Memories make up the stories of our livesMemories are important to us. Alzheimer’s is a serious reminder that anyone of us could lose ours. Lucky enough to still have memories, we cherish them and often share them with others, especially good friends that share theirs with us as well.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Memories are important to us. Alzheimer’s is a serious reminder that anyone of us could lose ours. Lucky enough to still have memories, we cherish them and often share them with others, especially good friends that share theirs with us as well.
I heard a minister recently use memories as the basis for his sermon and he made me more conscious of their overall value. I still remember where I put most things important to me; most of the time. As we get older, we find forgetting more frequently the case, and we fear that it may portend something more serious. But we rationalize a bit, and say it is because our head is packed with much more stuff; it is more a point of being overloaded than it is of memory loss. Memory becomes increasingly important, in our life, for a variety of reasons.
Stories explain much of what happens in our lives. People have asked me why a Wisconsin farm boy ended up spending 20 years in Montana. In retrospect, that revealed a number of significant occurrences along the way that didn’t seem at all important while they were accumulating, but along the way they became a part of my story. Maybe this story will remind you of stories in your life that you haven’t yet reconstructed with the benefit of hindsight.
My wife and I were walking down a St. Paul street before Christmas in 1947. Can’t remember why we were there because we seldom ventured that far from our homes, nine miles west of Menomonie, Wis. I was a senior student (WWII G.I. Bill) at Stout Institute in Menomonie, Wis. We passed an office sign, Western Teachers Exchange, and since teaching was my ultimate objective, we went in to see how such a private employment agency might help me. They convinced me to sign up even though I had more than half a year left before graduating .
A few days following, I was called out of class at Stout to answer a phone call from a superintendent of schools in Poplar, Mont. He wanted to hire me to begin teaching the first of January. I explained that I had more than a semester of college yet before graduating. He said, he was desperate for a replacement and the state department would license me under emergency conditions that existed.
To make a long story a bit shorter, I went to Montana for the second semester of teaching, took correspondence courses during that semester and attended Stout the next summer to finish my degree. Stayed six years at Poplar, finishing my master’s degree at the University of Minnesota and started the doctorate at Washington State University. The seventh year was my first year of 14 as school superintendent in Montana. During those years, I completed my doctorate, taught summer session at Montana State University the summer of 1966 and accepted the director of Lab. School at Mankato, Minn.
In 1968, I came home to Wisconsin at University of Wisconsin-Superior. But what a story developed because of an unusual happening of being in St. Paul one day in December 1947 and entering the Western Teachers Exchange to see what I might do after graduating the following June.
Do you remember a story that has made substantial impact on your life? When you reach the “aging? years, the kids in your life would very likely enjoy hearing them.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.