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I must confess

By Ralph Hood

My mother once worked for the Russians! Horrors!

Well, actually, it was only one Russian.

The Russians had been on our side during World War II. They sent a Russian to Brunswick, Georgia, to learn more about big business in the United States.

The Russian could — to some extent — speak English. He wanted to learn more. The company called my father, who was superintendent of schools. He said his wife — my mother —could help the Russian improve his English better than anyone else.

Mother took the job. She met the Russian man on the front porch of the then-famous Oglethorpe Hotel. He read the newspaper — she helped explain it.

Mother once asked him about the difference between the Russians and the Americans. The Russian quickly said, “The women.” Mother then asked what is the difference between Russian women and American women? He said, “Russian women are thick. American women are not thick.”

Mother loved that story.

The truth is, Mother could do most anything. During World War II the government wanted women to work. The women wanted to work, but who would take care of their children?

The government wanted schools set up to take care of the young children so the mothers could work.

The state government of Georgia called my father again. Once more, Daddy gave the job to Mother. The government of Georgia kinda wondered how mother was doing her job. After all, Daddy hadn’t asked anyone else.

After visiting Mother on the job, the government tried to hire her to travel the state teaching people how to set up these schools.

Mother declined. She had young children herself.

Mother then taught Latin and English at the high school level. One member of the board of education did not think it was wise for Daddy to hire his wife. During that time, the board member’s son went to college. He came home for a visit and told his father that Mrs. Hood’s classes had made college easy for him.

The father apologized to my father.

Later, a college was built in Brunswick. Daddy was one of those who helped that college take place. One of the college leaders told Daddy the college could never have made it without Daddy’s help. Then the college leader asked if they could now help Daddy.

Daddy said yes they could help him by hiring Mother to teach at the college. The man from the college was amazed. They hired her immediately.

You know, maybe I should write a column about Daddy.

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