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August 07, 2018

"All The Girls Remember You, Jack!"

“All the girls remember you, Jack!”
                                                         (And so does Battle Creek)
Photo and copy by jim richmond
         Breakfast this morning with long time friend, Dr. Jack Mawdsley, arguably one of the best Superintendents in the history of the Battle Creek Public Schools and retired Vice President for Educational Programming at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
      A spry 89, Jack is sharp as a razor, funny, self-depreciating, and – most of all – in a very long love affair. 
     With wife of 66 years, Norma.
     (But who wouldn’t be, who knows the lady?)
          Jack was home on week’s leave, serving as a pilot with the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.  “I was lucky,” he said.  “I flew all 50 of my missions over the skies of Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.  (Not Korea.)”
          “I asked a friend, ‘Any girls I could take to the show while I’m in town?’”  His friend mentioned Norma, who attended the same high school, but 4 years behind Jack.  “I don’t think she’s going with the same guy anymore.”
          Jack called her.  “You probably don’t remember me,” he said to Norma on the phone.
          “All the girls remember you, Jack,” she replied, agreeing to go to the movies that night. 
           Jack showed up at Norma’s only to find Norma’s sister and friend sitting on the living room sofa, waiting to check him out. 
          Norma and Jack walked out and got in the taxi to go the movie.  The taxicab engine blew up, billowing smoke and fire, he recalled.
          “We walked to the movies.  Afterwards, I walked Norma home.  And we held hands.  I knew right then,this is the woman I want to marry.”
          Yes, 66-plus years later. 
          And the Mawdsleys are a well know and for many, never to be forgotten, couple and civic leaders in Battle Creek, having also raised two, school-teacher daughters who live in Holland and Traverse City, Michigan.
Photo Caption:  Dr. Jack Mawdsley (center) with friends and former Kellogg Foundation Colleagues, l to r, Jim Richmond and Laura Davis

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