a thousand words Beyond the Hill

Brian Wagner

She used to call it ‘Old Betsy,’ they said. It was the law in Miss Anna’s classroom, as was she.

Claudia Jordan, a former student, bought the wooden homemade job for $50 at an auction a few years back.

“It’s got all these names on it, but my name’s not on it,” Jordan said of the paddle that bore the names of its victims over the years.

In honor of Anna Greathouse’s 100th birthday, she received a yardstick with the fearsome title on it. She waved it around as she spoke to the judges, former students, family and friends who had gathered Tuesday in the lobby of the Christian Health Center on the newly proclaimed Anna Greathouse Day.

Though she did not once get out of her seat, she owned the room on her day. A stranger might have thought her 100th was a joke by the youthfulness that she radiated while telling stories of her years past, which brought smiles all around.

Moments after blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, Miss Anna said, “I want you all to work me up something I can do for the next 100 years.”

Brian Wagner is a senior photojournalism major from Knoxville, Tenn. He can be reached at [email protected]