Name change a tribute to former Superior police officer, mentorA former Superior police officer has a new 34- year-old son and brand new grandson. They have taken the name of Bergson as a way to say thanks for keeping them on the straight and narrow.
By: By Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A former Superior police officer has a new 34- year-old son and brand new grandson.
They have taken the name of Bergson as a way to say thanks for keeping them on the straight and narrow.
Rob Thielman is now Rob Bergson. And his newborn son is Trevor Bergson. He says he made the legal name change as a way to thank former Superior police officer and mentor Herb Bergson who helped him deal with a tough family life.
“He would take a lot of us neighbor kids and round us all up in a couple of squad cars and bring us to the movies, drop us off and come back and pick us up so we could have fun things to do and not get in trouble,” the newly named Bergson said.
Rob Bergson grew up in Superior and now lives in Arizona. But he remembers his first encounter with Police Officer Bergson.
“Me and my two brothers would always fight on the bus. So Herb, being the school liaison officer, was always the one who would be called when there was a disturbance and he would have to come and break us up.”
Even though it was 1981, Herb Bergson remembers the incident clearly.
“The principal was yelling ‘They’re fighting on the bus! They’re fighting on the bus! You got to get over there!’ I went over there and here’s a 5-, a 6-, and a 7-year-old, three brothers fighting. It was Rob and his brothers Terry and Bruce – just comical to see. Who’d have known 29 years later Rob would be one of my closest friends,” Herb Bergson said.
Rob Bergson says telling the senior Bergson he wanted to adopt his name was a pretty big surprise.
“It was more of a shock,” the younger Bergson said, laughing. “I don’t think reality has really set in for him yet, you know.”
“I can’t describe the feeling,” says Herb Bergson. “I’ve never ever had that feeling exactly like this before.”
He was a school police officer from 1980 to 1982 in the Superior School District. He looked after kids in school but also after school, taking them away from the city to his cabin or to ball games. Although he went on to become mayor of Superior and Duluth, he says mentoring kids was the most important job he ever had.
“A kid can’t pick the family he grows up in or the environment he grows up in. If you can be a little relief for them, from all the pain and pressure and stress of an unfavorable home life, then that’s a good thing.”
Bergson, who has a home in Superior and works out of Minneapolis as a private security consultant, hopes other people take his lead.
“It doesn’t take a cop to be a mentor. It just takes someone who has a little time that they don’t mind sharing with kids. You can make a difference in a child’s life, just by being there.”
And Rob Bergson says he’ll never forget the kindness.
“Well to me, I’ve told Herb that I don’t feel it’s enough.”