The man was quite affable and looked the part of science geek with his sweater vests, corduroy sports jackets, high-water pants, and hush puppies. But then this was the mid- and late-1970s I'm talking about, when I wore garish polyester sports jackets, gaudy ties, and earth shoes to high school. I see now the boys at my alma mater no longer have this sartorial freedom and are required to wear staid uniform jackets and slacks. So long as we wore a jacket, tie, and shoes (no sneakers), we could dress creatively and colorfully if that is what we desired. It was a much freer time and, yes, somewhat stranger one as well.
Anyway, back to the man whose name was among the deceased. He was my homeroom teacher in senior year, 1979-1980, and had a catchphrase I always found warm and reassuring in a decidedly non-warm and reassuring environment. When the bell would sound to officially begin our school day, he would say without fail: “Have a good day, folks.” I had actually been witness to this good cheer in a prior year. During free periods, we had various options at our school, including calling upon a room dubbed “Quiet Study,” which was always moderated by a member of the faculty. My future homeroom teacher lorded over more than a few “Quiet Study” periods and—when the bell sounded for the next class—he would always say, “Have a good day, folks.”
Okay, so it’s been thirty-two years since I graduated from high school. My classmates and I will turn fifty this year. But our teachers—wow—thirty-two plus thirty, forty, and fifty. Do the arithmetic. We’re talking about men and women in their sixties, seventies, and eighties or, of course, gone with the wind. I liked my senior year homeroom teacher a lot and will never forget his unfailingly upbeat wish to students one and all. He was new age in an old age. I thus leave you with this: "Have a good day, folks."