Writers’ Corner

Teachers are Special

By Dorothy E. D’Annunzio

A teacher fills a special need – 

The knowledge they are sharing

Helps guide our future generations

With kindness and with caring.

To be a teacher one must have

The patience of a saint.

To fill the minds of those so young

Takes stamina and strength.

The power of your influence

Can last throughout the years.

By helping choose the right from wrong

They overcome their fears.

Encourage them to do their best,

The dreams they can come true.

Their day by day journey

Begins and ends with you.

A teacher can be a friend or foe

Depending on the day.

Take a deep breath and count to ten

And all will be okay!

Dorothy E. D’Annunzio retired from retail and is married with one daughter, one grandson, and two cats, living in Midway, N.C.


Was Paul Bearus my Uncle?

A true story by Mike Baron

I was just 14 years old when my mom died. I was her only child. She conceived me when she was 42. Later she told me my arrival shocked the entire family. My mom died at age 56.

On the morning of the funeral, my pushy Aunt Anna who lived across the dirt driveway was inspecting the new suit, itchy shirt and clip-on necktie she bought me earlier that week. I hated those clothes, and I hated the buzz haircut she gave me a day earlier.

This was my first funeral and I was scared—REALLY SCARED! I worried what I would say to family members. I was afraid I was gonna cry. I told myself “You better not cry!” While fussing with my necktie my aunt said, “Now don’t you forget! You are riding to the cemetery with the Paul Bearus family.”

I thought, “The Bearuses? Who the heck are they?” I never heard of ‘em, so I panicked! I guessed they were the cousins who never liked us. Heck, I didn’t even know whose side of the family they were on, but I said nothing to my Aunt ‘cause she said I knew them.

I figured Paul Bearus must be that uncle from Detroit I never met. So how will I recognize him? I feared I would miss my ride to the cemetery, and I’d be left all alone at that creepy funeral home.

Then this giant funeral man got everyone’s attention. He looked down at me and said, “You’re Mike Junior, right?”

“YESSIR!” I said standing at attention.

He said, “Okay, you will be helping Paul Bearus carry your mom’s casket. When we’re done here, put these gloves on, and you ride in the first limousine.”

Whew! I was so relieved! Finally I knew which car would take me to the cemetery. But I was angry the Bearus’ car got to be first in line. I thought, “Why are they first? And why are they carrying my mom? They don’t even send us a Christmas card!!”

It was my first funeral, and I was just a kid. How the heck was I supposed to know that “Paul Bearus” always carries our family’s caskets?

Mike J. Baron is a teacher, writer, inventor, and a folksinger/songwriter who grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Winston-Salem. He has been battling Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, for 12 years and is celebrating being in remission. Mike won the 2011 Kernersviille Senior Idol competition and won the 2013 High Point Senior Follies. Watch the video of Mike telling this story by going to www.YouTube.com and searching the title “Was Paul Bearus my Uncle?”


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