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  • Karen S. Clymer

Lotus To the Rescue


another 'Sprecious' (Special and Precious Memories='Sprecious') Memory

I remember with fondness the excitement of ordering that much coveted Fletcher High School class ring in my Junior year. I chose yellow gold with a black onyx stone because our school colors were black and white. The school mascot, a wildcat was engraved on one side, and the words, Diligence, Citizenship and Integrity engraved on the other side along with the year of graduation, 1966.

Now began the daunting task of paying for it. Twenty five dollars for the girls rings and $28.00 for the boys rings was a lot of money in 1965, creating quite a hardship for some. My mother insisted on paying the $5.00 deposit, but I was determined to pay for my class ring with my after school job as a janitor's helper. It wasn't much money, but if I managed it well, after paying for my lunch, [which consisted of a Coke and a candy bar], and miscellaneous expenses, I would have that prized Fletcher High School class ring paid for when they arrived in April.

Lotus Owen, the school secretary, would accept my small payments, even when it was a few cents and write me a receipt showing my new lower balance. THEN! It happened, one day I walked in to the office and handed Lotus a few cents that I had saved and when she started to write out the receipt showing the payment made and my new balance, her office assistant spoke to me with a voice dripping with sarcasm, "Karen, are you EVER going to get that class ring paid for?" Suddenly, my happiness turned to embarrassment and shame. Her caustic words made me feel like the lowest piece of humanity on the earth. Suddenly! before I could answer her, Lotus spoke up with a voice of authority to her assistant, "Cora", (not her real name), Karen will have her ring paid for when others will not." Words cannot describe what Lotus did for me that day. Her words wrapped me in a warm blanket of, validation. I continued making all the payments I could, no matter how small. Lotus did what she always did, accepted them graciously while writing out the receipt.

One February day while sitting in Mr. Lowell Anderson's History class, Supt. Kenneth Harrel walked into our class with a large box. The class rings had come in two months ahead of schedule. It was announced that ONLY those who had their rings, Paid in Full, got to claim their eagerly awaited Fletcher High School class ring. Those small payments I had made had brought my balance to ZERO. I proudly presented my receipt and was handed my ring which I put on immediately. I remembered what Lotus had told her office assistant, "Karen will have her ring paid for when others will not." That is exactly what happened. I still proudly wear my class ring every today.

Just as this 'sprecious' memory of Lotus Owen will always have a special place in my heart, it is my sincere hope that it will bring to your memory someone that reached out to you when you needed it most.

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