Archive for Thursday, November 18, 2004

Who was Sally Zoll?

November 18, 2004

There is a school here in town named for Sally Zoll, and for most of us old-timers, she was our third- and fourth-grade teacher. When I was asked to write about Lansing's history, I thought that should include talking about special people. Miss Sally Zoll came to mind, and for us kids who were in the third and fourth grade in the 1930s and '40s, she will never be forgotten.

Our big school that still stands as an apartment complex on the northwest corner of Kansas and Main Street housed four classrooms. The third and fourth grade room was in the southwest corner of the building, and the higher grade always got to sit by the window.

I loved to draw characters from the newspaper comic strips. Miss Zoll had a rule that we could never write on the blackboard except for an assignment, but the size of the blackboard compared to an 8x10 piece of paper was too much for me. So one day, when Miss Zoll and her two classes were outside during recess, I found a piece of chalk and by the time recess was over, one whole section was covered with cartoons.

As my classmates filed back in to the room and saw what had happened, they said, "Boy, you are really in trouble now."

Miss Zoll came in, looked at my handiwork, looked at me and said, "Old Man Young (that's what she always called me), did you do this?" I said yes, wondering what the punishment would be.

I was so relieved when she turned to the class and gave the orders that no one was to touch the blackboard for one month.

She understood that this was something I had to do, and it gave me the courage to continue drawing on the blackboards of life to this day.

I'm sure all of her students have similar stories on how she influenced them.


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