This post is eleven years late. Jim and I are very fortunate. We had fabulous teachers in high school. Madame Lee Pivornick was one of them. She taught French and English. Jim was in her French class and we both had her for senior English. She was elegant and eccentric. She wore silk , chiffon, high heels and a French twist. (This may not have been the fashion of the day, but she had her own definition of hip.) She expected excellence and good manners. She was classy. She loved Europe and the United States. She loved Las Vegas. Her enthusiasm and upbeat attitude just bubble in her writing - she wrote a book called Continental Fling. Jim and I found a copy in Special Collections at UNLV yesterday. We had so much fun going through it. It was a travel guide written in 1965. She flew from Las Vegas to New York and then cruised across the Atlantic to Europe. The captain and crew on the ship were French. Champagne was served at dinner. There is a photo of Madame on the bridge with the captain. She is steering the ship. She said that she and Madame de Gaulle are the only people besides the captain who got to steer the ship. She said that the passengers were all practicing their French with the crew and learning new words on the way over to Europe.
In addition to teaching high school, she taught French at UNLV (Nevada Southern University at the time) and she wrote travel columns for the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review Journal. She was the French Club advisor at Las Vegas High School. She took the French Club to France in the summer.
As adults, Jim and I talked several times about contacting Madame, but we never did. Oh, how I wish we had. She died in 1999. I wish I had thanked her for getting Jim through French grammar and getting us both through Great Expectations and Macbeth. Most of all, I wish I had told her how I admire the way she lived her life. She was so special and she did exactly what she wanted to do. She was a superb teacher. I hope she was happy in her personal life. Jim and I think she must have been. She did so much traveling and in class, she never seemed to have a bad day. That has to be a sign that all parts of your life are good.
We took notes on Parisian restaurant recommendations she made in Continental Fling. Paris is on our list. When we go there, we're going to one of the restaurants she recommended and we will drink a toast to Madame.