My favorite color is and has been, for the most part usually, green, but every once in a while orange has good form and gives green a go for the top spot. Blue is kind of meh; I’m fond of brown, naturally, but I’m too close to it; yellow is nice and happy and all but it’s no green; purple is too purple-y, and Wendy has grey spoken for. Which leaves red. Ah yes, what of red? I don’t recall being on any teams where red was featured. Neither my high school nor college had any red in their colors. I’ve never been to Cincinnati. I’m not one for blood. With that as background you can imagine my surprise when a couple of days ago red made a bid to unseat green.
A writer-landscaper friend of mine is writing a book about his years as a jack-of-all trades yard ape and the matter of fact social tension that exists between the folks who install 13 foot Christmas trees and those who have them installed. He asked me to read the opening chapter, any and all feedback appreciated, which I did marking down thoughts, suggestions, and edits with a red pen along the way. It was awesome. For years I pored over legal documents and marked them up like crazy, but those words were already committed to print and I was merely reviewing them rather than (potentially) influencing them. Like I said, loosing the red pen with an editor’s eye was sweet.
It very much reminded me of high school when Ms. Westby, my universally love and equally feared English teacher would return my paper chock-a-block full of red marks. Always red. Lots of red. But those red marks – along with the ones from Ms. Sexton, my other loved and feared high school English teacher – and the prospect and opportunity to make a story better which they represented, were in large measure why I chose to get my degree in English. And that choice, like the “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” stories, in some part anyway, set in motion a chain of events that have pleasantly combined to form where things stand today.
So yes, red holds a special place in my heart but for whatever reason green is and will likely always be tops. Then again, things change so I’ll let you know how that goes. But what isn’t up for interpretation is the super-duper omigosh importance of teachers on a general level and of Mss. Westby and Sexton on a personal one. Which reminds me of the scene from “Fletch” (my immutable green movie) where Fletch is giving a toast to Fred “the Dorf” Dorfman and asks the audience to hug a cop, to which I’d add, “Hug a teacher”, it’ll feel good for both of you.