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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
South Tampa News

Former Tampa teacher, students reunite 63 years later


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Fannie Zamore said she remembers walking her fifth-grade students at Robert E. Lee Elementary School to South Tampa's public library and art exhibits in 1950.

Zamore, who reunited with dozens of her former students at The Colonnade restaurant along Bayshore Boulevard on July 8, said she still remembered many of their faces - even after 63 years.

"I used to read them 'Tom Sawyer,'" she said. "We had fun. I remember another teacher complained we laughed too much."

Zamore gave up teaching after 10 years to raise two daughters. Her husband, Milton, accompanied her to the luncheon.

"I feel the fifth-graders then could go out and earn a living right after they completed the fifth-grade," Zamore said. "They had reading skills, math skills. I taught them American history and handwriting, which they don't teach anymore. They can't read cursive anymore."

Nelson LiCalsi, of Lutz, said Zamore was his favorite teacher. Through the years, he had a variety of jobs from teacher to funeral director, but he always remembered the lessons of the fifth grade.

"It was her first year of teaching," LiCalsi said. "She was very sweet and I learned a lot that year. That was my turning point in school because of her. I matured a lot that year."

Luana Lala of Carrollwood who helped organize the reunion, said there were 41 children pictured in their class photo from 1950. She said many of the people still live in the area.

"I loved her," said Lala, adding Zamore also was her favorite teacher. "It was a wonderful year. I'm happy to see everyone here today."

Lala said she remembers the fact that she could walk back and forth to school without being afraid of anything.

Sandra O'Bryan of Carrollwood another former student, said she has fond memories of her teacher as well as her classmates who gathered for lunch at the seafood restaurant.

O'Bryan went on to become a teacher herself.

"We have been planning this event for a year," O'Bryan said. "We were excited about getting together. Most of us live in the area."

Zamore, who lives on Davis Islands, said many of her students have not changed. The classmates wore name badges that showed photographs of them from the fifth grade.

Milton Zamore said he remembers that his wife used to give her students hugs in the '50s, which Fannie agreed was a different time.

"You feel they are your children because you see them all day," Fannie Zamore said. "It was such an innocent time."

Lcone@tampatrib.com

(813) 731-2008

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