School teachers in the classroom aren’t the only instructors I’ve had in life. Some have definitely been mentors, others more guides, even in passing, and then there were crucial colleagues.
Here’s a sampling:
- Scoutmaster Bob: He loved nature with a childlike awe while insisting on the Old Way when it came to camping and hiking. The lessons made me far more independent in the coming years.
- Joel: An ambitious youth pastor who made room for a lost adolescent. I learned a lot about politics from him.
- Gene and Doris: A girlfriend’s parents who raised my vision beyond my side of town and its status in life.
- Marcy: Ace photojournalist who heightened my appreciation of masterful image and its graphic arts presentation. Her photos had a distinct style. And eventually she won a Pulitzer.
- Kurt: Two Buckeyes discovering the wonders of the Cascades at the same time. He had his own way with a camera, too, as well as an editor.
- Howard and Myrtle: Opened the Bible to me in a personal way.
- Bill and Fran: They helped me bridge my intellectual world with the Wilburite Quaker tradition.
- Bob and Ruby: The central Mennonites in my theological and choral music expansion in my Baltimore years.
- Jack and Sarah: Originals in more ways than one, in their leap from tenured university positions to Old Order dairy farmers. Her gentle touch as an elder touch was a blessing in a difficult personal time.
- Paul: The other Quaker in my mostly Mennonite circle and a fine musician, to boot. We were two bachelors trying to navigate a social scene safely.