During the past couple of weeks I have been grieving and praying for the people of Baton Rouge. Liz and I spent four years there and I went back for another summer to study German. Our children, Suzanne and Michael, were born in Baptist Hospital there. Baton Rouge is a beautiful, friendly city. The staff at the Cerebral Palsy Center and the folks at Goodwood Baptist Church, where I taught an adult Sunday school class, opened their hearts to us. The faculty of the Speech Department at LSU were some of the finest people I have had the privilege of knowing. You cannot imagine the friendliness and the professionalism of that department.
We were there during the anxious days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and I was asked to teach oral English to many of the Cuban refugees. It was during the time that “Sing Along with Mitch Miller” was on television and my course quickly became known as Speak Akong with Mitch. Paula Eagle, director of the Cerebral Palsy Center, Sally Coperthwait, occupational therapists and I were in Dallas the weekend that President Kennedy was assassinated and Jack Ruby was shot. We were attending the convention of the National Cerebral Palsy Association.
We were very tempted to stay in Baton Rouge. We had developed so many friendships. I also had a private practice and was teaching in the Speech Department in addition to being a graduate student. The invitation to come to Charleston was too challenging to pass up. It was the right move for us, but Baton Rouge and its wonderful people still have a place in my heart.