Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I always think of John McGlynn when I'm flossing.

John was a classmate of mine growing up who died in a motorcycle accident near my house when we were 17.

But before that - back in third grade - John and I were in the same homeroom class with Mrs. Bennett. Like most small schools, Mrs. Bennett did double (and triple) duty on all subjects; she was the social studies, spelling, math, science, reading and - you guessed it - health teacher, all rolled into one.

I specifically remember the unit on flossing. She taught us how to much to take out, how to roll it in on our thumb and forefingers, and to never use the same piece of floss twice - but to move methodically up (or down) the string until we got to the end. At the end of the lesson, Mrs. Bennett told us we'd be having a drawing contest. There would be a boy and girl winner, with the grand prize being a large stuffed footprint pillow (pink or brown) - about two feet tall. If you grew up in the eighties and/or frequent alot of county fairs (or both), you remember what I'm talking about.

Ahem, anyway. Long story short - John and I were the winners. I was sooooo excited - I'd never won anything that big. I still have the pink foot at my parents house, stashed on the top of my bookshelf. To date it is still the largest stuffed anything I have ever won. Sometimes I wonder what would've happened if I'd taken the brown one and left the pink for John.

Lately, I've begun to see the merits in flossing (never too late for an old lesson to sink in, Mrs. B.). I had a friend in college who swore that frequent flossing would protect him from heart disease. I'm not sure if I believe him, but something lately has led me to pick up the floss more often, and subsequently, think of John.

Strange memorial, I know.

1 comment:

nate-nate-bo-bate said...

That's strange, because I think of Cole Wittman when I do the dishes...no I don't.

I do always think of my great-grandfather every time I tie a pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I was always fascinated when he sat down to tie his work boots. It was almost ceremonial. He'd sit down at the chair and grab one boot, check the liner to make sure it was just right, slide his foot in, pull his sock all the way up and proceed to lace those old rawhide laces, looping them through the eyelets with practiced precision and nonchalance.
Before tying them, he'd wrap the laces around the top of the boot once and after they'd been tied, he'd double-knot them.

I actually still have those boots. They're my size and I wear them from time to time.