Mr. Walker was a verb kind of teacher

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Muffler Shop Musings

By Ricky Swindle

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My friend and Lodge brother Mark Shields, along with the Enid Lake Baptist Church, is once again sponsoring the Batesville Christmas Parade after a 2020 hiatus because of Covid.

There is an application that has to be attended to if you, your church or civic group would like to participate. The theme for this year’s parade is “Christ, The Hope For Christmas”. All entrants are asked to adhere to the Christian theme.

If you would like to join in, call Mark at 662-934-1006 and I will assure you he will be more than happy to help you participate.

I would like to thank Mark and all the great folks at Enid Lake Baptist Church for taking on this major event for our town.

There is a lot of work that goes on to bring together a local parade and sometimes folks will more or less take it for granted.

I had the honor this past Sunday to be an honorary pallbearer for Mr. Guy Walker, Jr. 

Mr. Walker meant a lot to me not only the four years I was his student in agriculture at South Panola but my entire life.

On hearing of his passing, I looked up the word teacher in the dictionary. The first thing I read I disagreed with as it said the word teacher is a noun. 

If you we’re fortunate enough to have had a class with him in the 33 years he taught you would know teacher Mr. Walker was not a noun. 

Mr. Walker was a verb because a verb has action. Mr. Walker was action.

Coach Willis Wright among others there at the service was also an honorary pallbearer. I told Coach about my first discipline experience with Mr. Walker back in my high school days.

He in turn told me about the same fate his son Jack experienced with Mr. Walker, so I feel I’m in very good company along with probably a lot of ya’ll reading this column.

I, being a ninth grader at 14 years old, had been rude to another teacher and that person sent me to Mr. Walker because he was my advisor. 

Mr. Walker spoke softly and sternly all the while staring me down with his piercing blue eyes. He let me know that I had disappointed him with my unruly behavior, and it would not be tolerated being his student.

After the sermon, he gripped his board and quietly said “I’m gonna need you to bend over for a second, Ricky”. 

Now, in my day, you took what was coming to you from a teacher at school and you prayed that your parents didn’t find out what happened because if they did, they we’re not coming to the school to form a picket line, scold your teachers and seek their early retirement as happens these days. 

It would be a bigger penalty laying to wait for you at your residence if you embarrassed your parents who sent you to school to receive an education.

With three sharp licks from the board that laid on my young behind so quickly that I did not know what happened, it was over in a split second. I stood up, my backside was too much in shock to actually hurt at the moment and all I could feel was heat.

 “Are you mad at me?” he said. “Do you think you are going to cry?” 

 I just stood there not knowing really what to do. He sets the board down, put his arms around me and hugs me. 

And of all things he says “Ricky, I love you son and I know you have learned a valuable lesson today. Go on out in the shop and cry if you need to. We will all be out there later on to work”.  

That’s been better than 40 years ago, and I still vividly remember that day. Mr. Walker was my teacher, my instructor and he was doing his job to make me a better person. I even understood that then when I was a child.

Later in life when I became a Master Mason, Mr. Walker was there the night I received my degree. I did not know he was a Mason and to find out that night that not only was he my teacher, my lifelong friend, but now he was my brother, was very satisfying for me.   

Bro. John Howell and Bro Tommy Snyder did an excellent job delivering Mr. Walker’s services at First Baptist on Sunday. 

I would like to add one more verse to their now past sermon, and it is Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Mr. Walker trained a lot of children in his life – time and I am fortunate to be one of them. There are a lot of us around this County who have benefitted from our training and education from Mr. Guy Walker Jr.

Mr. Walkers journey on this earth is over. I say farewell my brother, and end this article with the last line of our Masonic burial service :

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. The will of God is now accomplished. Amen.