Archived Story

Bishop’s impact in Pelham field house

Published 5:34pm Thursday, April 21, 2011

By BETHANY ADAMS / Guest Columnist

It is a special type of lady who willingly puts up with loud, sweaty boys every day.  Mrs. Jane Bishop was an always put-together and unfailingly generous soul, who was not bothered by her work office being in a high school field house.

During my junior year in high school, I was a football trainer. There were eight other girls who were trainers with me, and every day after the bell rang for our last class, we trooped down to that field house. Mrs. Bishop was the mother hen of the field house, and, as girls, we naturally flocked to her when we were not required on the field. No matter how busy she was, Mrs. Bishop would never turn us away when we needed to use the restroom (her bathroom was by far the cleanest) or when we just needed someone to talk to. I don’t think that “teenager counselor” was ever officially a part of her job description, but she sure had a lot of emotional teenage girls that would run to her for comfort and advice.

I don’t remember a time when Mrs. Bishop ever talked badly about anyone or complained about her job. As teenage girls, we would occasionally express our dislike of some of the other girls in the school, and I remember how Mrs. Bishop would always just sit there, listening but never commenting. It always blew my mind how she managed to put up with those football coaches who had a hard time coming back from their “on the field” mindset once they were back in the field house, but I never saw her lose her temper. No matter how high the stack of paper work on her desk reached, she would sit there until she had taken care of it all. I can’t imagine how the athletics department could have run without her.

When I heard that Mrs. Bishop had suffered a brain hemorrhage, I was speechless. I had not seen her since graduation, and to think that something like that had happened to her was baffling. I have tried, but cannot imagine Pelham High School athletics without her.  In the midst of the insanity of football season, Mrs. Bishop was the one thing that kept everything together and running right. The Bible says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”  I certainly never would have thought to look for one in a field house.

Bethany Adams is a Pelham High School graduate and student at the University of Montevallo.

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