“The Hershey Bar Message” by Doug Fincher

December 30, 2019 - I was Pastor of The First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, Texas when High School Superintendent Melvin Miller asked me to teach Related Math and Algebra I for one semester. I took the job because of the teacher shortage that year but even though I had a B. A. Degree with a Math minor, I wasn’t particularly interested in teaching. My college Course in Algebra was one of my most difficult courses but I knew High School Algebra would be relatively simple to teach.

Several of the students had difficulty understanding Algebra and two girls in particular. I spent a lot of extra time helping them and even though they tried, they couldn’t make a passing grade. I asked Mr. Miller what I should do. “Those girls are trying, and I don’t think repeating the course would change anything,” I explained. When I said I was thinking about passing them anyway, he replied, “You’re the teacher… follow your conscience.”

I called one girl’s parents, but when I drove out to talk to Patsy’s parents, no one was home. I wanted to leave a note, but since I had nothing to write on, I took a discarded Hershey Almond Joy wrapper from my car and wrote a note explaining my visit on the blank side of the wrapper.

A few days later, I received a beautiful letter from Patsy’s Mother. She not only thanked me for the note I left, but reminded me twice how wonderful it was to get a note written on a Hershey Candy Bar wrapper.

That all happened about 54 years ago. I still think about that class but only saw them once more when I spoke at their reunion in Orange. Those kids will always be a part of my fondest memories.