Miss Mazelle Hardin was my literature teacher as well as my mom's and my dad's. She retired the year before my oldest would have been in her class. She was such a wonderful teacher! I loved her so much as so many other fellow classmates did too.
She was a petite lady, always carrying her black patent purse on the bend of her elbow. The boys in my class were always getting into trouble just to get a paddling from her. She was so petite she had to hold the paddle with both hands just to give it a good swing. The boys would always tell her they loved her when she called them out in the hall for the paddling. They were constantly putting rubber spiders in her desk drawer just to hear her squeal.
She was fluent back then in a couple of languages other than English and would try to teach us to say a few things. The phrase that stands out in my mind was one in French. How do you plant cabbage.... I can still hear her saying "Comment plantez-vous le chou ?"
She never married but elected to live with and take care of her parents. Her father passed a few years ago but she was blessed to have her mother up until last year. Her mother passed in 2008 at the sweet age of 99. Miss Hardin would not want me telling her age but she is still feeling very well and I hope to be able to visit her during the Christmas holidays this year.
This is a poem she had us memorize in 10th grade. We had to stand up in front of the class and recite it from memory. I was always so nervous when we had to do things like this. But I passed with flying colors...as always.
Here's to you Miss Hardin!
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.