Organizers of the Burbank High Class of ’67 annual mini-reunion last weekend heard from a former BHS teacher, Carol Gregory, now Dr. Carol LeBlanc, who has made a number of career shifts. She wrote to Cathy Emmett Palmer ’67: “Dear Cathy, I would like you to remember me to the class at the reunion. Please give them my love and best thoughts for their continued success in life. As I celebrate my 75th birthday, I remember the heady days as a new teacher and how much I truly loved working with such wonderful students, not much younger than me. Have a great time and if anyone is interested in contacting me have them go to PiecefullMind.com – my web site to see what I have been up to. Love, Dr. Carol”
I went to her website called PieceFullMind in which she shares her life story, poetry, photos, and essays, “to integrate and inform both sides of your brain with practical, emotional, and spiritual activities, options and ideas for a more balanced life.”
Here’s an excerpt from her autobiography, called “The Autobiography of a Recovering Grasshopper … or how I Embraced the Ant”:
“I embraced the modern dance world, loved its creativity. I also choreographed major musicals for BHS, Music Man, Oklahoma, Hello Dolly, Brigadoon; we rivaled Beverly Hills and Hollywood High with our productions.
I worked in the office as a secretary all the three years, and also taught part time as I worked on my Masters. I lived at home, never thought about saving anything. Just made money to pay for car, gas, books and clothes. Got married June 21, 1962. Got a job teaching at Burbank High School, September 1964. Salary was $11,375 for 10 months work. Taught for 18 years, with one year off traveling the country with my second husband, 5 years younger. I worked summer school until prop 13 closed extra activities in schools in California.”
When she hurt her knee skiing at Mammoth, she decided to try chiropractic rather than have surgery, and in 1982, began her study at Cleveland Chiropractic College.
“I started by charging $20 dollars a visit, check or cash, no insurance except Medicare. It has worked for me. I slowly built my practice up to over 150 patient visits a week, when on May 9, 2007, I was in a serious car accident that almost killed me, coded when I got to trauma center, was on a ventilator for 6 weeks, one of my best friends flew down from Nevada, found substitute DC’s and my brother took care of finances.”
She even mentions another BHS P.E. teacher, Mrs. Renee McCall — remember her? “My friends, Renee and Glenn McCall had a home in Sechelt, BC north of Vancouver. I have been going up there since 1979 when they built it. It has been my second home, I love it. They left me the house in 2005 when Renee died. I thought I might be spending more time up there but I realized after the accident, I deeply wanted to continue my chiropractic practice. I sold the house and have a nest egg in savings in Canada. My friend bailed me out of financial challenges, when I used my credit cards excessively. I have a history of not making savings a part of my regular life.”
Has anyone else heard from any other Burbank High teachers? Sadly, I’m guessing most of them are gone by now.