Woodwinds, brass, percussion, and color guard. Long ago, the four sections lived together in harmony. Then one day, everything changed when the Percussion section attacked. Only the secretary, master of all four sections, could stop them. But when the world of music needed her most, she vanished.
Late last school year, band secretary Judy Gibson made the announcement that, after ten years, she was no longer going to be working with the band. She decided that she wanted to open up her own flower shop, Every Bloomin’ Thing, which shocked students and staff alike.
“I miss the kids, I miss the music, I miss the chaos, I miss Mrs. Martin, I miss Mr. Gibson and watching my kid. If I could have just stayed with high school band 24/7,” Gibson, whose son is the assistant band director, said.
Moving away from the school has also given Mrs. Gibson the opportunity to sell her Paparazzi jewelry full time. She has a section of her store dedicated to just her jewelry, which has increased customers’ interest in the products.
“People will come in for flowers or a plant and then they’ll say, ‘What’s this jewelry?’ That’s when I can be like, ‘Girl, you’ve never heard of Paparazzi Jewelry? Let me tell you about it!’” Gibson said. “Then they’ll buy a piece, and come back a week later and want to buy more.”
Going from working at a school to running a business seems like an unlikely career change, but the shift has not seemed to be that difficult for the ex-secretary.
“I guess it was easy because in a way, it’s all customer service related. I was at the school to help whoever needed help, and now I’m here to meet the needs of customers,” Gibson said.
Both the students and staff miss the smiling face of Gibson greeting them at the school each and every day. It is hard to walk away from such a beloved job, but Gibson is uncertain if she will ever return to her old occupation.
“Emotionally, yes. Physically and financially, no… Friday night football games were getting very hard,” Gibson said. “In a perfect world, I would own this shop and have a staff that runs it, and I could come volunteer at the band hall, just to be there. That would be perfect, and I could come and go as I please.”