Who’s watching you today? Are you an influence without realizing it?

When I think about the years I spent growing up down Stogdon Hollow in McDonald County, I am reminded of a couple of neighbors who greatly influenced my life. Those days, long ago, in the early 1940s, our nearest neighbors were about a mile west of us, living on two farms between our little farm home and Klondike. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Witte were without children and an older couple (probably a good 20 years or so younger than I am today) but they were very special people to me and made me feel special.

My daddy was helping Mr. Witte with his harvest when my baby brother received a serious snakebite and mother sent me running to their home for help. Rocky roads, primitive vehicles (sometimes horses and wagons). Daddy rushed home and transported my mother and brothers in to Anderson to Dr. Bush who attended my brother (who in time recovered completely).  Mrs. Witte kept me at her house and attempted to cool me down (it had been an exhausted little girl who had run most of the one mile on that summer day) and that was just one of many times my old friend Mrs. Witte was there for me. I passed the home of our other neighbor, Mr. and Mrs. Bunche who lived on my route to the school bus stop. Many was the time when I would stop for a short visit (starting in the first grade at the age of 5) and my memory is of a home, spotless, windows and doors open, a cool breeze blowing across her scrubbed wood floors, usually she was barefoot, smelling clean and cool, welcoming this little school girl, stopping and taking time to visit.  Again, probably younger than I am today, but seeming ancient to me at the time, more than anything else, the fact that she made me feel special as she stopped for a visit in her very busy day.

I would like to think that in my life I am making a similar impression to the young people in my life today. Three young boys visited me this past week, fourth and fifth grade. They pulled weeds and helped me pick up limbs, as I prepare for the end of winter, the beginning of spring. They made a wonderful impression to me as they diligently and cooperatively worked together and enjoyed the afternoon. If I made as good impression to them as they did to me it was a well-spent afternoon.

Who is watching you? Who is depending on you to take a moment and just listen, who can you make feel special?  I have, framed on my wall, “Students may forget what you said but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”

We hope you are marking your calendar, only a couple of weeks and the McDonald County Historical Society will be inviting you to join us for the grand opening of the museum, formerly the grand old courthouse on the square in Pineville. Check out info@mcdonaldcohistory.org, or write to McDonald County Historical Society, P.O. Box 572, Pineville, 64856 for more information. There will be something to please every one, food, music, and a good look at our shared history. We are looking forward to sharing with you three days of celebration. We will be making memories together.

Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.