Most Malibu kids have never taken direction from their parents. If you could travel back in time and observe the first Malibu Chumash family in the original Malibu shelter of white tree bark adorned with red leaves, you would see the parents yelling at their primate teen-agers for sitting around and brooding all day instead of hunting for grubs and berries like mom and dad. Then you would see a primate teen-ager stomp to a nearby cliff and draw on the rocks or throw sticks at the birds.
Dany Margolies’ article in the Oct. 28 edition of The Malibu Times concerning Kelly Cook, schoolteacher, illustrates that some Malibu kids do have the heart and aspiration to take direction from their parents. Malibuite Herb Binswanger (deceased) counseled me when I was selecting my first Little League team, “select a child for their parents.” Herb ascertained that you could teach an 8-year-old to play baseball easier than to instruct their parents in sportsmanship. On his advice I selected Karen Cook, Kelly’s younger sister on to my Little League team, the “Braves.”
In interacting with Karen, Kelly and the rest of the Cook family, I learned what an incontestable role family values, churches and sportsmanship can play in an individual’s life. Parents who have their offspring in any class taught by Kelly Cook are blessed by a teacher who educates by example and has been taught by example. I am delighted that the well-versed Ms. Margolies has brought the Malibu rebirth of Kelly Cook to our attention and astuteness of Webster principal Phil Cott in hiring her.
It is too bad that in the early days of Malibu whole families were torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs. In the present Malibu first-grade students may be inspired by Ms. Cook the way Ms. Bishop, my first-grade teacher did, and family values will play an important part in their lives.