As an American history teacher for several years, I tried my best to enhance the typical and often boring textbooks on the subject by lending a more human account of great American men and women. I liked to show students that in their greatness was also a very real and very human side of their personalities.

One of my favorite stories happened on a long winter’s night in northern Maryland, at the home of a wealthy planter. The hosts had prepared his large dining hall by setting the table for a bountiful meal. All the guests had arrived waiting to be seated save one — the guest of honor.

Mike Fitsko is a retired principal and longtime columnist from New Braunfels.

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