We met over 50 years ago, and immediately got into an argument. He was a member of the White Station High School Debate Team. I was a member of the Frayser High School Debate Team. We squared off against one another in a speech tournament at old Messick High School, vigorously arguing an issue of American foreign policy.
I can’t recall who won. I am sure my friend thought he did. I thought I clearly won. We probably had an argument about that right after the debate.
Students can only truly understand how exceptional our nation is if they are also taught about our "original sin" of slavery, the continuing sin of racism, and how we have sought and still strive to address it.
When I was in the fourth grade I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Gillespie. We did not change classes in the fourth grade at Frayser Elementary School, so Mrs. Gillespie was my only teacher that year. With the exception of recess and lunchtime, I was at my desk in Mrs. Gillespie’s classroom from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every weekday.
Mrs. Gillespie taught me math, English, science, arts and history.
She also taught me something about the Russians.