Remembering Lesson Taught by JESS Principal Roy Sewer

Dear St. John,

I just learned of the passing of Roy Sewer. Another one of the old-guard is gone.

Like so many others, his sister Miss Agnes, the Keating twins and Theovald “Mooie” Moorehead, Mr. Roy affected my life and taught me lessons. I would like to take this opportunity to relate one story.

I think I was about six years old. There was some kind of thing going on at the Julius E. Sprauve school. Parents were mingling, kids were running around. I was one of the ones running.

My mother and Mr. Roy were talking. I ran between them. Mr. Roy grabbed my arm and pulled me aside. There, in front of my mother and anyone else who happened to be within ear-shot, he gave me a very stern lecture on proper social etiquette.

In essence these were his words. “Never pass between two people who are speaking to each other. Always go around them. If you can not go around them wait for a pause in the conversation, say ‘excuse me,’ then slip between as quickly as possible.”

My mother stood there and never said a word. She was perfectly content to have Mr. Roy rebuke me. In a way, it was like having an uncle correct my behavior, for hadn’t my mother and he grown up together and been life-long friends?

To this day I am careful about going between two people when they are speaking to each other.

A few years back my sister and I took Mr. Roy to breakfast. I am glad to say I was able to tell him about the lesson he taught me. Of course he didn’t remember it, and we had a good laugh.

I will miss his elegant presence, his smile and his wisdom.

Bish Curtin
daughter of Erva Clair Denham
grand-daughter of Erva Boulon