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Climbing Mt. Everest in Spring Valley

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 12:28 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 12:30 p.m. CDT

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To the people of Hall Township:

“No day is over if it makes a memory.”

When I think of the many memories I have of being at Hall in the ‘40s, I cannot help but remember the great teachers we had then ... who can ever forget Miss Connelly, Mr. King, Miss Fenoglio, Mr. Bradley, Mr. Toney and many others.

But there was one teacher who not only taught great English classes, but also, because she had been to Europe 12 times and around the world twice, brought to the classroom a world view that expanded our horizons way beyond Room 305.

Her name was Miss Edna Thompson — and one day she told us a story of having flown into the little airport of Kathmandu, at the base of Mount Everest, on her second world tour. As is the case with a lot of travelers, she went to the lobby of this little hotel to purchase a copy of the international edition of the New York Times and went over to sit in one of the chairs to read it. Next to her sat a young man reading the same paper, and in the course of a few minutes, they introduced themselves and struck up a conversation about what would be the next day’s flight over the top of the highest mountain in the world. She told the young man she hoped she could get a window seat to take pictures of the majestic sight and take them home to show her students. They talked a little more, said “nice meeting you,” and went their ways.

The next morning, much to her disappointment, guess what? Miss Thompson got an aisle seat on the plane. But then, just 10 minutes after being airborne, a stewardess came down the aisle searching for a “Miss Edna Thompson?”

“Please unfasten your seatbelt and come with me,” the stewardess said.

Up the aisle they went to the front of the aircraft ... the door of the cockpit opened, and there sat the pilot of the plane. “Come in and sit in the seat of the co-pilot, and take your pictures,” he said.

That day, way back in 1950, we saw the pictures she had taken. Talk about great teaching? Yes, “No day is over if it makes a memory.” Just think, it’s been 65 years since I walked the halls of Hall, and I still remember that great moment when Miss Thompson told the story of the chance meeting she had that night with a young pilot in the lobby of a small hotel half-way around the world.

We have an Everest to climb in the referendum coming up soon. Will you help us take pictures of a new Hall ... with new classrooms, taught by super teachers that we have there now? Miss Thompson would be proud!

Go Hall!

Robert D. Manahan

Spring Valley

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