June 17, 2009 Edition

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Staff Notes

Cindy Davis Richardson

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege of interviewing several people and writing a feature story about Deborah Caspall. She has retired from Walnut Ridge School after 33 years, and I am proud to say I have been friends with her for the past 25 of those years.

She and I began, as many others did, as simply a student/teacher relationship. But, very quickly we became true friends. A love of writing, of reading, of poetry, of literature, of all things creative, quickly bonded us.

But, beyond the scholastic subjects, she helped to mold me into the person I am now. At a very impressionable age, when I thought I knew everything, she gave me words of wisdom, advice and encouragement. She also pulled no punches. When she knew I was making a bad choice or heading in the wrong direction, she didn't mind to tell me.

There really are no words to express my love and appreciation for Mrs. Caspall. However, in the course of reporting on two receptions in her honor, interviewing several people about her and finally writing a feature story, I was also inspired to write the following poem. Hopefully, all of you have been fortunate enough to meet Mrs. Caspall or someone like her to be your own inspiration. If you have met her, you can safely know, there ARE good people in the world.

List of Few

There are very few people in this world, who truly make a difference to others' walks of life.

There are very few people who sincerely care about someone else's struggles, pain or strife.

There are few in this cruel humanity who remain gentle, loving and kind.

Funny, when I think about it...only a few names come to mind.

Only a few that I could say, "this person has so much love to give."

Only a few who sincerely care about the quality of how others live.

Not many who would take the time to listen and honestly care.

Not many who, of their own free-will, would give and selflessly share.

'Can't give a long list of names of ones who are truly "good" to their core.

'Don't know many people who would say, "can I help a little more?"

But I know of one, for certain, who is all of these things.

One, for sure, who makes a difference, with the loving kindness that she brings.

There is one person that I know, who is all of this, without a doubt.

She helped change my life, for the good, and with proud acclamation I can shout:

That person was my teacher, was my counselor, and IS my friend.

Deborah Caspall, you're that person. And I will love you to the end.

(Watch for Richardson's feature on Caspall in an upcoming issue.)

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