Jimmy Durante a comedian, actor, singer from the 40s 50s and 60s used to sign off his performances with “Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are”  I heard a story and I can’t confirm it but I wish it to be true(after all this is the internet)  that Durante worked as a door to door salesman in his youth.  He came to a house where he met a Mrs. Calabash who encouraged him to follow his dream.  He lost contact with the dear woman but never forgot her influence on his career and hence the shout out at all his performances.

We all have a Mrs. Calabash.  Some of us are fortunate enough to have more than one.  But there is always a special person.  Mine is my sophomore year of high school biology teacher.  He is long gone but I salute him daily.  Mr. Tabor here’s to you.

He made demands on young minds that are discouraged today as politically incorrect, possibly prohibited.  He used red ink, he gave failing grades, he asked how you came to not grasp the material (exposing your lies about doing your homework)  It wasn’t only what he said but the way he said it.  You’d of thought he was auditioning for a Shakespearean play.

He gave out daily quizzes to see if you were grasping your assignments.  He’d give out eight to ten true/false statements and he’d add, “If you get them all wrong, I’ll give you an A”  To some that seemed a reprieve.

He gave you the opportunity to look inside of yourself.  He hit a nerve in my development.  I try to imitate his language, his manner and his thought process.  All I come away with is me.  I think that’s what he wanted.

I’m sure each of us students came away with a different take on Mr. Tabor.  I wonder what life is for people who don’t have a Tabor or Calabash or worse a negative role model or who have a role model but don’t see it or acknowledge it.

Quite often it’s a teacher, a parent, or a friend.  So I bid you to acknowledge that one person who keeps creeping into your consciousness as an influence and acknowledge them for what they did for you.

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