When asked where we were on Nov. 22, 1963 when we heard the news about President Kennedy’s assassination, almost fifty years ago, a bunch of us Burbank High Class of 1968 grads could say, “At John Muir Junior High.” So it was after Kenda Vaughan posted this picture of the John Muir faculty on FaceBook that our classmates joined in the conversation. I for one was in Mrs. Pearle Rankin’s eighth-grade English class when I remember that an office monitor came in and handed her a piece of paper. She took off her classes and put her head in her hands, then read the announcement.
Laurie Eisenberg said that she had few memories of junior high, but receiving the news of JFK’s assassination is still haunting. Jodi Tillotson Huddleston says she was in 8th grade social studies with Mr. Beeton. Betsey Nash said she was in science class. Kenda Vaughan has a vivid visual memory of the classroom she was in when she heard the news. Jan DeJaegher was in the cafeteria.
Seeing these photos of the faculty brought back a flood of memories, though. Jan recalled that the orchestra teacher, Mr. Manning, was her favorite, and led her to play the french horn, which she is still playing 52 years later. Karen Walther Berg remembered Wendy Wright, the PE teacher as her favorite. A number of us also remember Dr. Theodore Twitchell, English teacher, and Jan says that she went to dinner with him when she was in her 30s. She writes, “A great guy. He was writing a symphony when he was teaching us. He had the score at his desk and worked on it when we were doing assignments. I never got to (play) any of his works, sadly.”
Merrily Thorne Prescott is still in contact with Neala Yde, the clothing teacher. Wow, do they even teach sewing anymore in public school?
Kenda summed it all up this way: Thanks for everyone’s wonderful comments. They certainly remind us that we as students experience the essence of our teachers when they instruct us as youngsters. And that essence, those feelings stick with us throughout our entire lives.
P.S. I remember going with several other students to visit Mrs. Rankin in a nursing home a few years later.