CAT Tracks for January 2, 2021

Long-time employee of Cairo School District Number One, Charlotte Arington, passed away at home today, surrounded by family and friends, after an extended illness. Charlotte was 74.

Charlotte did two tours as a science teacher at CHS/CJSHS, the first from 1983 until 1993, the second from 1998 until 2007...the year she retired from education. But, actually, she came back the next two years to teach on a part-time basis.

From The 1983-84 Egypti

From The 2006-07 Egypti

2007 Retirees Pictured in #3

On a more personal note...

I was blessed to have Charlotte as a friend.

During our "school years", we would socialize with our tight-knit group of fellow teachers. While the others went shopping, Steve Dain (lost on New Year's Day in 2007), Charlotte and I would camp out in the nearest bar. In later years, our "retired teachers group" would meet often for "eating festivities", frequently at Charlotte's favored Mexican food restaurants.

After many years of arm twisting, I finally accepted a standing invitation to join the "traveling retired teachers club", enjoying days of sightseeing, lounging, and, yes, the much anticipated eating festivities.

Speaking of "camping out in the bar"...

My other friends gave up adult beverages, leaving Charlotte and I to CHEERS! each other up. I preferred "heavy" beers while Charlotte stuck with her ice-cold Bud Light on tap. I will always remember, after taking the first sip of our chosen draft beers in frosty mugs, Charlotte's inevitable exclamation: "Oh, that's so good!" Good times, old friends:

    Old friends
    Old friends
    Sat on their park bench
    Like bookends
    A newspaper blown through the grass
    Falls on the round toes
    On the high shoes
    Of the old friends

    Old friends
    Winter companions
    The old friends
    Lost in their overcoats
    Waiting for the sunset
    The sounds of the city
    Sifting through trees
    Settle like dust
    On the shoulders
    Of the old friends

    Can you imagine us
    Years from today
    Sharing a park bench quietly?
    How terribly strange
    To be seventy

    Old friends
    Memory brushes the same years
    Silently sharing the same fear

    Lyrics by Paul Simon

"How terribly strange to be seventy"...


Charlotte, my dear "old friend", I bought a six-pack of bottled Bud Light...

...sadly, I can't go to Los Amigos and order a draft during these pandemic times, times which kept us apart during your final year...

...but I've just popped the top, poured it into a frosty mug, and as I send out this missive in your honor, all I can add is:

Cheers, Charlotte!

For all you did for students in Cairo and elsewhere (in public schools, and Catholic schools as a nun), for the joy and the love you brought to your family and friends...

...this Bud's for you!

See you on the other side...