Studio Four

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 8, 2005

-Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,

Hundreds of shells on the shore together,

Hundreds of birds that go singing by,

Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather,

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,

Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,

Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,

But only one mother the wide world over.”

It seems fitting to begin observance of Mother’s Day with a poem expressive of the women for whom this special day is observed.

Fortunate indeed are those whose mother is still near by. Blessed indeed are the memories of those who are gone.

In the past half-century being a mother has changed from the early television image of an apron-wearing, always smiling female, usually in the kitchen busily packing lunch boxes for the standard three children (two years apart in age), pouring orange juice for the prettily set breakfast table and at the same time turning the bacon and beating the eggs to scramble for the father, walking into the kitchen with his briefcase tucked under his arm.

Today, there are few stay-at-home mothers, who greet their children as they arrive home from school and offer fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk for their afternoon treat.

Most families try to have dinner together each night, to attend church together, to vacation together and to be supportive of the children’s school. However, career moms are becoming more and more the norm, a change that began shortly after World War II ended. And breakfast today is far from the Ozzie and Harriet of yesteryear.

This is the story of a family of today:

After his discharge from military service, Richard and Margie Burk were transferred frequently during his employment with General Battery, moving to Dallas, then a few years in Selma, then to the home office in Redding, Penn. But in 1976 Margie and Richard decided to begin the kind of life they wanted to live – and where they wanted to live it.

“So,” Margie Burk says, “We sold our home in Pennsylvania. On July 4, 1976, we packed up everything in a U-Haul for Richard to drive, put our two little girls – Candace, 4, and Kelly, a few months old -into the station wagon with me and started back to Selma.

“We had no jobs, no home, but we decided to return to Selma because of friends we had made there, because of the community, because it is a good place to raise children.

“And we knew God had a plan.”

Home again in Selma, Richard Burk bought Cougar Oil on Highway 41. Margie Burk, who began dancing when she was 6, continuing in college at Southwest Texas State, where she was a Strutter, began teaching dancing with Carol Jones and Dolores Everett at Caro-Dee School of Dance in the former A.B. Stutts house.

When Carol Jones moved to Prattville 25 years ago Margie Burk bought the dance school and in time moved to its present location on Broad Street, renaming it Margie’s School of Dance. However, by the end of summer, the school will have a new location and a new name: Studio Four.

It will be located at 704 Cahaba Road, the previous location of Exclusively Yours. Except for continuing her work with Junior Miss girls, Margie Burk will use this summer for renovation of the building.

Her students now number about 150. She enjoys her work. “Dance promotes self-esteem, enhances moral values as well as talent.

So much in life today brings instant gratification, failing to teach young people that rewards and recognition come only from work.

“My teaching dance is a good support system for parents, who hand their child over to me.”

On the evening of May 7, families and friends enjoyed the dance recital at Pickard Auditorium, where their children displayed their talents in a program produced with a Latin Flair, including “Salsa en pointe.”

In their almost 30 years in Selma the Burk family has contributed greatly to this community. All are active members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where Candice Burk Frazer is Director of Youth Services as well as an assistant director for the state Episcopal Diocese. Her husband Steve Frazer is associated with his family’s insurance business.

Kelly Burk Green and her husband Adam Green are the parents of twins: Marleigh Green and John Martin Green. She teaches first grade at Meadowview School. And Margie Burk finds time to baby sit her grandchildren, who before long will probably be dancing.

And as she frequently remarks:

“God had a plan.”