Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Report on Ted Lewis

When I was in 4th grade back in the 1964-65 school year, my teacher was a very fine lady named Mrs Abel. Mrs. Abel taught not only yours truly but all three of the other Mitchell bros, which proves to me that Mrs. A did not scare easy. Many years later I learned she taught for 42 years and went out “with her boots on”: she was teaching in the classroom until a week before she died.

All these years later I remember her as an extraordinarily fine teacher. She had us write reports that encouraged students to learn about research at a very tender age. I received an assignment to do a short report on band leader Ted Lewis ( 1892-1971) from Circleville Ohio. His trademark was the saying “Everybody happy” and whose biggest hit was “Me and My Shadow.” Once while passing thru Circleville I spied a small museum dedicated to his memory. What I did not find out until many years later is that though married, in his late 50s he took up with an aspiring actress 34 years his junior named Norma Jean Baker. As some of my readers might know, she later changed her name to Marylin Monroe. If only I’d known that back then, I could have made a much more interesting presentation.

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