Longing for Miss Howard

Bill Tatro
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Posted: Aug 19, 2012 12:01 AM

Maybe it’s just my naivety, but I long for the days of Ruby Howard. 

Miss (not Ms.) Howard was not some former Hollywood silent screen star, nor was she a financial or political guru of the past. 

Miss Howard was simply my ninth grade Social Studies teacher. 

The simplicity of the 1950s, over a half-century ago, seems like another world and it almost appears we’ve been on a downward spiral ever since. 

We’ve had some moments of greatness offset with many moments that we’d just as soon forget. 

When I think of Miss Howard, I recall a teacher who I could believe in and trust, a person who had my best interest at heart. 



In many ways, she epitomized my grandfather, a 57-year Wall Street veteran stock broker who worked before, during, and after the stock market crash of 1929. 

He always said “take care of your clients, and your clients will take care of you.” 

Miss Howard took care of us, and we adored her as we showered her with the traditional apples, candies, and bath soaps. 

She taught American history as it was meant to be taught, without political correctness.  She educated us about government and its roles and obligations and schooled us in citizenship and trained us in our duties and responsibilities. 

I long for Miss Howard; when she spoke you listened and believed because you knew it was the truth. 

Today, politicians, bankers, lawyers, and almost every person in power, or that wants to be in power, has an agenda and it’s usually not for our benefit.  For the past several years, I’ve been watching the death of trust.  It used to be that a person was judged by their word, which was their honor. 

Now, a handshake means nothing unless backed up by an army of lawyers and reams of documents and contracts.  And most times, that’s not even sufficient. 

Investors and bankers take risks, sometimes with other people’s money, and want bailouts or refunds when things don’t go their way. 

Government bureaus simply change numbers on reports when the truth doesn’t fit the game plan. 

And politicians, well, they’re still politicians, and on, and on, and on, the list becomes endless. 

Yes, I long for Miss Howard in a simpler time, a period of time when you could depend on what someone told you was, in fact, true. 

A time when problems were dealt with directly, solutions were sought, and pain was endured.  Yes, I long for Miss Howard and what she could teach us all, and more important, give us someone to really believe in. 

Unfortunately, that was another time and becomes more and more distant in my memory.  Oh, Miss Howard, where are you when we really need you?