On Sunday, July 12, 2009, there was a celebration for Robert W. Peebles, former Superintendent of ACPS. As Bob was the founder of “Peebles Pebbles”, a great little jazz combo, there was music – great New Orleans style jazz. Bob would have loved it!
There was laughter and fond remembrances of the man who was the right leader at the right time. The Mayor spoke, former students sent paeans for the teacher that stirred their minds and hearts 50 years ago.
Fellow superintendents, such as Bud Spillane, gave professional and personal plaudits and stories – Bob would have loved it.
Former Board members, City Council members, school system staff who had worked with Dr. Peebles and the rest of us – those who knew him, worked with him through the PTAs and had great respect and affections for him.Yes, we were all there to remember Bob Peebles and to celebrate him. No black, no tears – just remember Bob – the Bob we all loved.
However, there was a ghost at the celebration – Rebecca Perry. She showed up all in black from head to toe – she had never worked for Bob Peebles, or with Bob Peebles, was not in Alexandria, let alone the school system during his tenure – but there she was in mourning garb – from head to toe, yet.
I may be a bit cynical – or maybe it is just my native New York City suspicion – what the heck was she doing there? Smiling, hugging and greeting everyone she saw. I have to give her credit – she worked the TC cafeteria where the after-service reception was held like a veteran politician – speaking to school staff, City staff, former Board members – just everyone she could, smiling all the way.
One would almost think she had a place there. Almost – just almost.
Yes, there was a ghost at the funeral feast – however, Ms. Perry seems to have forgotten something. You can see through a ghost – just an image, no substance.