October 26, 2012
To the editor:
I am a longtime fan of Mrs. Van Meter, beginning with her encouragement of my writing abilities as one of her senior students at Williamson High School (the old glorious building) during the 1964-65 school year.
No other teacher gave me the individual recognition and encouragement that she did, and it gave me the self-esteem and courage to attend Marshall University for almost three years, majoring in English, with her as my role model.
I never took the time to let her know how much her encouragement and belief in me mattered, as I was a shy student always. Seeing her on national TV, during the Hatfield-McCoy interviews made me realize what an important influence she had in my life.
I ended up in a career writing financial and construction proposals for executives in a large, nationwide telecommunications company, thanks to her encouragement of my abilities. I am retired now, have two grown children, and spend time in both Florida and my retirement home in Montana.
She will always be remembered as the first person to acknowledge me as a human being with a talent that should be explored, and I will always be grateful to her!
By the way, my family is McCoy. My grandmother ran a business, the Phoenix Grill, for many years in Williamson. Her name was Rebecca Burgess McCoy Maynard.
— Jennifer (Maynard) Cutter