Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Haddon Heights, Here I Come!

In 1958, when I graduated from Haddon Heights High School, my senior year English teacher held my future in her hands. If I did not pass the final exam, I would not graduate. We were practicing for graduation in the auditorium and whenever the door creaked opened, Mr. Glaspey, the principal, would peek in and announce a name, a person who was to follow him. We would never see that person again. (at least in the HHHS scheme of things)

My trepidation increased with each door opening and I finally could not stand it.  I marched down to the front of the auditorium and confronted Ms. Helen Bork. Actually, I crept, hat in hand, to Ms. Bork, and, not in any kind of confrontational way, meekly asked if I had passed the final exam.

Her answer was unequivocal and right to the point.

“Yes, you did pass,” she said, adding an aside. “Darn you!”

I learned a lesson from that. I don’t know what it was but I’m sure it was a good one. (coming from Miss Bork, and all!)

On September 26, 2013, my program, “I Can’t Believe YOU Wrote This Book,” will be presented at the Haddon Heights Public Library at 7:00 P.M. Miss Bork will be there in spirit. I’m counting on it.


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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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