In the early 60’s defying a racist teacher at my high school became my quest. Mr. Hall, who taught history, announced that he was the president of the John Birch Society and that he could not give a Jew more than a C grade, an Italian more than a D grade, and if you were black, you automatically failed.
I was determined to overcome prejudice at Springfield High School. I joined every club and sorority I could, shaming “them” into allowing me to be their first Jewish cheerleader and pledge.
I gave up my dream of becoming a famous gymnast, joined the cheerleaders and at the same time, started singing folksongs with two popular Irish Catholic boys. “We Three” as our folk group was called, soon learned enough songs to perform at The Pennsylvania Military College. We drew attention from a group there called “The Rumrunners.” And, not only did I get a date with one of the cadets, but best of all, I got asked to join the group who were looking for “a strong female singer.”
I accomplished everything I set out to do and this was before that fateful day when I met Jim Croce. I didn’t let prejudice get the best of me! And though I studied very hard, I really did deserve that “C” I got from Mr. Hall!