Considered a forerunner in the development of early childhood education, Jesse Dixon was honored Saturday April 9, 2011 by former colleagues, principals, teachers, students, and friends, for his 30 year contribution to the education profession. Though retired for nearly as long since 1983, Saturday’s event revealed just how much his impact continues on those whose lives and careers he helped shape.
As the venue filled for the celebration, hugs and heartfelt expressions ran the whole evening long from the approximate 80 plus attendees, some driving-in from well outside the city, and others even from outside the state, given that Mr. Dixon was involved with several school systems in Mississippi, Walton County Georgia, and Dekalb County Georgia during his career. One former colleague visiting Atlanta on other business, remained in the city some four days further upon learning of the gathering through friends, all for sake of wanting to be present to express appreciation.
A celebration idea long intended, the timing finally fell symbolically in sync with all else, as a “pat” for good luck was all that was needed, and in this case three, between organizers Pat Green, Pat Guthrie, and Pat Morris, each of them personally carrying the idea to present a celebration for Mr. Dixon around with them for years. By happenstance, or perhaps from something more, each ran into the other on chance meetings, sharing their intentions with the other, and thus the idea became real.
By evenings end, each person present had offered their meaningful thoughts, and though lengthier than perhaps planned for, many remained late to absorb lasting exchanges with Mr. Dixon. Having of course the last word, Mr. Dixon, reflecting on his journey, closed with common words of wisdom that many have grown to expect from their years of knowing him, he saying to the group, “…..live each day, not for yesterday, and not for tomorrow, but for today, make the most of this day, today……”