It’s personal. This blog strays away from the Yellowstone theme a bit. But as the backdrop of such a beautiful, serene place it’s hard not to reflect on life. On my life and my personal journey through its many challenges and cravats over the years.
People come in and out of my life but they all have an effect on me. Some like Jimmy and Tony were a big part of my child hood. Others like Mark, Greg and Tim were there in my adolescence. Still others like Bill and a host of many, through my adult years. I apologize as these names are just snapshots of the many individuals who impacted my development during those eras. I also have many relatives that have been apart of shaping me, both past and present. And most importantly, my mother and my siblings who were there to teach me, guide me, and keep me grounded through thick and thin.
The summer of ’77 changed my life forever. My brother-in-law introduced me to a beautiful young clerk at King’s Department Store. 41 years later Deb and I are still happily together. This fall will by our 39th anniversary (this is a big one, 39 is my favorite number). Just like the roller-coasters at Hershey Park or Disney World, life is full of its ups and downs but what a ride it has been! Without her, this story would not be possible.
It is hard to picture at 15 or 20, how the people in your life will be when you are 50 or 60. Life is funny. I was terribly shy, especially with the opposite sex. My freshman year in high school I had a crush on a girl from a neighboring town.; first “puppy love”. Soon we went our separate ways, never to have our paths cross …until now. Her older brother is married to a colleague and good friend of my wife. Another girlfriend from high school graduated and moved to Hawaii never to cross paths again …until now. On a recent trip to visit my brother who recently relocated to Hawaii, my wife and I were treated warmly by Deb and her cousin, Chuck (we went to school together as well). And there are others who I have stayed in contact from high school; Dawn, Bill, Maureen, Kathy, George and others (thank you facebook and the internet).
But just as important (and some ways more important), teachers have played a huge role. In high school, I admired my teachers and they were all important to me. There was my French teacher, Mrs. Kenney, who asked me to take French 3 just because I was funny (no, I wasn’t a class clown.). My math teachers, Mr. Dube and Mr. Chretien, who taught me algebra and the Pythagorean Theory and how to treat people; and my English teacher, Mr. Furlong, who was more of a career counselor and friend (my classmates and I spent many a Friday night visiting with him). And then there was Mr. Taglienti…
Tag, as he was affectionately known, was my p.e. teacher and coach. In high school, I participated in both Track & Field and Football. Football was my love (and helped me overcome my shyness) and Tag was my father figure and coach. He impressed me a lot and not just because of football. He helped my two older brothers excel at a sport that our high school didn’t even offer, gymnastics. He was an example of a teacher who went beyond what was expected. He treated his students as people. I am forever grateful.
Did he have a big effect on me? My career was a p.e. teacher, coach, and later, an administrator. What do you think? And I recently found out we were both born under the astrological sign of Leo. If you know him, wish him happy 95th birthday on August 12th!
An old Track & Field picture (probably 1974). Jay Tigers!
So, I’ve gone through life with my glass half full. It makes a difference. You can choose to have your glass half full …or half empty. As a good friend of mine use to say every morning, “Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!”
Editor’s note: As I wrote this rather personal blog, it became obvious this was more of an outline, an index so to speak, of an autobiography. I could have written so much more (and really bored you!). If I were to dedicate this blog passage, it would be to Tag. For all he really did was send me on a path to success. Thank you Tag.
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
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Coming Soon!!! YouTube channel with movies of the adventures!