Ashton Jai Bland’s seventh grade teacher at Montgomery County Middle/High School recognized his talent as a writer and encouraged him to build on that talent.
So Ashton took Kimberly Pinzon’s encouragement to heart and went to work. Today, he is a young, new author of his very own book entitled “Silent Night.”
Because of the encouragement from Kim Pinzon, a seventh grade English Language Arts Teacher, Ashton included her name as one of a half dozen people, mostly family, to whom his book is dedicated.
Along with her encouragement, Ms. Pinzon gave Ashton some guidance, suggesting he write something about a past mistake from which he had learned a valuable lesson.
The mistake he thought of was an after-dark trip to his backyard pool along with his good friend Matthew Harvey. Matthew was spending the night with Ashton at his home in Hazlehurst where he lived with his mother, Tamela Brantley, and his older brother Trevor “Bill” Bland.
Ashton’s mother had a strict rule in her home: no swimming in the pool after dark. Never.
But Matthew concocted a plan and Ashton agreed to go along with it: the two would sneak out of the house once Ashton’s mother was asleep in her bed.
To perfect their plan, the two youngsters practiced the path they would take. They practiced their sneaky escape route three times while Asthon’s mother and brother were both in their bedrooms.
When no one realized they were sneaking through the house on those three practice trips, the two were emboldened to pull off their rule-breaking plan for real.
It worked. Into the pool they went. But they forgot one important thing they had to do — they had to be quiet.
Ashton’s older brother Bill heard the excited youngsters as they played gleefully in the water. So, Bill awakened his mother and the diminutive — 4’-9” tall — mom loomed like a giant over the pool and spoiled the youngsters’ fun with a few spine-chilling, shouted words. “ASHTON! MATTHEW! What did I tell you.”
It wasn’t really a question but, rather, an admonishment that taught the youngsters a valuable lesson — don’t break the rules.