It was the year of 1975, and I was in the second grade. That was when I was elected by my classmates at South Elementary in small town Cedar City, Utah to play the leading role in the "Nutcracker Suite." The two nominees were myself and the mayor's son. Even though I won the role, the mayor's wife was still gracious to glue my props on as needed. Eighteen lines was a great responsibility for a seven-year old, and I practiced faithfully each night after school. Fan mail was exciting to receive!The other children in the elementary wrote their critiques of the play and one boy questioned why I had a beard at times and only a moustache at others.
To this day, thirty five years later, when I see people who were in that play, we refer to each other by the names of characters in the play: the Mouse King, Fritz, Clara, and Pipsqueak will always be remembered.
Mrs. Melling was my teacher that year. She took me under her wing and bought me presents (for my surgery that year). She even took me for a ride to get a Cherry Tab, the drink of the 70's. Mrs. Melling truly understood my special circumstances of living with Crouzon's, and she made sure that I was treated with great kindness.