I arrived at the library to find this art display extending thirty feet along the sidewalk. This immediately prompted memories.
Forty years ago this fall we opened a new school campus housing an elementary school and a middle school. Quite early in the year, an art teacher asked me if she might allow the children to do chalk drawings on the walkways in an inner courtyard between the library and the fifth grade classrooms. I thought it a splendid idea, and the kiddos went to work. What talent, what effort, what a lot of colored chalk they used! I was invited to view the final result. I surveyed the entire area very carefully and with real appreciation. The kids eagerly awaited my assessment. "It is gorgeous, it is fantastic!" I exclaimed, then proceeded to comment on each area of work. "What about this one? Do you like this?" It was an exciting moment in life of a new school and a new school year.
At 12:35 the following morning the phone awakened me. Heart thumping, mind racing, for a call this time of night had always been bad news in my experience, I picked up the receiver and managed to mumble a "hello."
"Lacy," a voice demanded, "did you authorize that disfigurement of the grounds that that art teacher allowed in the courtyard?" Before he finished the question I realized it was my boss, the Superintendent of Schools. Hastily determining that conservation of words and the briefest and most honest answer would best serve the situation, I replied, "Yes, sir. I did." He grunted a "Huh," and said, "Goodnight, then."