This week, Ms. Neel, an Adventist teacher of 44 years and PAA music teacher for 31 of them, embarked on her last music tour. Linda Neel has been chair of our successful Music department for 31 years. Over the years she has taught classes like P.E. and Careers, has coached sports teams, and led many important committees. She retires at the end of this school year. But we know she’ll never retire from loving PAA.
Here is an excerpt from a facebook post she shared the night before her last big trip.
“Well, tomorrow begins my 44th and last music tour. I most likely will do a happy dance when I get home in a few days! I think as I get older I realize more clearly the responsibility that comes with taking a large group (over 100 kids) on a 5 day trip.
Oh so many memories…
The very first one to Colorado with my Bakersfield kids. I’m taking one of those kids (Suzie Henderson Bailey) with me as a chaperon on this year’s trip. She got the first, last, and several in between. Another trip took us to Colorado with “the Young Believers.” Band and Choir trips while teaching in SUA in Sacramento and taking my little sis on tours with me.
And how about the ‘Blue Goose’ and the wild trip down the mountain with my Milo Gang? No transmission and no brakes! Talk about guardian angels!
Some of you will remember Noni scooting off the bench at a restaurant in Canada.
A trip to Monteray Bay and laughing so hard in a concert that we got a standing ovation. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Bus rides to California and Canada, ferry rides to Victoria, the Chicken Dance, little kids directing the band, Kingston standing at attention while the band played. And Alan grabbing Caleb and running when our bus hit a light pole in the Mariners stadium parking lot.
PAA kids playing music on the streets in San Francisco and making some pretty good cash.
Kayaking with the boys and watching them claim their own Island in Canada.
All night bus rides, sleepless nights.
Pounding on the wrong motel door and scaring an elderly couple who quickly packed their bags and left the motel.
Our bus breaking down. Mcgyver Mike. Crazy cooked roads, and, confiscating pizza at 1am, (it sure was delicious!).
Pikes market – ’cause it’s Steve’s favorite place – and baseball games. Did someone kidnap Dawn? I think not!
Getting lost, getting lost, getting lost…
…traveling with some of the most fantastic parents, teachers and bus drivers who have given me such amazing support. You will always be my very dear friends and couldn’t have done it without you!
I could go on and on but I need to get a little sleep before the last trip begins tomorrow. Three buses, three cars, a big suburban, our massive RV kitchen, three trucks pulling trailers, and 107 kids singing loudly as they roll down the road.
If you see us, wave! Keep us in your thoughts and prayers the next few days and from the bottom of my heart to all of my kids and crazy adult chaperons…
Thanks for the memories!”