Orchard of Educators”
and book signing
Traylor Scott Dorothy
Martha Peay Bentley
Ritch Watson Betty
Beth White Newman
Adair Roberts Grace
Margaret Brinkley Johnson
Robert L. Corley
Claude M. Walton
Ronald R. Johnston
Susan Salter Moon
first printing will be available. Reserve
your copy for September 14 by calling 770-567-4113 or email (subject: Orchard)
firstname.lastname@example.org. Some educators
will attend the event to sign their own photo page in the book.
Cost of book: $20.
History: Back in 1985, while pondering the possibility of entering the full-time
ministry, author Dwain W. Penn felt inspired to visit his fourth grade teacher,
Louise Scott, in her North Del Ray home in north Upson.
It turned out to be a rewarding afternoon of sharing an early supper
prepared by Scott in her kitchen and reminiscing about school days at
after the visit, Penn felt Scott’s impressive career was worthy of sharing
with the community through a newspaper feature.
Without seeking permission from the Times editor, Penn sat down and wrote
his first story from information gleaned during his visit.
He submitted his story in early January 2000 and Editor Kim Madlom was
delighted with the feature and the unique voice Penn used to convey the story.
Extremely edited for length, the story appeared before the first calendar
page of the new year was turned.
Three years after the Times
feature, Penn was anticipating the thirtieth anniversary of his high school
class and he desired to honor the collective memory of that group’s
experiences at R.E. Lee. God dropped
into his heart the name of Doris Watson, his senior English teacher at Lee.
Penn smiled as he recalled previous prose he had written about Watson for
his 2003 book “Give Me Time and I Will Tell You” in which he passed the time
in his English class thinking that Watson was a secret Russian agent sent to spy
on the academics of American students. Her
spy name was “Sirod Nostaw.”
same year, 2003, as Penn was composing his next “teacher feature,” he had an
extremely humorous encounter with Watson at the monthly meeting of the Retired
Educators Association luncheon. Penn
was telling Watson of his plans to publish a new book to mark his fortieth year
as a published writer and most of his compositions he wrote in Watson’s class
were to be featured. Intrigued (like
a good Russian spy), Watson inquired about the title of the book.
“Give Me Time and I Will Tell You” said Penn, unfortunately raising
the hackles of Watson as she felt the aspiring author was being impertinent.
She arched one of her eyebrows in disdain.
Seeing the gathering contempt, Penn quickly countered with “No,
that’s the title of the book.” Watson
expired with a hearty laugh and praised Penn for his wit.
Watson article appeared in the Times just weeks before the reunion to the
delight of many of Penn’s fellow classmates.
And since Watson was a Barnesville resident, Penn submitted the story to
the Herald Gazette and it was published to enlighten and entertain the folks in
the way, an additional half dozen or so educators were contacted about becoming
a subject in the series, but for one reason or another, they refused.
One was Eugene Rogers, an outstanding Physics teacher at Lee.
He was just too modest feeling that readers would not find his story
interesting. He did praise Penn for
his work and confessed that he enjoyed Penn’s unique talent for coming up with
the most difficult “first paragraphs” of each article.
the series reached beyond its halfway point, Penn ran into educator Susan Salter
Moon at her church, Smyrna Baptist, and she quickly heaped high praise on his
stories adding that many of his subjects were teachers that taught and inspired
her to enter the profession. Everything
clicked and Penn felt Moon would be the quintessential subject to close out his
series and be the final “chapter” in the anticipated book.
Unfortunately, he missed conducting an interview with the subject by a
mere two months.
mid-summer 2012, Penn called Moon’s resident to set up an appointment and got
the family’s answering machine. The
voice did not sound like Susan’s and he felt he had dialed the wrong number.
His postponement of a second attempt to contact her was detrimental to
the success of his plans as Penn learned the evening of
to honor his agreement with Moon, Penn contacted the family during the spring of
2013 and Susan’s husband, Richard Joe Moon, agreed to allow a story to be
written posthumously about Susan. The
result will thrill the most dedicated student of academics and of life.
And somehow, Penn feels that Susan is pleased to be a part of such an
impressive and spiritual project.
June 1998, Penn has operated a successful publishing company using binding
skills that God taught him. To date,
he has been blessed to bind and distribute (sell or give away) 1,500 books.
Please be patient with Penn if this project turns out to be more popular
than he anticipates. There will be
at least fifty books available for sale and signing on September 14.
If orders keep coming in, future books will contain “published”
signatures of all subjects as Penn plans to collect autographs from the
educators participating at the initial book signing.
Signatures of recently departed teachers have already been incorporated
in this first printing.
understanding is greatly appreciated.