Isn't it strange that princes and kings And clowns that caper in sawdust rings
And common folks like you and me
Are builders of eternity?
Lines from A Bag of Tools by R.
L. Sharpe, the only short poem in the sheaf of mimeographed poetry we had to learn in Miss MaymeSmedley's ninth-grade English class at Mirror Lake Junior High School.
It comes to me now because Miss Smedley died last week, and I cannot think of more of a builder of eternity than she, in more than 40 years of teaching, not only English but respect bordering on awe.
Now there was a teacher.
Fred Stewart, a gentle but firm man, was beloved principal of Mirror Lake during my years there. But Miss Smedley was commander of the troops. It was she who gave the orders for the class play, the Mirror Lake Mirror, the Last Will and Testament. It was she, even, who selected the candidates for office for student government. And she who had us memorize a poem a week to be recited in front of the class.
You didn't dare come to Miss Smedley's class unprepared. You didn't dare call her "Mrs." Smedley, either, or she'd quickly tell you "No, I'm still missed." It was her little joke.
But mostly you called her Ma'am.
I remember the grammar. I remember the literature. But mostly I remember the poetry.
And the presence of Miss Smedley.
It was in the 1940s all this happened, and the presence is still there. So are the poems.
There was W.
E. Henley's Out of the Night That Covers Me:
Out of the night that covers me,DL:
Black as the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
And from William Cullen Bryant's Thanatopsis:
So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm .
And Rudyard Kipling's When Earth's Last Picture is Painted:
When earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
And from Alfred Lord Tennyson's Crossing the Bar:
Twilight and evening bell
And after that the dark
May there be no sadness of farewell
When I embark.
No sadness of farewell, Miss Smedley. You live on.
Ten outstanding senior citizens will be named to the eighth annual Senior Hall of Fame, so nominate your favorite person over 65 who has been a St. Petersburg resident for more than 3 years. Winners will receive two tickets to any event at the Bayfront Center, and will ride in the Festival of States Parade.
Applications are at the Sunshine Center, 330 Fifth St. N, and must include a 200-word summary of the reason for nomination. You can do your own nomination sheet, but do include name, address, phone number and birthdate of your nominee. Nominations must be sent to the Senior Hall of Fame, Office on Aging, P.
O. Box 2842, 33731. For information, call 893-7101
For as long as our memory goes back, the St. Petersburg Woman's Club has been competing locally, district-wide, statewide and nationwide in arts and crafts fairs. Winners to attend district competition Tuesday at the Dolphin Beach Resort are Bea Hayes, oil painting; Eleanor Michalopoulos, watercolors; Mildred Dvorak, needlepoint; Helen O'Connor, quilting; Katherine Kirst, crocheting; Rissi Toombs, family sewing; Floretta Dohner, knitting; Lou Vanderbleek, folk art; and Loveda Keating, garments sewn and modeled.
These women will compete with entrants from 24 other Florida Federated Women's Clubs, and winners will go to state competition in Tampa. Winners there will go to New York City on July 4 where the arts and crafts competition will be a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
A "friend raiser" as well as a money raiser is what members of the League of Women Voters are having from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the P. Buckley Moss Gallery, 190 Fourth Ave. N. The $10 tickets will entitle you to a video and gallery tour, hors d'oeuvres and an opportunity to help the non-partisan political organization. Reservations are at 321-6876