I was trying to remember; 

My country, ' tis of thee, 

Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; 

Land where my fathers lied? Died? Fought? (that doesn’t rhyme with pride). Cried? Pride? Yes, and the pilgrims died. No, I had to look it up.  Fathers died and pilgrim’s pride.

Land of the pilgrims' pride, 

from every mountainside, let freedom ring! 

Do kids know any of these songs anymore? You’re a Grand Old Flag, This Land is your Land, God Bless America, Over There, and the Star Spangled Banner are not in many people’s play list. 

If I hadn’t had a mean old music teacher named Miss Gretchen, I wouldn’t know them. She was single because she was so mean. She was fat and gray headed because she was so mean. Wait; not all of us fat, gray women are mean. She would also hit you with her baton at any given moment because she was so mean. She made me learn how to read music, how to play the flute, trumpet and baritone and I had to practice every day. She even brainwashed my parents into being on her side. She was really, just too mean.

 Boy, I wish she were still around. She was the best. Everything I know about music, I learned from her. I wonder if I had a mean math teacher whether or not I could do arithmetic better.

Funny now how kids are missing their teachers. I think COVID has done a good job making kids appreciate the school system. I know parents trying to home school definitely think more of teachers than they did.

This morning my 18 year old son is getting ready for work. He’s a pretty happy guy, so he is singing to himself. Is he singing a patriotic song in preparation for the upcoming Independence Day? Maybe an old hymn he remembers from church? Could that song be one that I sang to him when he was a baby and I rocked him to sleep? No, he was singing “red solo cup”, A BEER SONG! Where’s Miss Gretchen when you need her?