Miss Curry was my eleventh grade English teacher, a small woman with thick glasses and fuzzy brown hair. After class one day, she invited me to join a “Creative Writing Group” and I accepted, although I had no sense of myself as a writer.
There were six of us that evening—six awkward students who didn’t fit in at school but who were welcome in Miss Curry’s living room where we sat in a circle and read our secret poems and stories.
Mostly I stared at Miss Curry’s elegant apartment with its high ceilings and walls of books. We discovered she had studied in Paris and knew all kinds of famous artists and writers. And it occurred to me that this woman had a rich and meaningful life that didn’t look anything like my mother’s.
Later, we joined Miss Curry in her cluttered kitchen make to spaghetti, laughing together like old friends. It was the friendship that kept us coming back month after month—along with Miss Curry’s stubborn belief in our potential.
We never stopped coming back—introducing her to our spouses and our children. Her name was Nelle but I always called her Miss Curry. She was my teacher, as long as she lived—and longer.