We were the back hall gang, taking pride in the fact that we didn’t really fit in with the rest of the school.    We had pens printed with our motto…. Back Hall Rules, Rest of School Drools…… We Have it All, in the Back Hall.  We did have it all.  More than we wanted some days.  Working with high school age at-risk students.  We probably should have said, “We have SEEN it all in the back hall.”

And there right in the middle of it all was Ginger.  She was technically a teacher’s aide to hundreds of at-risk students.  But she was a teacher in her own right.  Even though she lacked the credentials, she was a teacher.  She had unending patience.  Sitting with a student to assist them with homework, or listening to a struggling high school student try to improve their reading skills, Ginger was encouraging in her own special way.  She sometimes appeared a bit gruff but it was because she wanted what was best for the students and she knew they didn’t always get what they needed.  They responded to her gruffness because they knew she cared about what was happening to them.

Ginger was constantly telling me… “Oh I could never do your job.”  But  then she would turn around and do exactly what I would have done in the same situation.  Cooking, cleaning, recycling, sweeping, assisting students with their school work, always on the clean up committee, Ginger shared whatever she had with whomever needed it.

Together with everyone in our department we would cry and worry over our own children and grandchildren and wonder if they were all going to survive the world and find their way.  We were more than coworkers… we were family for the time we were together.

At the end of a particularly difficult day I would return to my classroom and everything would be shipshape. A short note from Ginger on my desk saying ” I tried to clean up.. hope its ok.”  It was more than ok.  It was above and beyond what others would have done.

I guess those three words best describe Ginger… above and beyond.  Never afraid to speak her mind when she felt it would help the situation, never ever saying, “That’s not my job.”  Never letting us down and never leaving a job unfinished.

Ginger, your earthly self is gone.  Your family may fall apart briefly but they will regroup,  because of the influence you left behind.  Your beautiful children and grandchildren, your husband, your friends;  they will  not forget what you have done for them and will not forget your giving spirit.    Fly high, Ginger….. into the above and beyond.



About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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12 Responses to Ginger

  1. Val says:

    Oh how sad – and also beautiful. She sounds like she was a wonderful person. It’s curious isn’t it how people who feel so insecure can often have such a positive effect on other people? I’m so sorry you lost her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a woman who obviously had a heart for service.
    xo, BB


  3. puppy1952 says:

    What a beautiful tribute – I didn’t know her but it brought tears to my eyes❤️


  4. Cindee Kratzenberg says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Ruth. They were obviously spoken from the heart. Ginger will certainly be missed.


  5. Sue A Sanders says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a sweet lady.


  6. granny1947 says:

    What a lovely tribute.


  7. Deb Dick says:

    A wonderful tribute to Ginger. Thanks for sharing your memories, Ruth.


  8. Abbey Sprang says:

    This is so touching. Thank you Ruth. She loved working with you and those kids. ❤️😢
    She never really gave herself enough credit for what she did. I’m so glad it didn’t go unnoticed.


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