Lessons in Humanity

Mr. “P” and Mr. “O”

Sometimes the most important life lessons are right in front of us if we’re paying attention.  For the last several weeks, I have watched one of those real-life lessons unfold before my eyes that has reinforced how a simple act of kindness spreads to others.

One of the routines that have helped me maintain my sanity during the pandemic has been walking.  Sometimes I prefer to walk and enjoy my friends’ company, but I also treasure those times I escape in my private world thinking.  

On Fridays, I catch up with a couple of old teaching buddies, Bill Osborne (Mr. “O”) and Larry Passarini (Mr. “P”).  They are each other’s best friends and a couple of great guys who taught fourth grade together for many years at South Bay School.  Now in their early seventies, with the ailments that come with aging, they trudge along for two miles at a modest pace each day, rain or shine.

Mr. “O” is one of those guys who all kids (now adults) remember from being in his class. He was a fun teacher—the little kid in a big kid’s body.  All of the children wanted to be in Mr. “O’s” 4th-grade class.  He has a million stories, jokes (ones we’ve all heard a bunch of times but still enjoy listening to), and friends.  I’ve been with him so many times in some remote place, hundreds of miles from home, and he’ll find somebody at the gas station, grocery store, etc., that he knows.  He is a trivia machine.  We used to laugh so hard at his father-in-law’s line, “Bill, you know more useless s*** than anyone I know.”  He’s the kind of friend who would do anything for you, including helping me build my deck, expecting nothing in return.  

Mr. “P” is another awesome guy.  He also taught 4th grade for many years, but he also did several other things during his teaching career.  He always had a particular interest in science and brought many interesting rocks, minerals, and fossils into his class.  He taught the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program, among other things, and was always there to lend his construction knowledge to any building project around school.  He’s one of those guys who enjoys treasure hunting, whether it be with his metal detector or panning for gold. While he was teaching and for years after he retired, he had a home inspection business.  My wife and I will always be grateful when he inspected a house that we were thinking about buying, and he found several concerning things and advised against it.

Since I’ve been walking with these two each Friday for many weeks, I’ve seen a fantastic transformation.  They probably weren’t even aware that they were giving me a lesson in humanity, but they were.  As we walk along the Hikshari’ Trail in Eureka each Friday, we run into many of the same people, walking, jogging, or riding their bikes.  It’s evident by looking at their appearances that many of them are down on their luck and just surviving.

Over the last few months, I have watched a beautiful change take place.  Bill and Larry say hi to everyone, regardless of age, color, gender, or appearance.  When others might turn their head and look the other way when a homeless person walks by, Bill and Larry are always quick with a greeting. In the beginning, some wouldn’t respond or make eye contact.

After a few weeks, the transformation was palpable.  Some of the same people who wouldn’t offer a word in return are now much more friendly and outgoing.  Bill and Larry started asking these same folks their names and wanted to know how they were doing.  They didn’t ask to make conversation; they asked because they cared—to connect on a more personal level. Now when we run into these same people, the difference is night and day.  They make eye contact, smile, sometimes even stop and have a brief conversation. 

Knowing that someone cares and is glad that we’re there makes all the difference.  I saw the same thing with the children I taught.  Knowing that their teacher cared about them made them want to show up for school, participate, and be part of the class.  When it comes down to it, we all just want to be loved and accepted for who we are.

In thinking about writing this article, I thought of an old Pat Benatar song that teaches this same lesson. Please check out the accompanying video.

The Mr. “O’s” and Mr. “P’s” of the world make the world a more compassionate and understanding place.  I’m proud to call them my friends.


“Somebody’s Baby” by Pat Benatar


​He used to be somebody’s baby
Someone used to hold him close, and rock him gently
He used to be the light in someone’s eyes
He used to matter, he used to matter
Someone cared if he lived or died
Someone held him in their arms – when he cried
And when he hurt, someone kept the world away
Someone loved him, someone loved him

He used to be somebody’s baby
Someone used to hold him close, and rock him gently
He used to be the light in someone’s eyes
He used to matter,  he used to matter
He used to matter

That was then, that was so long ago
Long before they came and took his soul
Long before he became invisible
That was when, he wasn’t human garbage then

He used to be somebody’s baby
Someone used to hold him close, and rock him gently
He used to be the light in someone’s eyes
He used to matter, he used to matter
He used to matter

104 thoughts on “Lessons in Humanity

  1. What a great post. I love reading about people like these two great guys. These are the real people of the world, not the ones we read about in the papers or see on TV. The Pat Benatar song is perfect. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 12:31 pm

      Great point about the real people of the world. While I admire celebrities who give back to their communities, we can most be impacted by the people in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are a lot of Mr. O and Mr. P’s in this world and I have met many in my life. Nice post Pete and I am glad you have learned life lessons from these two wonderful gentlemen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 12:35 pm

      For all of the negative stories and terrible things that happen globally, there are far more people who are giving and kind. I’m proud to know two who demonstrate that each day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. the impact one (or two) can have on another’s life is immeasurable. often it is this one impact that will have a butterfly effect on the world. Keep smiling and seeing everyone as someone

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 12:37 pm

      It most definitely is a cumulative effect. One person’s actions can impact so many others. I’m reminded of the old proverb, “One good turn deserves another.”

      Like

  4. Wonderful post. I remember how the much I accomplished in a classroom where the teacher cared. So nice that your friends understand that and treat everyone equal. A little humanity goes a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 3:50 pm

      Simple but meaningful gestures go a long way in uplifting others. I used to try and attend one extracurricular activity of my students during the school year (if they invited me 🤣). I always felt kids tried harder for teachers when they knew we cared.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pete, this story is wonderfully told. The connection found in the simple kind acts of the men you describe are moving. I seem drawn to Mr. “O” for some reason…..😁…but I am sure they are as delightful as you describe. I want to be like them when I grow up! Well written, my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 3:53 pm

      Mr. “O” had that effect on a lot of kids. Teachers have their areas of specialty that they bring to the table. Mr. “P” turned a lot of kids on to science.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! You’re right, often times people just want to be seen and heard, not labelled and marginalized for whatever reason. Your friends, Mr. P and Mr. O (along with you, Pete) seem like a great group of guys! I feel like anyone would be lucky to encounter any one of you and better yet, call you guys their friends. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:00 pm

      There is something about being together for a common cause that draws people together. I’ve seen it in the actions of military personnel, sports teams, community service organizations, etc. A teaching staff can develop this kind of connection too. Pre-COVID, the retired teachers in my district would get together for lunch once a month.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep, right on, Pete.
    May you guys tally up many miles on the trails…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:01 pm

      I’ve walked more in the last year than any time in my life by far. It helps me cope.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this story…how about some kindness…maybe it will catch on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:03 pm

      Absolutely, John! It takes such little effort, and the payoff is you might cheer someone up.

      Like

  9. Kudos to all of you. Truthfully, I don’t understand doing anything but what your teacher friends do. It makes no sense to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:05 pm

      It is sad how some are judgmental of others without any idea of the circumstances that may have placed them in those situations.

      Like

  10. Hi, Peter – I wholeheartedly agree! The Mr. O’S and the Mr.P’s in the world, deeply enrich our lives. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:07 pm

      My pleasure. Spreading kindness is such a no-brainer. It feels like the world can use an extra dose or two these days.

      Like

  11. Thank you introducing us to Mr. “P” and Mr. “O,” still making difference, still making their little corner of the world a better place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:10 pm

      They’re great. We had an awesome staff overall, but the guys, in particular, share a close bond.

      Like

  12. Hi Pete, I love reading feel good stories and how acts of kindness are all around us. Mr. P and Mr. O are part of the good in our humanity. You remind me of the saying ‘we are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Just sayin’🙂

    Beautiful, poignant song and lyrics. A great reminder. Everyone matters. Thank you for another great post, Pete, writing about what matters.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:28 pm

      I feel like we should be vigilant in delivering this ideal, Erica. I totally believe in the concept of paying it forward and the effect this has on others. Many Pat Benatar songs were bigger sellers, but this is one of my favorites because of the music and the message.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful… Love is what it’s all about! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 26, 2021 — 4:29 pm

      It’s not that surprising, and yet to witness it first-hand has been something.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. what beautiful people they are, and still teaching the world –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:02 am

      Teachers teach—even when the audience doesn’t ask for it. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It definitely shows when someone really cares!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:05 am

      It really is as simple as that.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Correct as usual, King Friday. And that song is perfect; it’s almost exactly the lines I’ve been thinking a few times when people think it’s okay to say mean things about others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:12 am

      I often think of quotes that match some of my posts, but it was different to think of a song that matched my thoughts. King Friday—I like that. I recently read a book about blogging written by Anne R. Allen. She advises that we should blog at a specific time/day. I hadn’t ever given it much thought. I write when the spirit moves me, usually once every 1-2 weeks. I am amazed by the people who blog each day (sometimes several times per day.) That will never be me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 That was me. Every day, same bat time. I think it really helped build the reader base up. I don’t have time or interest for that, now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:34 am

        I’ve got to think being a mom fills up more time than anything else.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great song choice for a lovely post that gives you that warm feeling…We need more people like that in the world …A smile and a nod costs nothing but can mean so very much Have a great weekend Pete 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:19 am

      Simple gestures can carry a lot of weight. Of course, when we ask how someone else is doing, sincerity has to be there. People can spot phoniness.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. This is heartening story, Pete. I am a bit like this, I also like to greet people and learn about them. My mother calls them my collection. I am a people collector. It does make a difference when people know you care about them and are interested in their lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:23 am

      “People collector”—great term. I suppose that describes me too. When I haven’t seen or heard from someone in a bit, I tend to reach out to make sure everything is still okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I loved this post Pete. What a well-written story about Mr. “P” and Mr. “O.” I hope they realize how special they are. Not everybody is equipped to talk openly with strangers. And it’s a cool thought to think that these exchanges can impact the strangers in such a positive way that they then pay it forward. The ripples outward are endless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:26 am

      Not everyone is equipped to talk to strangers. I am fascinated by people who seemingly can talk with anyone. It seems to come so naturally for them. I would guess that the majority of people are not that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is just so easy for them. It is an awesome superpower (and I fall in that majority you reference. 😊)

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Two inspirational gentlemen: it must be good being in their company. And Pat Benatar is always welcome 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 8:33 am

      I am a creature of habit, Clive; I like my routines. Fridays mean walking with Mr. “O” and Mr. “P.” Tuesday tunes come to mind for you. Why Pat isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is beyond me. I would choose her over several performers who are already in. Hmm—maybe a future post for you, Clive. Performers who you feel are deserving but are not there yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Habits give us some stability in our lives, which is very important in these strange times.

        The Hall of Fame has become a joke with some of those who have been admitted, many of whom are nothing to do with rock music. That sounds like a good idea: I’d start with Warren Zevon 🤟

        Liked by 2 people

  21. What a beautiful post, Pete. You never know the impact you are having on someone’s life. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 1:23 pm

      I think most teachers think about this because we are hopefully influencing our students in positive ways. As I like to say, it is both a privilege and a responsibility.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Great post Pete! Thanks for sharing how positively you all impact those around you! Love the Pat Benatar song song but when I read the title of it, all I could think of was Jackson Browne – Somebody’s Baby….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 1:26 pm

      I love that one, too. That might be my favorite Jackson Browne tune. I will always associate that song with the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk2NHZukTYg

      Like

      1. Haha! When I looked it up, that was the first video that popped up with the song! LOL

        Like

  23. What a great reminder of the importance of acknowledging the people around us. My dad was that kind of person. A Saturday errand downtown in our small town town would take him the whole morning because he’d stop and talk with everyone he met. He also brought people home for dinner frequently — often strangers passing through town or new arrivals to the community that he’d started chatting with in a store or at his workplace.

    Jude

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 1:40 pm

      What an interesting man! My mom had that quality. One of the stories I like to tell in that vein had to do when I first moved out. I dropped by my parents’ house, and they had a plumber working on their toilet. She insisted that I meet him. It was one of those awkward moments where he looked at me, thinking, “I’m just here to fix the toilet.” 🤣🤣🤣

      Like

  24. I love your stories that focus on people who are making a difference, and Mr. O and Mr. P. are certainly doing that, jut like they did as teachers. And I am sure you are making the same difference with these people you meet on you walk. I need a couple of walking buddies like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 2:04 pm

      Well, if you’re ever out in California… It is partly a social thing. I’m busy talking and the next thing I know, I’ve been walking for an hour. I do some of my best thinking and get some of my writing ideas when I’m out walking by myself, though. That’s why I think it will always be some combination of the two. I’m planning on returning to the gym (it’s been a year) after I get my vaccinations. That is another place where I get the benefits of exercise and socializing.

      Like

  25. More great observations of humanity. Quite a change for Pat Benatar too from her past hits. The song is definitely not a cover of at least two other songs about “Somebody’s Baby;” one by Jackson Browne in ’82 and another by a country group in ’86.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 5:16 pm

      I love the Jackson Browne song “Somebody’s Baby.” It’s interesting because that may be my favorite song of his. As you probably remember, it has a completely different meaning than the Benatar tune. I got to see Pat Benatar not too many years back. She still had an amazing voice, and her husband, Spyder, was rocking it on the guitar.

      Like

  26. Yes, sometimes it is right in front of us. You have honed in on the core of what really matters, thanks to Mr. P. and Mr. O. What a wonderful post, Pete! You were the lucky observer to witness the changes that happened after your friends cared and greeted people along the walking trail. Every smile, every kind word, makes a difference. That’s humanity. That’s what we all need to do. Will you please thank Bill and Larry for me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 27, 2021 — 5:22 pm

      I didn’t tell them I was writing the article, but I emailed it today. I waited because I knew it would resonate with many other readers, and I wanted them to see the comments. Every action matters, doesn’t it? We should never forget that lesson, especially when we’re interacting with children. I’m glad you connected with it, Jennie. I worked with some great people! As you well know, coworkers can feed off the positive energy of each other. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen the converse happen,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you emailed it so they could read the comments. I was thinking about this last night, and picturing how the effect will be even more powerful when Covid is under control and masks are off. Yes, every action matters and has a ripple effect. Let’s keep those positive ripples going, especially with children.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Pete, this is such an inspiring post and a great reminder to stop and think about other people. I must admit that when we pass people on our walks and they don’t make eye contact, I am critical of them so thanks for pulling me out of that place! Is Mr. P the same guy that found the wedding ring with his metal detector?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 28, 2021 — 8:14 am

      I’m impressed you remember that. Yes, he is the same guy. There used to be a man who would come to our school on the weekends and use his metal detector in the wood chips under a playground module—a logical place to find some loose coins. I recall in some of your posts that the two of you used a metal detector. Have you had any memorable finds?

      Liked by 1 person

  28. We need more people displaying simple acts of kindness and compassion. Imagine what a difference it could make.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 28, 2021 — 8:18 am

      Compassion is such an undervalued emotion. When someone tells about a significant life event, they simply want others to acknowledge and feel the impact.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I remember seeing a documentary on the homeless and how so many of those interviewed said that people will not look them in the eye, let alone look at them. They feel invisible and ashamed. A smile and a hello will go a long way by simply acknowledging that you “see” them and that they matter. A heartwarming story, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor February 28, 2021 — 11:15 am

      I saw this same scenario play about with children many times over the years. They warm up to you as soon as they know you care. I’ve probably told you this before, but one of the funniest things that used to happen on a semi-regular basis was running into kids away from school. Sometimes I didn’t know them because they were from a different class. One time I was in the grocery store and this kid yells out my name excitedly. His mother and a few of the other shoppers turned and looked at me, thinking, “Who the hell is this guy? He doesn’t look famous to me.”😎

      Like

  30. As a former student of Mr. P, I wholeheartedly agree with your description of this wonderful human. He is one of my all-time favorite teachers and with my extensive college career, that’s saying a lot. Glad he’s still making a difference in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 6, 2021 — 8:38 am

      As a former teacher at Pine Hill for 31 years, I can tell you that comments such as yours mean so much to teachers. We’re always curious about what direction life takes our students. Yesterday, I walked with buddies again and shared the comments left on Facebook about them (both have Facebook accounts, but neither one is very active on that platform.) Their faces immediately lit up.

      I organize a monthly retirement lunch for my Pine Hill/South Bay family. (at least I did pre-Covid) Some of the South Bay staff that regularly attends are names you might recognize—Mrs. Sorenson, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Passarini, Mrs. Fritzsche, Mr. Rickard, Mrs. Lorvig (librarian), Mrs. Younger (aide), Mr. Jain (music teacher), Mrs. Sheppard (custodian/bus driver). Sometimes Mrs. Joiner or Mrs. Dukes make an appearance as well as others. It’s pretty funny when there are twenty of us in a restaurant, and an old student walks in. The looks on their faces are priceless, like they’ve walked into a time warp.

      Much luck to you, Christa, moving forward. Thanks for reaching out.

      Like

    2. petespringerauthor March 6, 2021 — 8:45 am

      I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I thought of this other article that I wrote that has a photo of some of our group that you might recognize. https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2020/12/04/an-open-letter-to-my-students/

      Like

  31. What a great post, Pete – I can just imagine how the kids loved Mr O. and Mr P, and what wonderful teachers they were. Now, they’re still spreading joy and reaching out. A real inspiration. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 1, 2021 — 8:32 am

      We teachers can’t stop teaching—even if no one wants to listen to us.🤣 It has been remarkable to watch as people who once rushed quickly by without eye contact now enjoy these brief encounters.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Great post, Pete. What a wonderful trio making a difference to so many lives, sending ripples far and wide.
    I don’t recall that Pat Benatar song, but I often think the same thing when I see stories of people in trouble or difficult situations. Sadly for so many, while they may have been somebody’s baby, they may not have had that unconditional love that is so important to one’s development.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 1, 2021 — 8:36 am

      She has many other songs that did far better in terms of sales and weeks on the charts, but I like this one because the message is as great as the music.

      Unconditional love is the one key ingredient in any child’s development. Show me a child who comes from a loving home, and I will show you a happy child. Great point, Norah!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know we agree on that, Pete! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  33. It’s so easy to have an impact on even the grumpiest kids and curmudgeons with a bit of persistent smiles and greetings, as Mr O and Mr. P have demonstrated. I love how you notice and celebrate the best in people, Pete. Keep spreading the smiles. And a great song that brought back memories!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 1, 2021 — 11:28 am

      One of the best things we can do is to surround ourselves with positive people, Diana. I still believe that for all of the negative things in the world, most humans are good people who look out for one another. Sometimes the simplest gestures carry the most weight. It takes no effort to be kind and to show empathy.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Loved this post Pete. It all goes back to the saying – one kind word or a smile can make somebody’s whole day, and that’s what it’s all about. I am that person – back in the days when we used to actually go shopping in a store, a coffee, whatever, people I talk to are greeted by a smile. It doesn’t cost anything to smile but it could light up someone else’s day too. You guys are three good amigos. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 1, 2021 — 6:56 pm

      I can picture you being that person, Debby. Shopping in stores—I’ve heard about that. I thought Amazon owned the world. Keep spreading that joy! Schools just fully reopened in our city today. My wife and I laugh because this is the first time in our lives in about fifty years since we haven’t been old enough for something.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. You are so lucky to count these two special men as friends. But I bet they feel just as lucky to have you join them for these walks. And any walk is special when we connect with others, as well as when we connect with ourselves, our inner being. Like you, walking is a kind of meditation for me when I walk alone. I think of stories, or characters. I go deep and relax into who I am. I feel gratefulness for all that is around and in me. And then, when I walk with a friend, I feel joy bubble up as we talk and laugh and relate with each other. And yes, as we greet those we pass by. Hooray to your Mr. “O” and Mr. “P.” Keep on walking, Pete. It’s been difficult for me these past two months because of the cold and snow. But today, I’m meeting a friend for a 90 minute walk, despite the fact that the high will be 30 degrees, with a wind chill of 25 F. Hopefully our smiles will warm us up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 5, 2021 — 8:26 am

      That gets tricky, especially if you get around any ice. I’m sure you’ll be cautious. Our bones don’t like falls these days. I found it interesting to learn that you do some of your best thinking about stories and writing when you’re walking because that happens to me, too. We’re meeting physical, mental, and emotional needs—I guess we’d better keep walking, Pamela.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. A wonderful post Pete and we could use a few million more Mr. P’s and O’… how great to see that transformation on the walk over such a relatively short space of time. Have always loved that Pat Benatar song and a great reminder to us all. We don’t know what life holds for us, however carefully we plan and we can only hope for the kindness of strangers such as these two amazing men …. and yourself of course…xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor March 7, 2021 — 7:49 am

      There was a bit of a fun payoff regarding this story since I wrote it. I posted it on Facebook, and as sometimes happens, it got shared by a few other people. This led to some of Mr. O’s and Mr. P’s former students sharing their memories of them. Since neither is on Facebook much, it was fun for me to share these memories with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fantastic what a lovely outcome and I bet they were stoked by it too.. they deserve the attention..x

        Liked by 1 person

  37. You have all these kids, without anything to do during COVID 19 and you would think they are itching to get out there and do what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 7, 2021 — 3:29 pm

      The kids went back to school this past week in our city. Hopefully, things continue to move in the right direction. I think the mental challenges for kids about not being with their peers has probably been a big hurdle for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to aagree with you there

        Liked by 1 person

  38. What a wonderful posting, and I finally met teachers who are even after their professional life as fresh as they were at the beginning. Honestly, I have to admit that most teachers are a little grumpy by the time they retire. 😉 Thank you for beeing a very good role model, and thank you for the great song too, Pete! Best wishes to you all! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 9, 2021 — 3:17 pm

      I worked with great people for the most part. I did see a couple of those teachers who stayed longer than they probably should have over the years. I vowed never to become one of those people. I still like I have something left in the tank to contribute, even though I’m retired. I want to start a reading group for children at our library after things open up again. We, teachers, tend to gravitate toward other positive people who are committed to children. Bless the Jennie’s, Norah’s, and Beth’s (and others like them) who make kids’ lives better each day. Thanks for stopping by, Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your work was and is definitely great. Thank you for keeping on! Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  39. As you say, the crucial element in these wonderful retired teachers is their sincerity. The difference the three of you have made, and are making, to people’s lives is significant and a genuine force for the good. Enjoy your rambles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 10, 2021 — 2:13 pm

      These two deserve all the credit, though I did enjoy highlighting them and hearing from some of their former students on Facebook. Above all, teachers want to feel like their efforts have made a change in others’ lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Awesome post! Yes, all anyone wants is just to be loved to know someone cares! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor March 16, 2021 — 8:05 pm

      It really has been a wonder to see this first hand. I had the good fortune of working with some great people. I’m the organizer of our retired teachers’ group who hasn’t met for lunch in about a year. We’re finally going to try an outdoor gathering next month. Most of them have had their vaccinations, but we’re still waiting. First time I’ve been too young for anything in about thirty years. 🤣

      Like

      1. Haha about being too young! A strange feeling? 🙂
        Hope your outdoor event works well!

        Liked by 1 person

  41. That is a touching story and a touching song, Pete. What a wonderful set of friends you have and how amazing to watch this transformation. It shines through that all three of you must have been wonderful and influential teachers!

    My husband and I have visited many different places and it is interesting to see the differences between populations and interactions. In less populated areas and on less busy trails, everyone says hi to each other. In cities, this is rarely the case.

    Here in Mexico, for example, we noticed a big difference between the towns of Mulege and Loreto. Because of the friendly atmosphere in Mulege, we like being here much better and made it our “home base”. Everyone says buenas dias or waves. Even in cars. Plus, the locals and expats are always smiling and happy. It’s a good place to be. 🙂

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor March 23, 2021 — 10:33 pm

      I worked with some wonderful people—the kind of people any parent would want their child to have for a teacher. In fact, our son did as he went through our elementary school. We didn’t put him through the weirdness of having his dad as his teacher, though.

      My experiences with people are similar to yours. When I’m in less populated areas, it seems like everyone is friendly. As part of my mental health and sanity, I walk everyday. It’s quite interesting to see the way people act toward one another during the pandemic. Most people are still friendly while others practically run the other direction. Even outdoors, I usually carry a mask. When I pass by others, I usually put it on for a minute. Today, one lady stopped and said, “Covid is fake.”

      I’m glad you have found a comfortable home base. I forget their names, but I now follow one of the couple you sometimes get together with when you’re traveling. Much like you, they itemize their expenses each month.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Crazy about the “Covid is fake” statement, huh? Mark was recently approached by a westerner here in Mexico, who went off on him with the same sentiment, spreading lies and being awful, saying that the people who are dying would die anyway and that Mark’s parents would die this year or the next, regardless. My husband was working at a table with electricity in the common area of the campground when this happened and had to leave!

        Yes, I’ve seen your comments on Duwan and Greg’s blog. I’m glad you are interested in their lifestyle and expenses as well. They are a great, adventurous, and frugal couple. We hope to see them again on the east coast of the US this summer.

        Liked by 1 person

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