Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta reunited with sixth grade teacher, John Sabbak
I think it’s every creative person’s dream to see one of their school teachers in their audience. Today, February 13, 2017, I didn’t realize one of my teachers was in the audience when I gave the lecture, “The History of Valentine’s Day” at the Fairfield Library, Fairfield, New Jersey.
After the lecture, I spent some time speaking with audience members. And after mentioning that Cedar Grove was one of the towns I grew up in, an audience member asked if I attended North End grammar school, because he was a teacher there. Turns out he was my sixth grade teacher, Mr. John Sabbak!
It was 1974 when I was in sixth grade, which makes it 43 years since I last saw Mr. Sabbak, who is now in his 80s — and me, in my 50s.
When we put two and two together, I was almost in tears. He was really one of my favorite teachers; such a nice man!
I gave Mr. Sabbak a big hug and then his lovely wife took our photograph. The Sabbaks are not online, so they gave me their home address and I promised to send a print of the photograph to them. Mrs. Sabbak said she was going to frame it!
Mr. Sabbak even remembered me from back then; that I was very quiet. (Even my own mother doesn’t remember me being quiet! Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a chatterbox, but I am definitely not quiet — as a public speaker, you can’t be!)
In the modern day of the internet when you reconnect with people via Facebook, it’s an incredible surprise when someone important from your past shows up — when you least expect it.
God bless Mr. Sabbak! He’s awesome!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a writer and public speaker in New Jersey. To view her programs, visit: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/