Generation Gap: Sandra Kramer

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Guest Columnist

Editor’s Note: The Perry County News is publishing a series of interviews conducted by eighth-graders in Joyce Stath’s English class at Tell City Junior-Senior High School. The interviews are of people one or two generations older than students. Today’s column is by Emili Stephens, who profiles retired educator Sandra Kramer.

As I was considering who to interview for this project, many people cros-sed my mind. After a lot of thinking I chose Mrs. Sandra Kramer, a retired Tell City High School English teacher, as my interviewee.

Mrs. Kramer has done a lot for our community, and she is an inspiring person.

Mrs. Sandra Kramer came to this world Sept. 19, 1945. She lived in Hardin County, Ky., for quite a while. Mrs. Kramer can recall moving to her grandparents’ house when she was 2 years old. As a child she enjoyed playing baseball and monopoly, and riding her bike. In school she supported the school-sponsored sports teams well.

Mrs. Kramer was a cheerleader. She graduated high school and attended Western Kentucky University for her teaching degree in language arts.

Mrs. Kramer lived through a rough time in a highly segregated community. The churches were color-based. African-Americans in Hardin County did not live through poverty as much as they did in the south because of Fort Knox. Many worked at the military center in Fort Knox.

Mrs. Kramer says that we have become a more open society today, but it was much safer in the past because they didn’t have to worry about shootings. “Mass killings were almost nonexistent when I was growing up,” mentioned Mrs. Kramer. She thinks society has changed in many ways, good and bad. She says that we have become more tolerant of minorities and that our orientation has changed.

Mrs. Kramer does not like the thought of overusing technology. She says that children take technology for granted and get hooked to the technology so much that their social lives are slowly fading away.

The technology can also lead to cyber bullying. Mrs. Kramer despises bullying, especially when people decide to take their lives because of being bullied. She feels for the kids who are bullied and thinks it is regrettable to be hurt by it.

Many things have changed since Mrs. Kramer was a child. Mrs. Kramer got her first computer in 1991 and her first cell phone in 1996. Her favorite piece of technology today is her iPhone. She likes it so much because she doesn’t have to worry about others stepping in on a call.

When she used the party line when she was younger, she could hear others on the telephone. Several people had the same line, so their conversations were never private. Technology has changed dramatically since she was young and has transformed the world.

When Mrs. Kramer was in her 20s, she met Mr. Alan Kramer. They married a few years later. They were both teachers at Tell City High School at the time; Mrs. Kramer taught English, and Mr. Kramer taught mathematics. Sadly, Mr. Kramer died before he really got to enjoy his retirement. Losing her husband was one the most life-changing events Mrs. Kramer has experienced.

Since she has retired, she has worked in jobs that were nothing like teaching, and has enjoyed those experiences. Mrs. Kramer enjoys doing sudoku and crossword puzzles and tending to her flowers in her free time.

Tell City has also changed since she has lived here. (She currently lives in Newburgh). She claims that our small town is slowly becoming wonderful and more technologically involved. General Electric, a major business when she was young, went out and was then replaced by Walmart. Technology put GE, previously Tell City’s largest employer, out of business.

Mrs. Kramer likes the way things are running now better than they used to. However, if she ever had the chance to go back in time, she would go back to the roaring 1920s. Women were granted more rights, including the right to vote in the 1920s.

She also liked the fashion and dance in that time period.

She feels that people are more open today. Also, new medications are coming out, and scientists improving the old. Doctors know more about treating patients better now than in the past.

When I asked Mrs. Kramer what advice she would give to today’s youngsters, she said, “Find out what you’re interested in, know your talents, and make education fit into what you are interested in.” She also said, “You can’t have too many friends. Be a team player in the community and be a part of it to be truly happy.”