|Rolfe Alumni Essay|
Rolfe High School Class of 1946
Since accepting this "assignment," my thoughts have been enriched by memories of classmates - Carla Bixler, Christobel Brogotti, Eldon Cox, Gene Cornwell, Mary Fuller, Ann Jones, Harry (Skeezix) Murray, Virgil Ricklefs, Paul Sinek, Sally Webb, et al, and friends from other classes - Gwen Whitmer, Herschel Chapman, Stuart Webb, and so many others...
But the one name that stands out from all others was Miss Edna Marcum, Teacher and Principal at Rolfe High School for over 55 years. (You'll note I capitalized those titles because, to me, she was the ultimate example of those terms)
Miss Marcum was not only my teacher/principal every weekday of my high school years, but she also taught our Presbyterian boy's high school class every Sunday. And to make my week complete (since she was my next-door neighbor) I usually saw her on Saturday pumping water from our mutual well, or pulling weeds in our adjacent backyard gardens. Oh, yes - I also mowed her lawn in the summer and shoveled her walks in the winter, so you can see why my memories of her are many and varied...
As most of you Rolfe High School graduates will remember, her assembly commands of: "Classes stand," "Classes pass," and "Classes be seated" will always be etched in our memories. But I also remember hearing her loving voice calling her cat, Tommy Tucker, late at night: "Here, Tucky-tuckytuck!"
Since my high school study area was on the dining room table, an area directly opposite Miss Marcum's living room windows, she would sometimes (not often!) stop by my desk to caution me about "studying too late."
But, for all of the 18 years that I lived next door to Miss Marcum, the only favoritism that she showed to me was on my last Junior-Senior Prom day. As President of the 1946 Senior Class, I was to give the "parting charge" to Juniors that evening. About two o'clock in the afternoon, I asked her if I could be excused to go home and "practice my speech." (I really wanted to wash the car, and she probably knew it!) Her barely perceptible nod and Mona Lisa smile was a gift that I'll always remember...
For years, I have been telling people how lucky I was to grow up in Rolfe, Iowa. And one of the many reasons was Edna Marcum.
And many thanks for the reunion efforts and for all the many rich memories this assignment has evoked...