Friday, February 18, 2011

A Sentimental Journey

A strange thing happened to me the other day.  I was hoping to take a short nap while my youngest granddaughter was taking hers, but while I was lying there, I thought of my high school band and vocal music director.  I don't know why his name sneaked into my mind, but instead of napping, I went to the computer and searched his name on Facebook.  I really didn't expect to find anything.  Instead, I discovered he's still in the town in Oklahoma where he settled two schools after he left us back in 1967.  And that town is having a celebration this weekend in honor of him and the community-type band--jazz band--he's put together. To say I was surprised I found him is an understatement.  He was a very special to person to many of us, and from reading the Facebook "Event" comments, we aren't the only ones who think so.

Mr. Rotter came to our high school at the beginning of my freshman year.  It was a small school of less than 200 students, but we had a larger band then than there is now.  And Mr. Rotter made us one of the best in the state.  Part of that had to do with the fact that he wasn't a whole lot older than we were.  As a band director he worked us hard.  He expected the best from us, and we gave it to him.  We won a I rating (the best) at a state-wide marching contest in the fall of his second year, his last at CHS.  He could play a mean saxophone, but he loved the trombone best.  Many of us still remember enjoying his rendition of Little Egypt on the piano...if we were lucky enough to talk him into doing it.

I won't be able to go to the celebration this weekend.  Life sometimes gets in the way of the things we'd really like to do.  But I'll be thinking of him and the students and adults who've been lucky enough to know him.  He's one of a kind.
 

6 comments:

Leigh Duncan said...

Two toots for Mr. Rotter. What a nice tribute to him, Roxann.

Pamela Stone said...

I love to hear stories about teachers who truly made a difference. We had a history teacher in high school like that. Mr. Burns connected with us and loved his job. Made learning a truly easy and enjoyable experience.

Glad people are recognizing Mr. Rotter.

Roxann Delaney said...

Thanks, Leigh. :) I told everyone I could reach and knew had been his student. All who contacted me were thrilled to hear about him.

Roxann Delaney said...

Pam, there are some truly exceptional teachers out there. I had several and so did my girls. Same school, just a generation later.

Estella said...

I love reading about teachers who made a difference in the lives of their students.

Joanne H said...

Your story reminds me of that fabulous movie, Mr Holland's Opus. Mr Rotter probably didn't realise the impact he had. What a lovely story.