To Sir with Love

A white lily.
Photo by Siritas Keawnet on

Today I learned that Sidney Poitier has died. He was 94.

When I was growing up, my mom and I would often watch “Saturday Night at the Movies.” Back then the local network channel would broadcast a movie of their choosing at 10:30 on most Saturday nights. Even though we didn’t get to choose what movie we watched, we were usually happy with whatever movie was shown. My dad almost always went to bed, so it was just my mom and I. I’d get my pillow and lay on the floor in front of our console TV.

I remember the tears flowing with “Madame X.” I can still see that little boy running and yelling out “Shane… Shane…Shane.” I’ll never forget Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in “The African Queen” getting all those leeches off. My mom and I spent many nights with Doris Day, John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and so many others. However, one of my very favorites, even back then, was Sidney Poitier. His movies stuck with me.

Movies like “A Patch of Blue.” “To Sir With Love.” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” And since I was taught by nuns in both grade school and high school, a personal favorite has always been “Lilies of the Field.” Perhaps that movie is why I’ve always remembered and treasured the verses to “…consider the lilies of the field….that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… But seek ye first his kingdom…and all these things shall be added onto you.”

Those Saturday nights with my mom were good times. And oh, those movies were so very good. In more ways than one. Even as a young teenage girl, Sidney Poitier’s movies inspired me

To serve. To see beyond skin color. And to be humble.

Thank you, Sidney.


  1. “In the heat of the night” was one of the movies that touched racism. Not being born in the U.S. I had a hard time wrapping my head around it. “Guess who is coming to dinner,” is dealing with it from a different angle. I like him a lot.
    I didn’t know you went to a school with nuns too. We have so much in common.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t remember watching “In the Heat of the Night.” I liked all his movies, so perhaps I should watch this one sometime. We do have a lot in common. I have lots of memories from those nuns, and I bet you do, too!


  2. Thank you for this thoughtful acknowledgement, Betty. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was in my college years, when I was just beginning to grasp the whole idea of segregation’s impact. I always thought he was a superb actor. That was also in my theatre years and I was a theatre major at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are losing so many of our beloved personalities, thank you for this thoughtful tribute and the sweet memory. I remember my Mother watching Sunday night at the movies that came on after the Wonderful World of Disney.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, “To Sir With Love” was definitely one of my favorites, too. We didn’t have all the choices as we do now, but life sure was good. Have a nice evening!


    • Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. And yes, memories are gold. This reminds me of a quote I’ve seen, “We didn’t know we were making memories. We were just having fun.” Enjoy your Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I must have been twelve. My father told us a movie was on TV that the whole family would watch together. To Sir with Love. (the only other time he did this is when Moby Dick aired one time). He made it seem like it would be a chore, and I know he wanted us to get a lesson in race to bust our sheltered suburban experience. But the movie was so awesome, and Sidney Poitier was so cool, that I loved every minute. It’s the only time I saw the movie, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Such an awesome actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good memory! It speaks to your dad’s character. It’s also impressive that at 12 you were affected by the movie. Everybody gets A+. Thank you for sharing such a poignant memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great tribute to who I believe was a wonderful man. He seemed to be a gentleman and was definitely a fine actor. I loved all of his movies, but “To Sir With Love” was my favourite. I was in high school when it came to the theatre in the city closest to our small town . My best friend and I weren’t yet old enough to drive, so her Mom took us to see the movie. I’m happy that Mr. Poitier was blessed with a long life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Betty, This is a beautiful tribute to both your mom and the great actor. I have similar memories of watching The Walton’s in the early 70’s with my Dad. He was sentimental, like me and we’d both pretend we had something in our eyes at the end of an episode.

    Liked by 1 person

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