From the past, I remembered a girl named Trisha Mitchell from Norwood Elementary School who went on to become a famous model. After I spent a few minutes on the Internet, I discovered that Coburn is Trisha’s married name.
According to her website, www.trishacoburn.com, Trisha moved to New York City when she was 18 years old; worked for the famous agency, Wilhelmina; and modeled for 11 years. Then, she married, raised a family, and pursued many interests.
At this point in her life, Coburn is an artist, an interior decorator, a businesswoman, and, now, a writer and storyteller.
Her story, which listeners can hear at http://themoth.org/posts/storytellers/trisha-coburn, is a sad one of a child raised in a large family of children by a mother who liked the bottle and men too much. In a stroke of good fortune, an Anniston businesswoman, Macy Harwell, once spotted Trisha when she worked at a local theater. Trisha was tall and beautiful. Harwell, owner of a local charm school, gave her the one thing all children need – encouragement.
As I read Trisha’s biography on her website, I remembered reading accounts in The Anniston Star of Mitchell’s growing-up years. One story is about how she first realized she liked the attention of an audience when she attended what was then Norwood Baptist Church. I forget if she quoted Bible scripture during Vacation Bible School or sang a song, but the experience made her want to grow up and be noticed. Eventually, she achieved that goal on a national stage.
Mitchell’s performance on The Moth is delivered in a Southern voice. She tells of her family’s hardships, her determination to overcome adversity, and her adoration of Mrs. Harwell. Listeners will both laugh and cry as she speaks.
After I updated myself about Trisha, I posted a couple of comments on her website. I hoped I could talk with her and perhaps interview her for this column. According to her blog, though, she has just returned from Europe and may not be available just yet. However, I would like to talk with her in the future and find out if she has written a book. If not, I would think her interesting life would make a good one.
As a child from the Norwood community, where I also attended the same Baptist church, I am always proud of the success of many of my childhood friends and acquaintances. I vaguely remember Trisha, but I never knew of all her struggles. Her achievements make me especially proud.
As a teacher of teenagers, I hope I can encouragement students who need a helping hand along the way and perhaps help them form a vision of how successful they can become.
As a woman, I take inspiration from Trisha’s life story. It is important to keep developing new skills and talents and to share the truths of our lives through words – my favorite medium.
As a writer, I surely hope that Trish will continue sharing her story, especially with those of us from her hometown. Her friends and teachers would enjoy learning more about her latest accomplishments.
Email Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.