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The Baldwin School: Yesterday and Today

The Baldwin School, Yesterday and Today

Interviews

Janice Clark
Clip 1—Memories of Miss Baldwin

JD: Can you sum up Miss Rosetta in a few words, how you remember her?

JC: An angel of love. And if you wanted to be another--what is that nun over there that was overseas?

JA: Mother Teresa?

JC: Yeah. Twin sisters. I’m serious. That would sum her up, truly.

JA: She must have been an incredible woman.

JC: Honey, I don’t think paper could hold all the stuff that that woman did that they didn’t--that nobody’s ever written about. I mean, how many people at ninety-two can play basketball? She could. And she would of still been walking and going on had she not had a wreck. She had a car wreck and it messed up her knee.

JD: When was that?

JC: That was years, years, years. She was in her nineties, going in her nineties then. And she had a car wreck and it broke her leg. And that messed up her knee, which stopped her from driving, which caused her to limp from then on, you know, after it got well and everything.
But honey, she would get out there and play basketball like the rest of them, sure would. I mean, and then she’s always going. You know, going to the nursing homes, taking the children, you know, out during the holidays door-to-door singing carols. Coming to the nursing home singing carols and things like that.
There was so much she would do, you know. You would say, “Miss Rosetta, you got to slow down.” “No, if I slow down that’ll be the end of it. If I stop, that’ll be the end of it.”
And I believe that’s what happened after, you know, she realized that she couldn’t go no more. Her heart was broken, really. I think that really just gave her the will to say, “Okay, there’s nothing left for me to do now.” Because she couldn’t go back and forth to the school with the children. She couldn’t do what she used to do with the children. And that just, I think that really just broke her heart. It really did.
But she was incredible. If I was on my second generation of children, I would send my children to her to teach. I really would. She was just--because she would just take you up under there, and the wisdom, you know, and the way she would talk to the children, you know.
Children would just confide in her, you know. And the parents would say, “Miss Rosetta, they didn’t tell me.” She would say, “I know, I know they didn’t. But I’m telling you because they’re telling me.”
She would tell you how to--you know, the proper way to do this and the proper way to do that. And if you followed her guidelines it’d come out right. But if you said, “I’m going to go at this a little different from her,” it’d fail every time, every time. You summed it up, when you say Mother Teresa, she would be her twin sister.

JD: So she was still vibrant at the end of her life when she was in her nineties. What was she like--

JC: [laughs]. Honey child, seeing her--have you seen anybody, you know--they called it the potato sack race?

JD: Yes.

JC: She’d get in the potato sack race and win [laughs]. Something you can imagine.

JD: Would she race her students?

JC: Yes, yes, and win! Yes sir, we put the egg on the spoon. She’d do that too and she’d win. So that’s how vibrant she was.