Letters to the Editor
Former student seeks teacher
I am contacting you in reference to a former teacher of mine.
In 1981, my mother, sister, brother and I moved to your community from Birmingham. My parents had just gotten a divorce and my mother’s employer transferred her to the area.
It was a very difficult time for my siblings and I. We were dealing with the split of our parents then suddenly, we moved away from everything and everyone we knew. It was such a scary feeling moving to a new town, going to a new school and knowing no one.
My brother began attending Hartselle Jr. High, while my sister and I attended F.E. Burleson. I was in the fifth grade at the time.
On my first day at Burleson, I remembered how nervous I was. I was just hoping to fit in with my new classmates. As I walked into my assigned classroom, I was introduced to the person (outside of my family) who has had the most profound impact in my life. That person was a woman named Mrs. Barkley. Out of respect for her, I never tried to find out her full name. Mrs. Barkley was enough for me.
Sometimes, you can feel the love in someone’s voice that has a calming effect on you. That’s what I felt from the first time in spoke with Mrs. Barkley. I found out later, that she was the wife of a minister.
She just had a genuineness about her that flowed in the way she spoke to you. Mrs. Barkley knew the situation with my parents. What I remember most about that was Burleson had a spelling bee. I ended up placing third in that spelling bee and the Enquirer took a picture of those who placed in the contest. Mrs. Barkley cut out a copy of the article and laminated it so that I could send it to my father. That meant so much to me that as you can see, I’ve never forgotten it. There were also times when I had a difficult time adjusting to life after my parent’s divorce. She was always there to give an encouraging word to help me cope with the hurt if felt inside. We ended up moving back to Birmingham before my sophomore year in high school. In all these years, Mrs. Barkley has always been in my heart. Because of the love she had shown me, I now show that same love to others. I am currently serving as a police officer in my community. I am also a licensed Baptist minister.
I’m contacting you in order to ascertain Mrs. Barkley’s wherabouts. I never had the opportunity to tell her thank you and it has haunted me for a long time. If there is any way possible that you could assist me in finding her, I would truly appreciate it. I realize that there is a chance Mrs. Barkley has left this world forever. If so, I can accept knowing that God needed her to teach the children in Heaven. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and may God bless you.
(anyone with information is asked to send it to email@example.com)
Never too late to say thank you
February, two years ago, my life almost came to an end. I was attacked in my own backyard by two men who were vandalizing my property. I was held at gunpoint by one while the other slit my throat and then stabbed me in the stomach. I was born and raised in Hartselle and things like this just didn’t happen. It was like a nightmare to our family. However, we learned a valuable lesson; you don’t realize how important your local police department is until you need them. And, I have wanted to publicly say “thank you” for almost two years now, but it is not an easy thing to discuss. The morning my wife called 911, Investigator Robby Robinson and Patrolman Chip Reynolds responded to the call (among others). The immediate response and follow thru from these guys led to the rapid apprehension of the two suspects. They did a great job in tracking down and capturing the men who attacked and almost killed me. Sgt. Tony Fetner did an incredible job that morning as well.
My wife said he called multiple times while I was in emergency surgery to check on me. Investigator Alan McDearmond ended up with the case and presented it to the Grand Jury where the charges were upgraded. He did an excellent job presenting the case which led to the conviction of both men.
I am sure there are others who also worked my case two years ago, and to those of you whose names I am not aware of, “thank you” as well.
In 2007, I participated in Hartselle’s Second Annual Citizen’s Police Academy. This gave me an opportunity to get to know these officers even better, and it only increased my appreciation and respect for the job that they do and the service that they provide to our community.
We are blessed to have a wonderful dedicated group of men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve our city, a city in which I am still proud to live in.
I highly recommend the Citizen’s Police Academy to anyone who wants to know more about our police department and is willing to give of their time to serve our community. It was very informative, and I enjoyed learning about the inner workings of our department.
Again, “thank you” to the men and women who serve in our local police department.
Express your thoughts in a Letter to the Editor.
Send your thoughts to P.O. Box 929, Hartselle, AL 35640
or email to