Karen Fitchpatrick Cool Guitar Purse - Un No. 19
This entry was posted on October 24, 2015.
Xmas Gifts for Music Lovers - - We Met at the Oak Ridge Coffee Concert Series
Karen Fitchpatrick uses our Red Elegance Guitar Purse as her concert going purse - "A delighful design and the perfect size", she says. Violettes considers these bags to be perfect Xmas Gifts for Music Lovers.
I met Ms. Fitchpatrick toting the well loved Ruth Martin to an Oak Ridge (Tennessee) Coffee Concert, another of the Knoxville area best kept "other music city" secrets. I believe the thrilling Soiree Winds performed at that concert. I am not joking - it was a thrill to hear their music, finally! Several months later, I was introduced to Ms. FP again by Bob Grimac at Ruth's Memorial Service. She said she bought a purse from me, so I set up an interview to meet this very cool (guitar purse) lady.
Ms. Fitchpatrick taught Spanish and Biology at Clinton High School for 32 years, then worked for 13 years for the Migrant Head Start Program. This was a program for the ages 6 months thru 5 year old children of field workers in farm areas of Tennessee. She was a family service coordinator "helping to keep the children from having to spend all day rolling in tobacco leaves". The children usually help parents in the fields. For babies, they make shade from plants or leave them in the car. The real problem comes if there is a federal inspection. Children are not allowed in fields, and it might mean a fine for the grower. While working for the Head Start Program, she started also teaching non-credit Spanish Classes at UT night school. She generally had 2 1/2 classes filled. So she taught the half class spill overs at home.
Violettes asks: How did you learn Spanish so well?
Ms. FP says she went to Oak Ridge High School. Previously, students went overseas for 6 month exchange programs, but it was changed to one year when she applied. Many students applied! Options were to go to Europe, Japan and South America. Out of all these brilliant people in the Oak Ridge High School, she was the only one accepted, because everyone wanted to go to Europe! She had applied to go to Argentina in 1963.
Violettes asks: Was Oak Ridge High the high level elite school that it is today?
Ms. FP says even more so. She thought that she was not very smart until she got to college and could do very well in biology. Everyone in Oak Ridge High School got 800's on their SAT, and she had compared herself with those high school students.
Violettes asks: What are you doing now, and have you made it back to any Spanish speaking countries?
Ms. FP says she has volunteered places where they need Spanish translation. There is a lot of need at Lonsdale Elementary School in Knoxville, TN. There are so many activities there when parents come in and can't speak English. Fifty percent of those students are from Guatemala, and 20 percent are from Burundi. I am astonished to hear this. I had no idea!
Ms. FP Volunteers at "Ladies of Charity" where they provide emergency food and clothing to anyone needing them. They also have a big need for her Spanish skills.
Ms. FP loves helping people with their language barriers. It is a special way to get to know people, and it feels good.
Ms. FP has never made it back to visit any Spanish speaking countries.
Violettes asks: What next?
Ms. FP says she likes to keep busy. She is considering applying to be a substitute teacher at Lonsdale Elementary School. That sounds like a match!!