As far as I could tell, my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Marion Chadwick, was obsessed with two things: choral music and math. 5th grade was particularly memorable for me because for the first – and last – time in my K-12 trek through the Bellevue public school system, I became a teacher’s pet.
This warm relationship with Mrs. Chadwick was not due principally to my math skills, which I remember to be amongst the better of us kids in class but clearly not at prodigy levels. No, it was because of my lovely pre-adolescent singing voice. I was the only boy in class who would sing out loudly and in key. There was courage in that for a 5th grade boy, and I rather liked the appreciation it engendered from not only the teacher, but a certain tall, bespectacled girl named Marcy.
Mind you, I didn’t act solely to advance Marcy’s admiration per se, but it was a boost for the ego. I felt, along with her, like an intelligent, capable, and well-mannered kid.
One sunny spring day, Mrs. Chadwick announced that she arranged for us an outing to the Seattle Center to attend a live performance at the Opera House of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” I was quite excited by the notion of driving to the big city to attend a classical performance in an ornate show hall.
I got all dressed up for the actual event. Even had on slacks, a sports jacket, and tie – perhaps for the first time in my life. Mrs. Chadwick had our seat assignments arranged and I was placed in an aisle seat. My neighbor to the right was a petit dark-haired beauty named Melanie. Even by 5th Grade, there emerged differences between the cool kids, pushing adolescence, and shy nerds like me. Prior to “The Barber” Melanie had not given me a look or thought. But as we walked together and sat together for hours, she generously gave me her attention.
I knew Melanie to have a middle school boyfriend. I was pretty sure she had actually kissed a boy. She was out of my league and I hadn’t even entered a league to be out of. But for the next couple of years, we at least had “The Barber” as a connection.
I asked Mom and Dad to buy me that opera album and I played it repeatedly. Not exactly a coming-of-age story, but every time I hear “The Barber,” I think of a sweet moment when a nerd and a hot chick shared a dollop of haute culture together.
 Little was I to know that after retirement Marion Chadwick would become a champion swimmer! https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=marion-kerr-chadwick&pid=147981777