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Thoughts of Ellen

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  • dianne.chidester@gvltec.edu
    It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts about Ellen Johnson s death. It just doesn t seem possible. She wrote an e-mail to me just before she left for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2011
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      It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts about Ellen
      Johnson's death. It just doesn't seem possible. She wrote an e-mail to
      me just before she left for the airport and her much-loved Asia
      meetings. She was planning trips to Hawaii and Omaha, visiting
      "Minnesota grandsons" and excited about the class she would teach during
      spring semester.

      I remember the first time I ever saw Ellen. It was at my
      first SACC meeting in Toronto. She walked into the room and people
      just gravitated to her like planets around the sun. I thought to
      myself, "Isn't she special?" As I got to know Ellen, I began to
      understand that what drew people to her was that she was truly
      interested in them and that she understood how precious life is.

      As many of you know Ellen and I became friends as roommates
      at AAA meetings and some SACC meetings. We spent lots of time together
      in New Orleans and had a great time having dinners with friends, dancing
      in the streets and a tour of New Orleans on Sunday morning before we

      Ellen was amazing at the AAA meetings. She was one of the
      few people I know who managed to "paper hop" effectively and
      efficiently. We would return to the hotel room after dinner and seeing
      the sights with friends and she would begin carefully studying all the
      paper titles for the next day and chart them in her ever-present
      notebook. Every now and then that wonderful laugh of hers would ring
      out and she would say to me, "Listen to this title!"

      Ellen's vivacious laughter, sparkling blue eyes, zest for
      life, commitment to anthropology, and love of others will be greatly
      missed and fondly remembered.


      Dianne Lynn Chidester, Assistant Professor

      Anthropology & Sociology

      Greenville Technical College

      P.O. Box 5616 MS 1042

      Greenville, SC 29607


      "You've got to be taught to hate and fear

      You've got to be taught from year to year

      It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear

      You've got to be carefully taught"

      --Rodgers & Hammerstein South Pacific

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