DANCING AND CHOCOLATE WITH MIKHAIL

May 17, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

When our school system's top teachers of 1991 were interviewed some 18 years ago, they told of their education philosophies, but some also added interesting personal tidbits. Here are some examples:

Debra Wright (CHS): She taught ballet and dance at CHS and said, "My idea of Heaven is to eat chocolate while dancing with (charismatic ballet virtuoso) Mikhail Baryshnikov."

Laura Hunter Null (Eastside): "When Debra finishes with Mikhail Baryshnikov, I'd like to have a Texas two-step with him."

June Causey (now deceased, Ninth-Grade Center): "I became a teacher because I was inspired by the great teaching of Marilyn Smithy at CHS."

Michael Allen (Five Points, Special Education): "I went into teaching because my parents worked at the Sunland Training Center and later started the first group home for the mentally handicapped in Alachua County."

Lorraine Kirkland (Melrose): "For me, happiness would be having a lobster dinner with Woody Allen and speaking French to the maitre d'."

Joyce Ogden (Lake City Middle School): "My father was a meteorologist and once named a hurricane after me."

June Woodbridge (deceased-Kindergarten Center): "I'd go out any evening, honey, for New York Strip Steak."

Ann Henson (Summers): "My idea of Utopia would be to share an evening of purely intellectual discussion with Kevin Costner."

HISTORY FLASHBACKS

2005: Former CHS football coach Danny Green posted his 200th career win on Sept. 16, 2005, with a 28-21 win over Choctawhatchee High School. Commemorative T-shirts were made to honor this important milestone, and Coach Green was honored, along with his family, at a party hosted by the Quarterback Club.

1906: The University of Florida class of 1905-06 was both the first and the last class to graduate from the University of Florida campus in Lake City. UF opened its current campus in Gainesville in school year 1906-07.

1991: The local DAR named James Montgomery as its outstanding American History "Teacher of the Year" and nominated him for the top statewide award.

1972: Doretha H. Burgess, CHS, was named Florida's Chemistry Teacher of the Year.

1965: The Florida . Federation of Women's Clubs named Sara Louise Rivers their Florida Teacher of the Year.

UNUSUAL DEATH

Raymond Layfield of Fort White was killed in an unusual and devastating airplane crash during World War 11 when he was the navigator on a B-17 heavy bomber. Raymond's B-17 was part of a huge armada of bombers. stacked two deep, flying on a bombing raid over Germany. Suddenly, the B-17 flying just underneath Raymond's plane lurched upward and sliced his bomber in half. causing both planes to crash. Raymond's brother, TJ. Layfield, still lives in the Fort White area and he says he still thinks of the horrible way his brother died most every day.

CHASBOT THE ROBOT

When Joe Merrill and Willie Dunlap were students at CHS in the early 1970's, they invented the first remote control robot ever assembled at CHS, and they named it Chasbot. Chasbot walked, blinked. had flashing lights, moved its arms and head around, and emitted UFO sound effects. It took the young men six months to build. The students named their invention after their favorite electronics teacher, Hugh Chasteen, thus Chasbot. Joe became, not surprisingly, a technician, and he now services Xerox copy machines for our School Board Complex.

WATERTOWN REUNION

The second annual Watertown Reunion will be held Saturday, June 6, at noon. Bring a basket lunch and your favorite foods to share with others. Last year's reunion was a rousing , success and you can expect more of that same fun this year. It you have questions, call Bud Brady (386-755-5933).

FOURAKER WEB SITE

The Fouraker family name is one of the oldest in South Georgia and they hold their annual reunion at Bethel Primitive Baptist Church near Fargo, Ga. Thanks to webmaster Chris Williams, the Fouraker family Web site is now up and running. Go to www.fourakerreunion.com and you will find reunion pictures, family history and even recipes from the legendary Fouraker family cookbook.

THE REAL CAUSES

When a student was asked for the two main causes of the War of 1812. he said, "Great Britain and the United States". square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.

www.hmorriswilliams.com