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Myrtice McCurdy

Myrtice McCurdy

Myrtice McCurdy, 100, longtime teacher.

Myrtice McCurdy could see people she taught 75 years ago and tell you what they were like in the fourth grade.

Her students never forgot her, either. Her fourth-graders of 1945 have held reunions with her. She invited them to her home for the last one, about 10 years ago. Twenty of the original 28 members attended.

“She taught us more than the three ‘Rs,’ ” said Annette Slaughter, a member of that class. “She taught us to respect our families, to respect our God and our country. And that’s something that stuck with us forever.”

Myrtice Pinckney McCurdy, 100, died March 11 at her home in the village of Stone Mountain. The funeral is Saturday at 11 a.m. at Stone Mountain First Baptist Church. Wages & Sons is in charge of arrangements.

Miss McCurdy was 6 years old when she and her six siblings lost their mother, Mamie McCurdy, in 1914. Their father, Dr. William T. McCurdy, never remarried.

After graduating from Decatur High School and then Atlanta Normal School, a teacher training school, Miss McCurdy began teaching at the age of 18. She apparently wasn’t a fan of change.

She taught fourth grade at Stone Mountain Elementary School for 43 years. She taught Sunday school at Stone Mountain First Baptist Church for 50 years.

She wore purple clothes only, and size 6 purple shoes, said her niece, Emy Blair. And except for milk, she drank nothing but Coca-Cola, her niece said.

Miss McCurdy never married and never moved away from “Papa’s home,” the East Mountain Street house her family settled into in 1918. She lived there with her sister, Mary, who taught for 45 years at Stone Mountain High School.

For three decades, they hosted weekly Saturday night sleepovers for generations of nieces, said one of those nieces, Nan Vogler. The girls wore the matching pajamas Miss McCurdy bought them each Christmas. All purple, of course.

Every summer through last year, she took her nieces and nephews on beach vacations. She took her Sunday school students on field trips to the mountains.

“She and her sister paid college tuition for so many children, I can’t even begin to count,” Mrs. Blair said. They either paid it themselves or found funds for them, she said.

Every Sunday for at least 25 years, the sisters hosted dinner for as many as 30 family members and friends. There’d be a beef roast or pork roast with varying side dishes, but fried okra and homemade yeast rolls were always on the table.

“They never knew who was coming, but the food was always there,” Mrs. Vogler said.

Mary McCurdy cooked. Myrtice McCurdy didn’t cook, just as she didn’t drive. She prepped and cleaned up.

Her idea of a great breakfast was a slice of toasted pound cake (broiled briefly with butter) with milk and a Coke. But her favorite meal came from an Atlanta icon, the Varsity: a chili dog, fried onion rings, fried peach pie and a Coke.

Pam Jenkins, Miss McCurdy’s companion and caregiver for the past 10 years, said the teacher never stopped teaching. “I had no idea that at age 50 I would learn the most important lesson of my life,” Ms. Jenkins said, “that every decision you make is a life decision, whether it affects you for 10 minutes or 10 years or for the rest of your life.”

Miss McCurdy will be buried in a purple casket.

Survivors include three nieces; a nephew; 21 great-nieces and great-nephews; 26 great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews; and a great-great-great-niece.

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Jamie Kennedy

Jamie KennedyJamie Kennedy Declares Love for Jennifer Love Hewitt.

They've been denying it for weeks, but the truth was too hot to hide: Jamie Kennedy has confirmed that he's dating his Ghost Whisperer costar Jennifer Love Hewitt on Ryan Seacrest's radio show Friday.

"I'm in love and I don't care," the actor told Seacrest. Kennedy said the couple are not engaged but share a bond he described as "more than love."

"I thought it was something I would find in my 40s," Kennedy, 38, told Seacrest. "It's like, 'Wow, you are hot. You can sing, you can dance, you’re, like, so smart and, wow, you can cook pasta fagioli too.' "

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Christian The Lion

Christian The Lion
Christian the lion full story and update--the best from YouTube (VIDEO).

In 1969, two friends who owned a furniture store in London decided to rescue/buy a small lion cub that was for sale at upscale Harrod's. (The upscale department store has since done away with its "exotic animals" department.)

"There, in a small cage, was a gorgeous little lion cub. We were shocked. We looked at each other and said something's got to be done about that," John Rendall told the Daily Mail in 2007.

He and Ace Berg bought the 35-pound cub and brought it home to live with Rendall in his tony Chelsea flat.

Rendall and Berg romped with Christian as if he were a dog, wrestling with him and playing ball on the grounds of a nearby chapel. The lion cub rode with Rendall in is Bentley, and had a sense of humor.

"Sometimes, he'd see people staring at him through the back window of the car, keep very still on purpose - and then, just when they were convinced he was a stuffed toy, he would very slowly turn his head and freak them out," Rendall said of Christian.

As the cub grew and filled out to 185 pounds, the decision was made to fly Christian to Kenya and--working with an animal conservationist, George Adamson-- release the London-born lion into the wild.

When Rendall and Berg visited Kenya a year later, they were told that Christian had successfully acclimated to his new environment and hadn't been spotted for a while. Even if they did see the lion, the pair was told, Christian would not recognize the men who raised him as a cub.

After hours of searching for him, the two men spotted Christian.

Christian stared at us in a very intense way. I knew his expressions and I could see he was interested. We called him and he stood up and started to walk towards us very slowly.

Then, as if he had become convinced it was us, he ran towards us, threw himself on to us, knocked us over, knocked George over and hugged us, like he used to, with his paws on our shoulders.

Everyone was crying. We were crying, George was crying, even the lion was nearly crying.

--John Rendall, describing the moment when Christian recognized him and Ace Berg

The astonishing reunion was documented on film and has become a YouTube sensation.

On Friday, March 13, the story will be aired on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Read the full story now at the Daily Mail. Watch the videos...I've culled the best from YouTube.

Warning: don't watch these if you are PMS'ing or sitting at a cubicle at work. They are guaranteed to make you weepy, especially the ones set to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" power ballad.

Another one...

Want to see more Christian the lion?

Watch documentary footage of him romping at home in London, then being transported to Kenya, and his reunion with Rendall and Berg.

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