Monday, May 21, 2007


We were interviewing people to teach our summer 4-H program. I had written its curriculum and it was the first time I had ever been in the interview process for a teacher. Gwen was very pretty and reminding me of the girl my son was dating. She had naturally curly long dark hair and a heart-shaped face. She was compact with a narrow waist and wrists and ankles like a doll. During the school year she was a Baltimore City third grade science teacher. I asked her which unit she liked best and she named one that I had written. Of course that made her my choice.

Our program took place in inner city Baltimore neighborhoods. We offered to plug our program into existing recreation programs run by neighborhood heroes who were determined to provide positive role models and a safe recreational environment in midst of drugs, despair and depression. These programs were found in church basements and city rec centers. Gwen and I were the only white faces for blocks but that never seemed to be a problem. Gwen and her husband had moved into the inner city as Mennonite missionaries.

Gwen always wore a black lacy cap, almost a bow, at the crown of her head. Of course this was noticeable and the kids would ask her why she wore it. She would say that it was her choice to wear it because she loved Jesus.

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