The Plant City High School Players' presentation of The Diary of Anne Frank was scheduled at the right time for Mr. Blount's Class, right in the middle of our Holocaust unit of study and the day after our visit with Holocaust survivor Mr. Salomon Wainberg. So we decided to take an after school field trip to the Thursday night performance. There were twenty students, parents, and friends in our group, and we met at the PCHS auditorium for a powerful performance.
The Plant City High School auditorium held many memories for me. For one, it was the very stage where I performed many times as a junior at PCHS during the 1974-75 school year. Secondly, it was great to see many of my former students such as Kristin, who greeted me and sold me my ticket at the box office. Kristin has a beautiful voice and sings with the vocal ensemble Montage at PCHS. It is the same group, formerly named Opus I, that I sang with when I was in high school. I didn't teach Brad and Robby, but I taught Brad's brother Chris and I knew Robby from the Tomlin hallways. I have great memories of the year I taught Alix and Allie. No one enjoys a laugh quite like Alix; I can still picture her with her head thrown back cheering our knight during the Medieval Times field trip that year. And how could I forget Allie? I remember thinking the first day she sat at her desk in my classroom that she had the biggest smile I had ever seen. (Her brother Jeff is in my class this year.) Victoria, Michael, and Ashley are three of the five Watkins siblings I taught. Ashley is a former Strawberry Queen and currently attends Southeastern University, my alma mater. Allie, a senior at PCHS, was not at the play because she was on her way to the Miss Florida USA pageant. Joie Cleckler, first cousin, played Margot Frank in the play. Victoria and Michael are the youngest members of the Watkins clan, all of whom were great students when they were in my class.
The Plant City Players gave an amazing performance. Hats off to PCHS, Mr. Frost, and the entire cast of The Diary of Anne Frank!
I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.