Men in my life who made a difference

I lost my father when I was nine. He committed suicide.

My mother, when I was still young, sought out men who could become surrogates.

Here are the ones I can remember:

Chuck Hagemeister was a mentor in acolytes and Boy Scouts, probably my first adult male friend, one with whom I shared a bond of friendship.

Mr Pitkin, I think his name was. He was a teacher during the year but he ran a crafts class outside the library across the street where we made plastic bracelets, among other things.

Mr Van Arsdale(?) my junior high science teacher who pointed me toward science Ed though I didn’t know it at the time.

Jerry DeFreise, high school chemistry teacher who definitely pushed me into chemistry and my unsuccessful attempt at Chem engineering .

Ed and Don Pomranka who owned Fred and Fred’s grocery and took me in when I was a teen and taught me about the world of work.

Fr. Alexander Balfour Patterson III campus chaplain at University of Colorado and Francis Wolle, deacon. Fr. Wolle taught me how to be a lay reader and Fr Pat told me to go make myself useful when I flunked out.

John Gibbons, former Sea Bee in the Pacific, a contractor in Boulder who I worked for after flunking out of CU who taught me how to be a laborer, a hod carrier, a carpenter, a cement mason, a tiler, and an adult.

A neighbor in Fort Collins who collected and sold things others didn’t want. We would call him a recycler now. He told me if I ever fell on hard times to acquire a magnet and anything that would stick to it could be sold for money.

Dr Louis R Weber, chair of the physics department at Colorado State University, who taught me to rely on myself, seek others to partner with, and the love of teaching physics . (And to not fall asleep in class)

Gerald ??? My science Ed professor who turned me into a science teacher. He taught me to gather resources and helped me learn to be at the front of the science classroom.

Jack Sheehy, science department chair at Roosevelt where I started teaching. His kind, quiet support removed the frustration and anxiety of my first real job.

George Flitte, head of College Exploration school at Adams High. Jerry Hagan, counselor and Ed Basaraba, my team leader. These three men and Henry Pond, vice principal, made a challenging teaching assignment doable.

6 men in ABOGIK, a men’s group. It stood for A Bunch Of Guys I Know. They taught me how to love men and that they could love me.

Elliot Geller and Thomas Fisher, two counsellors who helped me come to grips with my father and my relationship with men and women.

Chuck Kuzminski, Bob Dahlman, Clark Peters, uniserv staff for OEA PAT NEA. Who helped me grow into leadership.

Gerry Moreford, who bargained on the board’s side of the table who helped learn how to bargain for the best in the teacher’s contract.

Gene Douthie ( now Jean Valjean) And Larry Ayers, Admin at Jefferson, who led me to team leader and ultimately my PhD.  

Bob Williams, head of data processingAnd Ed Schneider, head of the Curriculum department, who showed me the ropes of school support that eventually led to private consulting and teacher training and my PhD.

Colin Karr-Morse who rescued me when my tech job in the curriculum dept dissolved, got me lots of Macs to teach physical science with, and said I was one of the finest teachers in Portland, upon my retirement.

Tom Nelson who taught me all he knew about birding and took me twice to Malheur National Wildlife Sanctuary in southeastern Oregon at times of migration.

The eight men I interviewed for a series called Cronies’ Tales.

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