Gallons and Gallons Of Tea

Posted by Jeffrey Griffin on 10/12/2014 5:00:00 AM

Virginia passed away this week. Virginia was our family's best friend for thirty-five years or so.
Big Red. Miz J. Virginia Terry Johnson. 
I'll not claim this moment to say all that must be said. This is not about Jeffrey. Or Terry. Or Ginger. Or Michael. It is, as it plainly should be, about Virginia. A life well-lived if one ever was.
Virginia was a school teacher, among many things. And a church choir director. Two roles with which I am long familiar.
Virginia taught chorus at Carver High School and at least "fitdee-leven" elementary schools. "Fitdee-leven." A Blanche Poole phrase. Don't dwell on it. Just accept it and keep reading.
Virginia was a part of the Summer Enrichment Program with C. Douglas and Maggie and Uncle Larry and Gretchen.
She took kids to church. She took kids to contests. She took kids to Krispy Kreme. She took kids home. I was sitting there many times when a grown man would stop at our dinner table and pop the question, "are you Miz J?"
Virginia always, ALWAYS, peered over her bifocals and replied "tell me your name and what are you doing?"
It cost nothing to be kind.
The conversation would end and Virginia would invariably explain to the Mayflower waitress, "I taught that young man. Isn't he handsome? Now, this is my friend Margaret. She teaches at North Forsyth and this is her son Jeffrey and we need gallons and gallons of tea."
Big Red. Miz J. Virginia.
Hers was a life lived out loud. She was bold. She was brash. She was outspoken. She was opinionated. She was talented. She was fun. And she told the best stories! My Lord, but the woman could tell a tale.
I miss Virginia. We need tea. Gallons and gallons of tea.