Billy Bump loved Mrs. Bramlet! His Speech teacher had an active interest in him since the day that he signed up for her class. Mrs. Bramlet was from Tennessee and she love to regale the class with stories of her youth! She often told the story of her first day at college where the advisor, snidely, commented the he had never seen a student from Tennessee with shoes on her feet. Betty’s retort was that she explained the the shoes that she was wearing was the first pair of summer shoes that she had ever worn. She went on to explain that the shoes were for the purpose of making a good first impression!
Betty was a tall woman with a personality that far eclipsed her physical size. She was a kind person and she was extremely supportive of Billy! She loved his speeches…especially his impromptu ones. Billy was the only freshman in the class that was full of seniors and some juniors. Mrs. Bramlet wanted Billy to audition for the high school plays…and Billy wanted to do so. Billy believed that he could excel in theatre and with Mrs. Bramlet’s encouragement he was sure that he could do so! Billy was attending a pentecostal church during his high school years that did not ascribe to theatre or movies…or even television. Billy was torn…and understood that he was missing an opportunity for an advancement of his natural skills!
Some of the senior boys, initially, gave Billy a hard time as a matter of passage from being a freshman to a sophomore. They seemed difficult and intransigent until Mrs. Bramlet spoke to them and suddenly they were all Billy’s friends!
Mrs. Bramlet wanted Billy to be the public address system announcer for the Homecoming Football game. She did not want to take no for an answer. Billy accepted and he was energized the possibilities that the acceptance afforded!
However, the regular person for the announcing duties returned from an illness and Billy learned the he would no be needed…after all. He was both relieved and somewhat disappointed.
Billy knew that he had a future in communication! He was so fond of Betty Bramlet being his advocate! He wanted so desperately to be a communicator, whether in theatre or ministry or radio and he felt secure in Mrs. Bramlet’s constant approval and positive comments!
Mrs. Bramlet had married a man that was 20 years older than she. She loved him and spoke of him tenderly and she was stricken with a surprise illness! Soon she was in a wheel chair and Billy was sad…and he was frightened for her…and she soon passed away!
And, so Billy thinks of Mrs. Betty Bramlet often…and he reflects on her loving advice to him…and he wishes….that he had taken it!