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Memorable teachers spring to mind in the fall.
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By Edie Gross
EVERY FALL, as
Coach Brown often rises to the top of that list, not because he was one of my favorite teachers--he most certainly wasn't--but because he was one of the more infamous ones.
Coach Brown was my driver's ed instructor during my junior year of high school.
About a week into the class, he stopped by my desk, gave me a hard stare and declared, "You know, redheaded women make the worst drivers."
I'm not sure how he came by that information. Google wasn't even invented yet, and our vintage 1960s-era textbook didn't have any color photos so you couldn't differentiate the bad redheaded drivers from the bad brunettes.
When we'd practice our techniques on the driving range next to the high school, we had to keep our car radios tuned to the Coach Brown station so he could bark at us from a nearby tower via a microphone.
You'd be attempting a highly complicated reverse serpentine through a phalanx of orange cones when you'd hear his unmistakable Southern drawl ooze from the car's speakers: "Gray Cavalier, what're you doin'?"
At any given moment there'd be about a half-dozen of us driving around the range, and because the insides of these "practice" cars never matched the outsides, we'd all be wondering the same thing: Am I in the gray Cavalier?
It was important to figure that out before Coach Brown got agitated enough to climb down from the tower, amble onto the course and dress you down in person.
For the record, Coach Brown, despite your dire prediction, I've maintained a spotless driving history--if for no other reason than to prove you wrong.
Not all my teachers were quite as judgmental. I had Mrs. Johnson for kindergarten. I liked her because she didn't make fun of me when I told her I had an ear infection on my finger. In those days, I thought any infection--regardless of its location--was called "an earinfection."
I was also convinced, and still am, that when she wasn't busy preventing us from eating glue, she was moonlighting as Wonder Woman.
Naturally, I based this assumption on irrefutable evidence: Her hair was the same length, color and thickness as Wonder Woman's.