Attention to attendancee


 Attention to Attendance


She had heard it all.

No story was new and she was never convinced

that the reason for an absence

was the death of a grandmother.

And you could be sure 

that she would have your grandmother

on the phone within minutes.

She took a mental picture of a student as a freshman

and she never let anyone out of her

student's Rouge Gallery.

Besides your grandmother she knew both parents,

Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and all your friends.

Army Intelligence should have drafted her in '41.

She was the best intelligence officer

we have ever known and with her enlisted the allies

could have shortened the war by a least a year.

And you can bet that Ike would not

have gotten away with his philandering

if Miss Baldwin was around.

Had there been such a bold military move as to

draft her we would have been able to get

through school with considerably less scrutiny. 

We could have gone to Walsenburg to see Will's girl

and convince the school's Rosie the Riveter,

the substitute attendance clerk,

that there had been an

epidemic of flu among the football team.

I don't remember a smile or a tear

changing her face.

A cut finger or a real emergency and

she was an unsmiling rock.

Kindly Attendance Officer is an oxymoron

anyhow so we should not have expected

that she would wear such a title.

Rather, words like efficient, hardworking, dedicated,

suspicious and clever seem better descriptors.

She did her job and we can add

respected to the list of captions.

Margaret Baldwin kept us off the walls

and in our classes long enough for the

rough edges to wear off and THS

to make us ready to be guardians

of responsibility.

Wherever she is tonight, I am sure she is

watching to make sure we are

in our seats with clean

folded hands.


Doug Minnis 1995



My dear old friend Ms Baldwin. She worked for the high school as attendance clerk for many years. When she retired my first wive Lynne took over until we moved to California. she rally knew kids and had a very sharp eye for false excuses.