired.  He wanted to go out without any hoopla.  He and I worked together at our previous school, but he transferred in 2004.  He was well respected and brought the program to prominence.  We have been working together again since 2017.  He also does not have FB.  Getting the word out without him knowing was as easy as falling off a log.  I do the cooking for the banquets and when I went to buy food, he commented that I was buying way too much.  As folks started filing into the cafeteria for supper it was apparent to him that something was up.  There were 50 or more former students in addition to the expected crowd as well as several school district employees.  

The impact a good teacher can have on a community can be tremendous.

WV Sawmiller

   In a couple of cases we actually took in students the last 6 months or so of their senior year so they could graduate here because their parents moved out of state then. One tried living with her grandparents but they were barely able to take care of themselves let along a teenager so she moved in with us. In another case a couple (the mom had 3 kids by different dads and never married to any of them) kicked out their oldest son wearing only a pair of shorts in freezing weather. I think a local deputy saw him and picked him up and he asked where he could take him and he said "take me to Mrs. Green's house. She is my band director." He stayed with us a week or so and we made arrangements to go to his home and get his clothes. His grandmother moved down and rented an apartment here so he could finish school He now works with troubled teens.

  So far we have never been sued by them for not adopting them but maybe its just because we are too poor to be worth the effort. :D
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once

Peter Drouin

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The world needs more Becky and Howards that's for sure!
Saw you tomorrow!

WV Sawmiller

   Then there is Patrick.

    Patrick's mom died the year he graduated from a rare disease that basically turned her body almost to stone. She was no longer able to walk but every year they have Senior night where they recognize the seniors at a football game. The parents of the Senior Football players, cheerleaders, and band members walk out and stand on the field with their son or daughter while the announcer calls out the student's names and position on the team.

   On senior night when Patrick was a senior, he was surprised when an ambulance drove out on the field and parked beside him and a couple of paramedics brought Roberta out on a stretcher to be there with him. Becky had set that up with her friends and associates at the ambulance service so Patrick could be with his mom on his special night. He had no idea that was coming.

   She died about 6 months later but before she did she told Becky "I'm leaving Patrick to you to take care of." He is our IT guru and traveling buddy. He has been to Alaska a couple times with us, a week or so traveling out west (He caught Valley Fever in a slot canyon in New Mexico on that trip and nearly died :o), had to get his passport to come to Norway with our daughter (who was always one of his best friends) to see us when I was working and we were living there, has been to weekend trips to Charleston SC area, and he spent a week going to the Everglades with us in March 2013. He is in the photo club Becky started here and goes out on photo safaris and has helped her with weddings and other photo shoots. He can go photograph the guys dressing while Becky does the bride and her entourage.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once


That's a great story, thanks for sharing Howard!
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WV Sawmiller

   Becky had a young girl, Melinda, who played flute but often could not march and had to play in the stands because she did not have enough breath to make it that far due to a rare lung disease. They said she would not live to graduate high school. Becky always called her "Little Flute". I had always thought she died but I ran into a young lady at the party I did not recognize and asked who she was and she said she was in the band but was sick a lot so did not get to play as much as others. I asked what she played and she said flute so I asked if she was Little Flute and she just beamed and was surprised we remembered her nickname. She had had a complete lung and heart transplant, was much bigger than as a student and looked good. She told me (second one at the party to say the same thing) The band and Mrs. Green are the only things that kept me alive.

Another kid played Tuba so that was his nickname. He collapsed with a heart valve issue issue at practice. My wife told the principal and the lady told her "My God you've killed one of your students". Becky went to see him in the hospital and his only concern was he would not be able to stay in the band and asked her "If I can't stay in the band, can I still be Tuba?". He was able to stay in the band.

Here is a group picture but I see several attendees did not get in it.

Facing the picture:
Second from the left - Patrick
Fourth from the right in the long orange dress - Little Flute
Second from the Right - Tuba (Actually Reverend Tuba as he is a local pastor)

In the middle of the banner on the second row - Timmy. Current band director and former student. He housesat for us the year Becky took an LOA and joined me in Norway. Actually that should be Reverend Timmy too as he is also a local pastor.

Standing on Little Flute's right (Black shirt and shorts) is Dr. Mitchell. One of many former drum majors but recently received his PhD in Music from FSU and is a professor at a college in/near Charlotte NC
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once

Walnut Beast

Amazing! Some things and people in life mean so much to a person or animal from small things that some people don't understand how much it really means to them. That's what makes everybody unique. 

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