My friend Heather and I lost our AMAZING high school choir / music teacher. She was as much a nurturer as a brilliant conveyer of musical skills. She changed lives with every project she put forth – from musicals to jazz competitions. I loved her as a teacher – but, moreover, with the advent of Facebook, grew to truly love her as a friend and contemporary. She stood for feminism, equality, and all things just and good. I still miss her so deeply. The magnificent PJ … Paula Hennis Joyner-Clinard … she truly did change so many lives.
I think the shittiest part about it happening in this era is the timing. She deserved a world class send-off – so many people would have been there to honor her light, but gatherings in that moment were squelched. It lacks closure. We did have a Zoom meeting, but I truly think she deserved a blowout of a celebration of her life and achievements.I get why – but I’m still bitter that she had to go at a time that she wasn’t celebrated by us all in person.
She was such a kickass and forward-thinking woman. I still remember the night Heather and I went to her Master’s Recital in downtown Detroit. So. Cool.
She was a true force – who fought for the misunderstood, the abused, and the marginalized. I was a really bad kid back then – lashing out at the world – and she never let me forget my worth. I really fucking miss her.