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Thursday, July 16, 2015

As anyone who has followed the hundreds of columns I have written over the years will agree, Miss Louise S. Baird, the vocal music teacher at Hamilton High School during Judy Britton Glover and Tom Glover's attraction to this incredible lady has left an indelible impression on both our lives. Those of us who were privileged to have been in her music classes as choral singers will agree that we not only learned how to sing in 8 part harmony, we also learned about the cultural and theological aspect of living. After we graduated together in 1951, my dear wife Judy and I maintained almost daily contact with Miss Baird, or as she was known to her very closest friends, "Ouise" pronounced "Weeze." At the time of our graduation in 1951 Miss Baird was caring for her aging mother and it was that summer that she passed away, leaving Ouise alone and very lonely. Judy and I loved being with her as she taught us the wisdom of the ages as seen in the 5 or 6 scrapbooks that she kept with notable quotations from the likes of Helen Steiner Rice, Kahlil Gibran and other deep thinkers. She also had a delightful piano in her Hamilton Avenue apartment and would always sit down and play our favorite musical pieces. Judy's was "Traumeri," and mine was the "Moonlight Sonata." To be honest, Ouise is largely responsible for the man I have become. She has left me with memories of some of her quotes which she said every man should live by. Three of them are alive and well in my lesson on living: "Greatness is Humble," "The true test of a man's character is what he would do if he would never be found out," "Though you travel the world over in search of the beautiful, you must carry it with you or you find it not," and this gem from Keats: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases. It will never pass into nothingness."

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