I keep thinking about Mrs. Webb at home.
Hawk Talk work sessions, when we were closing in on deadlines, often happened at her place. We’d haul the computers from school, set them up, and fiddle with the newspaper. Sometimes we’d make the work session into a party, too. Sometimes Mrs. Webb would host a party just on general principles. Sometimes I took pictures. And you can tell from the photos: we were having fun. (And that we were cute.)
We’d be dealing with the need to get words out on deadline and in a decent order, and the photos, and the layouts, AND the ads. We did plenty of that in Madison High’s journalism classroom, too, on our journalism periods late in the day or working after school, but the vibe was different at Mrs. Webb’s home. Somehow…more relaxed. More comfortable. And more chance to be odd if we wanted to. Which helped me develop from being just a weird guy to being a weird-funny guy, a slow process that finally picked up speed in high school. I appreciate that Mrs. Webb put up with, and often appreciated, my sometimes impenetrable sense of humor. I did at times make her laugh, and that was always a little victory. And she could make us laugh, too.
We’ve been through good and bad. Good: the satisfaction of getting a good issue out; and the happy times of both the fall ’91 Richmond trip and the spring ’92 New York City trip: we learned more journalism stuff, got to know each other better, and saw the sights all agog. Bad: loss. The loss of Jen Blalock, in the summer of 1993; the loss of Mike Pearl, in 1997. Violence done to the world, and the slow healing afterwards -- always slow, isn’t it? -- that we soldiered through.
Many of us are doing our best to remember you, Mrs. Webb, as part of our healing. You, at your house, surrounded by students and computers…I’ll hold on to that.
More remembrance for Mrs. Webb
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