Yesterday I told you about my two oldest friends, Carol and Susan. What I didn't tell you was that when Carol and I were 15 Mrs. Geiger had another child, Carla. There was already sister Cathy who was three years younger than we were...but along came Carla. She ruled the roost as a small child. We would give her anything she wanted, do anything she wanted...she was precious. This child could eat some more cookies. She loved them. My mother and father both adored her. Heck, all the neighbors did. All of the once children of El Prado had gone on to become adults...and then there was Carla. When she was four I moved away. I kept up with Carla through her sister, Carol and actually saw her from time to time over the next 15 years and one day I turned around and she was graduating from the University of Florida. Where had the years gone? She looked just like she did when I left Florida and moved to Alabama...just an older version and still had a wonderfully fun personality. You can't be around her but just for a few minutes and she will have you in stitches...and what a life she has led. To quote her own desciption she was a professional band geek – she spent four years in the high school band, five years of band at the University of Florida (where she switched majors to Music Education so that she could officially be a “professional” band nerd), six years as a clarinet/saxophone instrumentalist with the U.S. Navy, five years teaching band at St. Augustine H.S. & Pedro Menendez H.S., two years as a graduate assistant with the Gator Band at UF (earning a master’s degree in band geek a/k/a instrumental conducting), two years as a graduate assistant with the Husky Marching Band at the University of Washington (where she actually completed the coursework for a PhD in music ed but she is not quite ABD), and two years as the Associate Director of Bands/Director of Athletic Bands at Florida International University in Miami. This past year she hit a big milestone....she turned 40. Where did the years go? When did I hit 55? All of a sudden....my little four year old Carla....is now forty and still going strong. In January of 2009 she was forty, overweight, and so...she did what most of us do...(no she did not sit down and eat a package of oreos)...she actually lost her job...the music program at FIU was eliminated due to budget cuts. How can you have a football program without a band? Answer me that please? I mean...there are those of us who actually go to the games...and watch them for the halftime shows. I know I do and I know there are others like me in this world. I was NOT a band geek, but I am married to one (Frank played for the Big Green Indians of Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, FL and Kat and Brian were both part of the Pride of Alexander City with the Benjamin Russell High School Marching Band (said with pride...Kat was the drum major her senior year)...Back to Carla though...she has become a runner, having started in January with her first race. She is training for a sprint triathlon and a half marathon, and that’s just the beginning. She is very much looking forward to officially earning the title of “endurance athlete”, and She is once again loving life in our hometown of West Palm Beach. She has entered several races...now...at 55 I could not just become a runner...I would have to become a walker first...then maybe a power walker...then maybe a jogger....then possibly a runner....so I would not kill myself. I am so very proud of this girl. She has done wonderful things in her 40 years...and the best thing...is that at age 4...she was my best friends little sister...at age 40 I consider her a dear friend. Keep running Carla...I am cheering for you! You Go Girl!
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.