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Miss Roxie started the whole string of teachers

If a man can call his second wife by his first wife’s name, and she answers — not only without a frown, but full of understanding ….

Well, you get the picture.

When Harry Sifford wanted to point out the picture of Shive Elementary School in the Post to his wife and called her “Virginia” by mistake when they both know her name is “Louise,” why should anybody get mad? Or even frown?

Certainly not Louise.

“He was married to her for 53 years,” she says, “and that doesn’t hurt me at all. I understand.

“I was married to my first husband, Brown Taylor, 47 years and nine months,” and she knows she could make a mistake once in a while, too, even if neither of them can remember that she’s ever done it.

But they all cared about each other, so who should get hung up on something like that?

Not the Siffords, for sure.

Why, they’ve known each other forever but they’ve only been married for two years. Their second anniversary was on Dec. 23, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happy. They’re very happy.

Except Louise was disappointed because they’d just seen Wednesday’s paper with a story and pictures of the new Shive Elementary School that’s going up on Holshouser Road, south of Rockwell, and it’s named for Ethan Shive, who was principal of Dukeville, Bostian and Faith schools, and he had three sons who taught school.

“And I told Harry that it makes me disappointed,” Louise says, “because they always name Ethan Shive, and his three boys, Bobby, Billy, and Terry. Terry taught at Erwin and Bobby taught and was principal at Faith, and Billy was a principal at Norwood.”

But if you get right down to the bottom of it, Harry’s probably the only one who didn’t teach school. He was mayor of Granite Quarry and a Rowan County commissioner and area manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and all that was good but it didn’t have anything to do with the Shives family who get schools named after them.

But Ethan Shive was a teacher and taught Harry’s wife, Louise, who is now in her upper 70s, and his three sons, Bob, Bill and Terry, who were also teachers, and three granddaughters — Julie Donnell, Jana Thomas and Kathy White — who were teachers, but nobody said Miss Roxie Trexler was a teacher before she was married to Henry Shive, and they became Ethan’s parents. And she was a teacher. She taught at Park School.

“That sort of floored me,” Louise said. “They never have mentioned that his mother was a teacher, too — before Ethan!”

So if all those Shives, who’ve got a school named after them now, are going to forget Miss Roxie — well, it shouldn’t be.

And Louise just jumped into the conversation to get it straightened out.

And anybody can understand why that’s a whole lot more important than her husband calling her by his first wife’s name.

After all, Miss Roxie was the one who got them all started on being teachers and principals and getting schools named after one Shive or another.

But Miss Roxie quit teaching before she got married, so she never got a school named after her.

“And the Post has never said anything about Ethan Shive’s mother being the first one in the family,” Louise says, and she felt like it was her bound’n duty to straighten things out.

And obviously that was much more important than her husband getting confused by all the Shives who taught school and calling his second wife by his first wife’s name.

Contact Rose Post at 704-797-4251 or rpost@salisburypost.com.

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