The Thought Processes of a Fourteen Year Old - What Did I Know?
When I was about fourteen years old, a philanthropist from our church offered me a chance of a lifetime. Actually, she offered it to two of us, Mark Aliopoulis and me. She offered to pay for us to go to Juliard to study. One small problem...I had a life, a boyfriend, friends, and was a solo performer in our youth choir, New Dawn. I politely refused her offer and my parents supported my decision. Mark, on the other hand, said yes and went to Juliard in the fall. It has been almost 40 years and I have never seen Mark again...I graduated from high school....went to Junior College, was engaged, was not engaged, moved to Alabama, married, had Kat, finished college, taught, got a Master's degree, was an NEH fellow...and felt I had a full life. Mark went to Juliard, never married, studied in Vienna, played for the Vienna Boy's Choir, played at Carnegie Hall, traveled all over the world, was part of the Boston and New York Philharmonics, did I mention never married? One day someone asked me if I regretted the youthful decision and I had to say...no. I don't regret it. I was meant to be Kat's mom...and if I had gone to Juliard to study music...true I might be a Beverly Sills Opera singer today....BUT would I be Kat's mom? That to me is one of the greatest accomplishments I have ever done in my life....I have been Kat's mom. Kat made every day a joy. She was a little piece of heaven on earth....and to be honest I would not have traded one moment at Juliard for her. I believe we all make choices in life and those choices effect outcomes. I may never be a success in the world's eyes...but I am a success in my daughter's eyes. She thinks I am something special....and I would not trade an audience at Carnegie Hall for that...ever! She rejoices in my successes and cries when I get knocked down. I wish you all could know her. She is so very special. Oh I know...if I had gone to Juliard...I never would have known that I missed out on having her...but that is ok. I made a choice...and what a difference it made in my life. Success do come in different shapes...my group, Still Magnolias did open for George Jones....it was not Carnegie Hall...but he is a Hall of Famer. Life does not get much better than this!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.