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Chapter 3 – Meeting Mrs. Wright!
A large factor in writing this book was my want to see Hanna grow up right, and I wanted to making a difference in the world. Most of what is written comes from the journals I had kept for Hanna, which I gave to her on her sixteenth birthday. What follows is some of the entries through the years that lead up to what is happening today.
By the time Hanna entered Kidneygarden it was clear she was smart like her mother, she better knew how to use that 286 computer more than we did. The thing is she also had the same handyman smarts my Dad and I had, I guess she was just around good teachers!
On the first day of Kidneygarden the teacher showed a movie to help the kids adjust. About half way through the show Hanna began to cry, when the teacher asked what was wrong, Hanna replied “It’s night time and I should be home!” Well her teacher let her look outside for a bit, then after she was satisfied that it was still day time she sat back down and didn’t have another problem the rest of the year.
She enjoyed school and enjoyed learning, in fact she even looked forward to going back to school for the first grade. A feeling I know I never had. About the only thing she really hated about school was the fact that she couldn’t spend as much time at the radio studio with her grandparents.
Two major events happen in the first grade that really shaped Hanna’s future. First, she was upset to find out they had no sports opportunities for girls in Her school, so she convinced little Tommy to sign up for peewee football, and she went in his place disguised as him and actually made the team. She even managed to play one game before getting caught. After making a convincing argument they let her stay on the team for the year. And in the process she managed to make a life long friend in Tommy. The type of friendship I wished I could have had with Maria. While I admit Hanna’s lie wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, I have to admire her for the way she proved her point.
The Second major event in Hanna’s life was one day at the park after school Sara a girl I knew from my school days happened to ride by on her horse. Sara was heading back to her job at the nearby stables and when she saw me she stopped for a bit to talk. I was really surprised considering she was one of the girls I treated so badly.
Well I got to talking with Sara and she told me that she didn’t blame me for what happened in the past, and that she was really happy to see the good job I’d been doing with Hanna. She continued to say in a way it was like we never stopped talking because she liked listening to the radio show my Mom and Dad did.
Over the course of the next summer Sara and Hanna got close, Sara taught her how to ride a horse, and how to swim. Hanna seemed to like the horses better though, I’m not sure if it was the horses themselves or if was the day trips on horse back. At the same time Sara and I also got close and began dating. We decided in part because of Hanna that it would be best to marry and have a child soon while Hanna was still young. Plus we just knew deep inside that we were ready.
Hanna’s little brother Karl was born in may as Hanna was about to finish second grade. She became an excellent big sister to Karl. Our family was complete.
Around that same time Jimmy Carter lost the election I thought he was sure to win, which I really hoped would have happened. But after some time and watching Reagan’s speeches, I felt Reagan probably wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
By the time I’d given the journals to Hanna on her sweet sixteen many other events had passed and it was clear that my beautiful little girl was growing up. And I know she grew inside at the same time as her body did on the outside, to make a very complete and loving person, the opposite of me at her age. I was extremely relieved.
While Hanna was in school Her two closest friends were Jennifer which was called Jen for short and Tommy both of which lived close to Hanna.
An event that happened to Jen was recorded in history by my parents on their radio show. When Jen was 11 she had learned how to play the drums and had gotten to be very good, and by 16 she decided to answer an ad that was looking for a drummer in a local garage band of kids her age.
The kid who was the lead singer John had went out of town with his family and the other two members of the band who played guitar where put in charge of finding a new drummer. Well when they heard her play they loved it, and hired her.
The three had been playing together for a few days, when John came back. The first words out of John’s mouth were “who’s the chick?”
When they told him that she was the new drummer, something inside of him snapped. He said some rude, sexist things that really hurt Jen. She stormed out and came over to Our basement were Hanna, Tommy and Her were talking.
I had just came home from work and couldn’t help but over hearing some of the conversation, so in Dad mode I went down to see if I could be of any help. When I heard it was John who was the one who the conflict was over, I understood some background that the kids didn’t know.
John in many ways was like me when I was growing up, but what made him so angry was the abuse he faced from his birth Father. His Father and Mother were heavy into drugs among other things. His Father became an angry man and began beating his Mom and him, so one day the county works came and took him away. He now lives with his Uncle and Aunt. While he has adjusted in so many ways there are still many signs of a troubled youth that come out in certain situations.
I tried to help the kids understand some of what was at the core of John’s attitude. I later went over and talked to his uncle, who told me that the other boys in the band refused to play with John until he apologized to Jen.
I’d come up with an idea, that I would talk to John about going on the radio with his band someday soon, and while I was at it talked to him about my past with some select stories. After building a relationship with him and sharing stories and hope, he saw that I was serious and wanted to help him.
The next day John talked to Jen at school, the two shook hands and agreed to give this band thing a try. A couple of months had passed, and like I promised the whole band got to be on the Ole and Emma show. They all had a great time and for one day that country station rocked!
During the year after Hanna graduated high school she was trying to decide what to do with her life, radio or teaching. So she went to the annual radio convention with her Grandpa where she met Todd Wright who was just a year older than her. Todd had been recently hired by Twin Cities radio station “1180 The Hornet” as a talk show host, because of all the articles and debates he participated in when he was in school. They thought he was a good choice to help, “stir up the Hornets’ nest.”
They fell in love in much the same way Sara and I did, and before I knew it My little Hanna was walking down the isle on her way to becoming Mrs. Wright.
She eventually decided to pursue teaching. On Her first day in the classroom as a teacher, a smart-aleck student asked her after she introduced herself as Mrs. Wright, if her first name was always or never. She replied ALWAYS and don’t forget it! The name Always probably wasn’t to far from the truth, and the name stuck.
It was little awkward for Karl to be in his Sisters’ class but they managed. That was probably the only problem with Hanna’s decision to become a teacher. Maybe things in this town are perfect after all.
—- END OF CHAPTER THREE —-
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