Favorite #138: Essential Oils

Lydia, talking to a customer about essential oils.

Lydia, talking to a customer about essential oils.

Nature at Its Best

Lydia Richmond and I have similar interests in that we both are teachers, write children’s books and have a blog. Lydia and I also have an interest in saving the earth through various means such as recycling and reducing the use of harsh chemicals in our homes by using natural products as much as possible.

One of the ways that Lydia has accomplished this is through essential oils. Now working for Simply Aroma, a company that sells essential oils, Lydia invited me to one of her presentations. After explaining I already had plans for that particular evening, Lydia said she’d be willing to come to my house for a demonstration at a later time. When I shared this info with my daughter, Kelly, she volunteered to have a demonstration at her house.

During that demonstration, Lydia explained because essential oils are derived from plants, they are an amazingly effective way to replace toxic, chemical laden medications, cleaning products and personal care items. She said, “It’s easy once you understand their purpose.”She also went on to explain that essential oils have been used for various reasons ever since Bible days, including when the three wise men brought frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.

I was especially interested in the essential oils that have properties to help with relaxation and stress relieve. Lydia shared that lavender is a popular oil people sometimes use in a diffuser for that purpose. Showing first-hand how it works, she put several drops of lavender in the diffuser. Within a few minutes the aroma spread throughout the room. Lydia then shared that lavender is also good for other things, including cleaning and personal care.

Another essential oil Lydia shared that has many benefits is peppermint. One of the things we learned about peppermint is that spiders don’t like it. Although I’m not particularly afraid of spiders, I couldn’t help but wonder what would keep snakes away. Maybe I should have asked Lydia if there’s an essential oil for that.

From Lydia’s presentation, I realized I’d like to learn more about essential oils. She advised because there are different grades of oil on the market, consumers need to be careful. Sometimes what appears to be oil is only fragrance. She also said although essential oils do not replace medical advice or diagnosis, they can in many ways enhance our health and home environment. Overtime Lydia has replaced many of her personal care items, such as soap, deodorant and chapstick with recipes containing essential oils.

Learning that essential oils are derived from plants without harsh chemicals as a part of the process, if you haven’t given essential oils a try, maybe in celebration of Earth Day this week, now would be a great time to start. I’m sure Lydia would be willing to guide you in the right direction.

If interested in learning more about ways to save the environment, check out this link.

In what ways have you used essential oils in your home? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

 

Favorite #137: North Rowan Elementary School Book Clubs

Having a great day with the children at NRES.

Having a great day with the children at NRES. Thank you for letting me share my books.

Books and Fun

Book clubs are a wonderful way for children to connect not only with each other, but also through the books they are reading, possibly inspiring them to read more. This past March, I had the opportunity to share my books with North Rowan Elementary School’s first and second-grade book clubs.

Katie Linker, Title I coordinater for North Rowan Elementary School in Spencer, NC, called a few months ago asking if I would share my books at the book clubs in March. She said not only would she like for me to read, but also share a little about what it’s like to be an author. Katie explained, “When children are given the opportunity to meet an author, it helps them to see they can become one, too.”

After discussing which book to read, Katie suggested I read my third book, Tired of Being Different. She chose that book because children today often struggle with feeling different. Told through the viewpoint of a puppy who barks a lot, Tired of Being Different offers encouragement to children by allowing them to see we all are different in one way or another. In the end, the puppy realizes being different is okay, even getting a medal for saving the day.

The Title I program works together with the Communities in Schools program to sponsor the book clubs each month at North Rowan. Marsha Woods, one of the site-coordinators for the Communities in Schools program, especially enjoys this aspect of her position. Partnering together, the Title I program encourages parent involvement through providing materials for follow-up activites parents can do with their children at home, while the Communities in Schools progam provides the food. In this case, the food was breakfast for both parent and child.

I have discovered that mornings seem to be the perfect time for reflection before the day starts with everyone in a good mood, ready to hear a story. After each presentation, I enjoyed meeting parents and students alike with some asking questions about the process of writing and publishing. Hopefully, my answers were an inspiration to future authors in attendance.

What experiences have you had with book clubs in your school? Do you have other suggestions for ways to inspire children to read? I’d love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment below, message on Facebook, or email dicysm@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite #136: Easter

Easter, a day of hope and remembrance.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Easter, a day of hope and remembrance.

          Hope and Love

Walking this journey for seven months now as a widow, I’ve discovered like many who’ve been there before, the holidays are the hardest. Memories from years past and the activities of those seasons remind me of my loss. Then, again, they also remind me of my gain. Without the love Michael and I shared, I wouldn’t have my children or grandchildren, or the memories of our years together. While it’s bittersweet, I am reminded because of Easter, I’ll see Michael again.

During devotions this morning while reading the Easter story in the book of John, I found one of the main themes was love. Although Jesus knew the cross was his to bare, he still took time to show love by washing the disciples’ feet. That said to me that even in our time of grief, we need to reach out to others, for it’s in that kind of love we can start to heal.

When asking friends and family what Easter means to them, of course, some of the children said Easter bunnies and candy, while many of the adults said hope for eternal life. In a children’s sermon at Franklin Baptist Church, Pastor Joe tried to explain the meaning of Easter through the different colors of the cloths that had been draped on the cross.

The one color the children knew without being told was black, promptly saying it stood for darkness and the tomb. When asked what purple meant, one child said, “Majesty.” Pastor Joe said she was right because in ancient times purple stood for royalty and that Jesus was “King.”

Depending on the congregation, white can represent different things. Some congregations view it as representing the sinless life Jesus lived, while others see it as representing resurrection and the defeat of death and the grave. Whatever these colors mean to you, the one constant in all of this is the cross.

Even though there have been moments of sadness for me during the last seven months, there have also been moments of hope. When I look into the eyes of my grandchildren, I’m reminded there’s still life to be lived and a purpose for which I’m called. Jesus died so we can live and love and that’s what Easter means to me.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … (John 13: 34a, KJV).

What does Easter mean to you? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

 

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

Favorite #135: Teacher of the Year

Cleveland Elementary School honoring the best of the best.

Cleveland Elementary School honoring the best of the best.

      A Time to Be Proud

Some weeks it’s harder than others to find a favorite person, place or thing to write about. Although I had several choices for this week, I just couldn’t quite narrow down one. Some people would call that writer’s block. When I was almost to the point of not posting a favorite this week, that’s when I saw my inspiration.

Browsing through Facebook late Sunday evening, I noticed a post by Mike Gurley. His wife, Annette, and I have been friends for many years and at one time colleagues when I taught music at Cleveland Elementary School, in Cleveland, NC. This spring, Annette was voted Teacher of the Year. While that in itself is an accomplishment and something to be proud of, that’s not all of the story.

Mike was so proud of Annette, he posted a photo of the school sign on his Facebook page, revealing Annette as Teacher of the Year and Patricia Watson as Teacher Assistant of the Year. Mike is a teacher and basketball coach at West Rowan High School, so he understands the stress of the classroom environment. As a result, he realizes what an accomplishment it is to be chosen for these honors by your peers.

If posting the photo was not enough, Mike also included the following caption … Normally signs advertising food specials draw my attention like “2 for $2″ or “all you can eat for $7.50,” but this sign is better than all of them!! And I have one thing to say, “that’s my wife!!”…yea!!!

After seeing the above photo and reading Mike’s comments, I asked permission to use them on my blog. Mike said that was fine and then added, “There are many evenings after a day of teaching and coaching that I come home, sit down to rest/sleep or watch tv. Annette, on the other hand, is still preparing lesson plans for the next day. Her work ethic and caring nature have inspired me to work harder to be the best I can be.”

Almost as an after thought, he said, “Thank goodness for high school planning periods.”

Good point, Mike. Unlike high school and middle school teachers, elementary school teachers don’t get planning periods everyday and often take work home to complete. Like Annette, they do it because they love their students and teaching.

Congratulations, Annette for your achievement as Teacher of the Year and for having a husband who loves and supports you.

In what ways have you recently shown love and support for your husband or wife?

Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

 

Favorite #134: Bathtime

Bath time is lots of fun for everyone.

Bath time is fun for everyone.

A Little Boy and a Dirty Dog

Several weeks ago, I shared my children’s books with an Early Childhood Language and Literacy Experiences class at Mitchell Community College in Mooresville, NC. That night, I read my first book, Tired of My Bath. A few days later, one of the students in the class, Decota Rasnick, sent me an email explaining what happened when she got home later that night. I was so touched by her email; I asked permission to share.

Dicy,

First and foremost, thank you for coming to speak (and read) to our class last night at Mitchell Community College! It was so nice learning about you and your books!

You truly are an inspiration to others! I thought I would share a little story about what happened after class, and hearing you speak.

Last night, after I finally got home from work and school (Tuesdays are my “bad” day. I work all day, and then go to school, and usually do not get home until around 8:15 or so, which means my kids are either already in bed, or cranky and waiting on me to put them down) my son and I let our dog (a pitbull) outside one last time before bedtime. Link, our dog, is not a “digger.” He only digs on very rare occasions, and when he does spend the time digging (or the few times that he has in the past couple of years), he usually surfaces, very proudly, with some sort of prize.

Being late, and as muddy as it was last night, as soon as we realized he was digging we made him stop and come back inside; however, it was not soon enough to prevent having to put him into the bath tub and give him a bath. There was mud everywhere! Fortunately, our dog does well in the bath. Link sits very still and rarely tries to escape. Between attempting to get my dog clean, and having to work around my son, Rylan, (who is four now, and clearly in that stage of wanting, and thinking he can do everything that any adult does, on his own, without any help) I managed to snap a picture.

Although I am not sure how I even found the energy, or the time, last night to scroll through my Facebook, I ended up posting the picture of my son and his dog in the bath. Not anything too surprising, except for the tiny little poem I posted to caption the picture. It read:

“…Because when your dog decides its time to dig to China, it might be late at night, and you might [just might] have to bathe him, much against his delight…”

Although posting the picture was not out of character for me, taking the time, or even subconsciously thinking about posting the tiny little poem was out of character, and something I quite frankly, just do not usually take the time to do. The normal description would have been something like, “Bath Time.”

You, and your discussion with our class inspired this, and I just wanted to thank you. When I go back and read the poem I wrote last night, the memories are much more clear. The imagery and scenes in my head are much clearer, and I can remember so much more about the entire situation, because I chose to change the perspective in which I was looking at the situation.

I found it entirely coincidental that we just happened to have read your book, Tired of My Bath.  At 10 pm last night, I was faced with a very dirty dog, and a very independent four year old (who at the time was really just “getting in my way”). Very quickly, I started thinking about the book, and the lesson…. this is life, and this is my life. While I was drained, and “tired” of the day in general, thinking about your talk, your books, and your lessons made me (at 23 years old) rethink the situation, and ended up very happy and smiling at the memories we made (even at 10 pm on my “bad” night). I could have looked at the situation in a negative way, but didn’t. I mean, really who wants to give their (very large) dog a bath at 10 pm after they have been at work/school for well over 12 hours?

Again, thank you so much for your time! I am looking forward to reading your books to my children (I have two boys, ages 4 and 1), and following you on Facebook, as well as your blog.

Decota, thank you for your email and for making my day. Writing a book is only the beginning. Hearing stories like yours is what makes being an author so rewarding.

Thanks again,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

Favorite #133: Honors Chorus

Music teachers performing with the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Honors Chorus.

Music teachers having great fun at the Fifth Grade Honors Chorus Festival.

Fifth Grade Honors Chorus under the direction of Sally Albrecht.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ Fifth-Grade Honors Chorus under the direction of Sally Albrecht.

 

Making Music and Memories 

Congratulations to the Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ Fifth-Grade Honors Chorus for a fabulous performance during their recent festival at West Rowan High School in Mt Ulla, NC. Approximately 200 fifth-grade students filled the auditorium on March 14th with melodies that made friends and family proud.

Twelve years ago, music teachers, Beth Yelvington and Lucy Shue had the vision for a county-wide fifth-grade Honors Chorus. Taking the initiative to write a grant for necessary funding for music, transportation, food, and a clinician, they applied for a Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation grant. After receiving the grant and with a successful festival that first year, they reapplied, continuing the tradition for a total of eleven festivals.

Students who want to be a member of the fifth-grade Honors Chorus must first audition at their individual schools. When chosen they are given a selection of music to memorize and learn. Music teachers practice with their students, usually after school, on technique and musicality. The first practice with the entire Honors Chorus is from noon to 5:00 the Friday before the Saturday performance. Held at a local high school under the direction of a professional clinician, students learn phrasing, blending voices, harmony, and choreography. Although tired from a Friday practice, students arrive Saturday morning, excited and ready for a full day, knowing the concert performance is that afternoon. The progress they make in just two days is amazing. It’s almost like a transformation of individuals joining together as one for a performance of a lifetime.

Sally Albrecht, an internationally known choral composer, conductor, and clinician was   chosen as the clinician for the first festival because of her knowledge and expertise working with this age group. Achieving high expectations of musicality in a way children can understand and yet have fun in the process, Sally set the standard so high that first year she has been the clinician of choice for the majority of the festivals since then.

When asking Beth what her favorite part of the process has been through the years, she said seeing the enthusiasm of the students. Pausing for a minute, she then said, “Although tired from practicing five hours on the first day, students still are willing to get up the next morning and give it their all. The performance is just the icing on the cake.”

Having had the opportunity to be a part of the Honors Chorus in previous years as a music teacher for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, I know what Beth is talking about. The look in each child’s eyes as they perform on stage for family and friends is pure joy. Even though it is hard work, the effort is so worth it. Students never forget that one shining moment, and who knows, that could be the catalyst for a future career in music and the dream lives on.

Were you a member of a chorus or band? What are your favorite memories? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

Favorite #132: Early Childhood Educators

A night of sharing books and fun at Mitchell Community College/Mooresville Campus.

A night of sharing books and fun at Mitchell Community College/Mooresville Campus.

Language and Literacy

Donna Hogue is an Early Childhood instructor at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC. Recently, I and another children’s author, Lydia Steele Richmond, had the opportunity to visit and share our books in Donna’s EDU 280 Language and Literacy Experiences class at Mitchell’s Mooresville campus.

Donna explained since her students had just completed a chapter about reading and storytelling, she thought asking us to read would be a great opportunity for them to observe firsthand some of the elements in reading to children. These include how to gain and keep attention, hand gestures and voice inflection.

Lydia shared first, explaining how she liked to incorporate real-life situations in her book and stories. Living in Germany as a child, Lydia said she had great memories of childhood play and friendships. Pulling from those memories in developing the characters and relationships in her book, A Day to Remember, she even used names of real friends for the characters in her story.

After gaining everyone’s attention by explaining the backstory first, Lydia then began to read, slowing down and using emphasis at important points in the story. While the death of a loved one may be hard for a child to understand, Lydia’s book deals with that kind of loss in a way children can understand and accept. In this story, the loved one who passed was an elderly neighbor lady. After much discussion by the BFF’s, it was decided the best way to honor the neighbor’s memory was to care for her beloved grapevine. Although the friend was gone, her memory would live on through actions of love and caring.

Donna’s students loved the story, asking questions not only about plot and character development, but also about the writing process. Lydia shared she’s thinking of writing a second book, using the friendships developed in A Day to Remember as the catalyst. She said the theme for the next book will probably be the hot topic of bullying.

After Lydia’s presentation, it was my turn to share. While Lydia’s book is in narrative form, my books are written in rhythm and rhyme. Deciding to read my first book, Tired of My Bath, with that story having funny twists, I couldn’t wait to watch the faces and hear the laughter in all the right places. Each of my five books have a moral lesson and in Tired of My Bath, the lesson is listen to your mom.

The hour-and-a-half class passed quickly, with the night ending with questions, a few photos and some students even purchasing books. It was obvious by comments during and after class that the students were passionate about their chosen field, eager to learn and be the best they could be. Donna said early childhood educators are always passionate about their chosen field. I totally agree. There’s just something special about people who work with young children. God bless everyone of them.

Next week I plan to share a letter from one of the students in the EDU class who sent me an email about an experience she had later that night after hearing, Tired of My Bath. Be sure to check out next week’s blog. Thanks Donna for the invitation to read to your class. I can’t wait until next time.

Do you know someone who is an Early Childhood Educator? Have you volunteered in their classroom, or helped their program in someway? What was that experience like? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

Favorite #131: Playing in the Snow

What could be more fun than playing in the snow with Dad?

What could be more fun than playing in the snow with Dad?

               Childlike Wonder

Have you ever seen a better snowball?

“Here, have a snowball.”

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing all the pictures of kids playing in the snow over the last few days an obvious choice for my favorite thing this week had to be playing in the snow. In the above photo my neighbor’s two-year old son, Brayden, seems to be saying, “Here, have a snowball.”

Brayden’s mom, Darcy, said he didn’t like the snow at all last year, but loved it this year and had a ball. After hours of play, Brayden cried when he had to come inside, even though almost frozen. Darcy said not only did he enjoy being pulled around on a sled, but he also enjoyed creative play in the snow with his beach toys. What a novel idea.

My two grandsons, Carson and Garrett are close to Brayden’s age and they, too, had a ball in the snow this year. I think their dad enjoyed pulling them around on the four-wheeler as much as they enjoyed being pulled. Bailey, their 6 month-old chocolate lab, wanting to be part of the fun, followed them everywhere making paw prints in the snow.

Carson at four-years old is the oldest of my three grandchildren and as long as I can remember he has always asked the question, “Why?” After a morning of fun, Carson and Garrett went inside to take a nap. When Carson woke up, he looked out the window only to be disappointed and concerned. Puzzled about the disappearing snow, he asked his mom where it had gone and why.

In terms a child could understand, his mom, Kristin explained that snow falls from the sky as frozen crystals and after the sun comes out the snow begins to melt, turning into water. Kristin said when Carson heard that snow turns into water, his eyes grew really big. Of course, the next question was, “Why?”

Wouldn’t it be great if adults had that same since of wonder and amazement? Perhaps that’s why Jesus said we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. He knew children are willing to open their hearts to the world and people around them with a childlike trust and faith.

But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14, KJV)

Besides playing in the snow what have you done lately to rekindle a childlike sense of wonder and amazement? Are you willing to open your heart to those around you? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite #130: Nascar

Enjoying family day recently with Brad Keselowski at Penske Racing.

Enjoying family night recently with Brad Keselowski at Team Penske Racing.

Fun and Excitement

During the month of February, excitement builds as Nascar fans wait for the first race of the season, the Daytona 500. Before the glory days of Nascar, the race at Daytona took place on the sandy beach. Names such as Lee Petty and Fireball Roberts were associated with that no-holds barred kind of driving spectators lined the beach to see. Although looking back it’s obvious that kind of driving was dangerous, it was also what made it fun, fast and furious.

My husband, Michael, grew up learning about drivers such as Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. from his dad, Roger McCullough. Living close to smaller tracks like Hickory and North Wilksboro and not too far from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Roger developed a love and a passion for the sport he passed on to his family.

To show you how much of a fan he was, when Richard Petty changed from Chrysler to Ford in the late ’60′s, Roger became so upset he wrote a personal note to Petty telling him he was making a mistake. Perhaps knowing that letter would be an heirloom someday, Petty signed it and sent it back.

Even though in recent years Michael became disappointed with the direction Nascar was taking, he always loved a good race. That meant on Sundays after church he was glued to the television until the race was over. While it’s true he was a Chevy man through and through, having a son-in-law employed at Team Penske, Michael conceded if a Chevrolet driver couldn’t win, he was happy to see Penske drivers such as Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano in the winner’s circle. He would have loved family night this past November and the opportunity to meet them.

With all of this Nascar nostalgia, I suppose it would be fitting for me to include a memory of my own. While I’ve listened to many Nascar races on the radio with my dad and watched many on tv with Michael, the truth is I’ve only seen one in person. That race was Darlington, Labor Day weekend, 1983. With it being a two-hour drive, Michael and I drove down the day before, spending the night close by so we could get to the race track early. I don’t even know who won the race, but I’ll never forget Darlington because nine months later Kristin was born.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Nascar race or memory? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

Favorite #129: Tar Heels and Dean Smith

Pawpaw Mike, showing  off his love for the Tar Heels at a family get-together this past summer.

Pawpaw Mike, showing off his love for the Tar Heels this summer at a family get-together.

The Love of the Game

Growing up as a kid in North Carolina the winter months for me meant watching Tar Heel basketball with my dad. In his eyes, Dean Smith could do no wrong and as far as basketball goes, he was right. Well, as far as life goes, Dad was right, too, because just by example and interaction with players and fans, you knew Coach Smith was a man of integrity.

After I married my husband, Michael, it didn’t take long until I realized I would be spending many Saturday afternoons watching Tar Heel basketball with him just like I had with my dad. He, too, loved Tar Heel basketball and thought Dean Smith could do no wrong. The only difference between Michael and my dad was if the Tar Heels were losing, which didn’t happen often, Michael sometimes showed his emotions a little more than Dad.

While reading tributes to Coach Dean Smith this week, I saw several posts by friends sharing their thoughts. Children’s author, Marty Hartman made a comment about something he read that touched his heart, while Pastor Mack Jarvis shared a chance encounter. Both Marty and Mack gave permission to reprint their comments.

Mack Jarvis: When I was a freshman at Carolina in 1980, I had a lab that ran long and was late for an intramural softball game. I took what I thought looked like a short cut around the back side of Carmichael Auditorium. When I rounded a corner, there sat a Cadillac, with Dean Smith getting out of the driver’s seat. We were 10 feet apart, and I instinctively held out my hand and started making my  way towards him. I said, ‘Coach, it’s a honor to meet you.’ I told him my name and where I was from, and he said, ‘Thank you. It’s quite a treat to meet you as well.’ Seeing the glove in my hand, he said, ‘Good luck in your game.’ Gotta say, at 19, it was surreal. What a great man in so many ways. It’s only fitting that the sky today was that familiar color of blue.

For Mack to recall every detail of that chance encounter this many years later speaks volumes about Dean Smith not only as a coach, but as a role model to so many. Marty’s following comments stem from an account he read of Dean Smith inviting one of his future players to church with him.

Marty Hartman: Growing up in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s and being a Wake Forest fan, I will admit to never having much use for the UNC-Tarheels. I will also confess to the fact that as a teenager and a young adult Dean Smith was a coach that I loved to hate. That being said I was always aware of his vast basketball knowledge. I was even more aware of the integrity of Coach Smith that was larger than the man himself. It is in his passing and the many stories and specials that have been shared about him that I find myself very convicted and challenged by the life he lived. One such story that has particularly convicted and challenged me was a story that Charlie Scott shared about his official visit to the UNC campus while being recruited by Coach Smith to play basketball for the Tarheels.

For those of you that don’t know who Charlie Scott is, he was the first black scholarship athlete at UNC. In reminiscing on that official visit Charlie Scott shared a conversation he had with Coach Smith that weekend where the coach asked Charlie if he would like to attend church with him on Sunday. Why is that important and why has that particular statement impacted me in such a powerful way you might ask?

From someone that was very young but very much alive during this time period let me share a bit of history lesson with you. Charlie Scott attended UNC from 1967-70. This was a time in our history that integration was a new concept, especially for the south. This was a very influential white basketball coach of a major university located in a small town in the south asking a young black athlete to attend Sunday services while visiting the university that weekend. Seeing that integration was a fairly new concept to public schools and even the universities during this time period, I feel it safe to say that the congregation at Coach Smith’s church was not integrated at this time.

Think about all that Coach Smith risked being willing to take a young black athlete to church with him because that is where he felt he needed to be and he wanted the young man to join him. It has bothered me for some time that even some 45-50 years later that 11am on Sunday morning is still one of the most segregated hours during our week. Why is that? What am I doing to change that? Am I part of the solution or am I still part of the problem? What has to change in me before I can look past the color of a person’s skin, the way they are dressed, or where they live and see the need inside of them. The need to feel accepted for who they are no matter where they are. What is it going to take for me to treat everyone no matter who they are with the respect they deserve just like Coach Smith did? Whatever it takes to do it I’m there.

As you can see, Coach Smith is still affecting others today by prompting them to examine the purpose and moral fiber of their own lives. He taught the lesson well that it matters not how many wins or loses, but how you play the game. Coach Smith played the game both off and on the court with dignity and an integrity that will never be forgotten. If only there were more like him.

What are your memories of Coach Dean Smith? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicyms@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Dicy

www.dicymcculloughbooks.com

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