ATENCIîN CLASE, POR FAVOR! Dorothy was not the only one to land in Oz treinta anos ago. Maestro magnêfica Betty Parrett rode her beautiful balloon to Woodrow before The Carpenters had “Only Just Begun.” Check out her hairdo in the 1968 Crusader.

Coming from that Bad Apple (B.A.) school on The Other Side of the Lake, and fresh from Texas Tech, Ms. Parrett comenzoú trillin our Rs and conjugating our verbs in our Spanish classes.

She took over the sponsorship of the Pan-American Student Forum from Mabel, original faculty sponsor (1928), and started annual sojourns to San Antonio for its statewide conventions. I and many others have fond and hilarious memories of those trips: La Mansion (before it was chic), the Little Rhine Steakhouse, curfews and Coca-Colas (Áde veras!) and our senior class having its own riverboat on which we dined on delicacies from Casa Rio to the music of mariachis. ÁGuan-tan-a-meeer-a!

She has since expanded her range to taking students on tours of Europe. We only had her slides in our day, but she piqued our interests in everything from Eva Peron to Picasso – and the gory Goya. She sometimes taught Spanish III, IV and V in the same class. At the same time, she was cheerleader sponsor – Ámuy trabajo!

Her former students frequently use the skills they learned in her class often from the dreaded verb notebook copiously copied from the overhead projector. They can communicate in Cancun, take on the toros in Pamlona or the tomatoes in Bunol, or just keep up with Marêa Isabel on TV. But mostly, we remember her unique ability to impart Iberian information with a sense of humor. She was strict, but I remember one free day when we made a shark pinata – the days of “Jaws,” Àverdad?

She once showed me my grade in her book. This is a low, low, low, low A, she sardonically said, letting me know that she knew I could do better. I did.
The official name of the P.A.S.F. Woodrow chapter is La Estrella. it is apt, because Ms. Parrett, you truly are a shinking star.

Pobrecêtos! If you don’t understand the Spanish used herein, heed Ms. Parrett’s famous last words, There’s a wonderful thing in the back of the book called a dictionary.

Kyle Rains, neighborhood resident and Woodrow graduate, writes and the school and its alums. Send comments to him at 6301 Gaston, Suite 820, Dallas 75214; FAX to 823-8866.


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