Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sister Richenbach

A while ago I discovered an email on classmates.com from Tommie Fuchagami. She is the same age as my youngest sister, Linda, and we grew up in the same ward in Canoga Park CA. It was really fun to reconnect with her and find out about people we both knew. One of the people I asked about was Berta Richenbach. (I hope I am spelling her name right, that's how I spelled it when I was 10.) Sister Richenbach was the primary music leader when I was in primary. I loved music time and she made it especially fun. I remember she had a really cool glass (looking back now I think it may have been a brandy sniffer?) that she put a little pieces of paper in with each of our names on it. Each music time she would pick out a name of some one to help her by holding posters or making the thermometer go up or down depending on how well we sang. One time she asked Lisa and me to meet with her at her home to learn a song ahead of time to help her teach it to the rest of the primary. The song was "Shine On". The song was really high and we had to go to her house a lot to get it right - I especially struggled but did better with Lisa singing beside me. The day came to teach it to the rest of the primary, we sang it through a few times and then Lisa had her name picked! I was mortified but sang as quietly as I could by myself. Sister Richenbach was so appreciative of our help. Later in the week I got a personal thank you card from her in the mail. Just getting mail was cause to celebrate but in her note she told me that she tought I was a special young lady. That made such an impression on me. Someone who didn't have to think I was special did. I thought about that a lot. Maybe Heavenly Father thinks I'm special too, maybe he has a work on this earth that only I can do. Sometimes when I felt like I was worthless I remembered that I had a work to do that was uniquely my own and it gave me hope. Many of these thoughts which later convictions gained strength and credibility with that thank you note. Sister Richenbach - thank you for writing that note to me. It made a big difference.  

6 comments:

LISA said...

She took us out for a candy bar too. I don't remember getting picked, but I totally remember learning the song with you. I thought we sang it once together, but then again...maybe not.

The Norris Family said...

Ahaha I remember the thermometer!!! I Loved that one!

What great memories of Berta! Chris remembers her well too! He has always said that Berta was one of those people that made you feel special & loved!

LISA said...

She also had that apron with all the pockets for the "Saturday" song. I loved the thermometer too.

The Norris Family said...

ahhh the apron! Why was a common shoe brush and shampoo so magical coming out of her apron? Such great memories!

Karen Burton Zimbelman said...

Wow, you guys remember more than I do - but then again I'm older and it's been longer for me. Maybe I'm just getting old. Lisa, we did sing it once together.

Ri said...

Karen -
This is Marrianne (Norris) - I linked you from Tommie's blog. How fun to read this post! I love the picture in front of the olive tree at the Stake Center! Great memories! I remember Sis Richenbach holding a wooden ruler over a boy's head when signing "when I have grown a foot or two". Funny how I don't remember any other primary choristers, but her! She must have been amazing!