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The shoulders of others…


We stand on the shoulders of others, sometimes pygmies, often giants. My feet are precariously planted, always have been, on the accomplishments of people well above average height, intelligence, and achievement.

Great teachers not only touched my life, they enabled, inspired, enriched it. Not because I was special; because they were. These names will mean nothing to you, but saying them aloud just one more time keeps their memory alive a little while longer — though my debt to them can never be repaid:

  • Mary Hletko¹
  • Edna Rapp
  • Veronica Piper
  • Virginia Lawton
  • Rose Spellman
  • James Francis Baker
  • Morton Newman (librarian)
  • Dean Bryant Vollendorf
  • William “Bill” Burgett
  • Fred D. Shellabarger
  • Agnes Miller (librarian)
  • Mendel Glickman
  • J. Palmer Boggs
  • James Marston Fitch
  • Adolf K. Placzek (librarian/archivist)
  • Blake Alexander (archivist)
  • M. Wayne Bell

¹ Grade School / High School / University of Oklahoma / Columbia University / University of Texas at Austin

What I know is my responsibility. How I came to know it and recognize its worth is attributable to them. You’ve never met these people, nor are you likely to encounter their names anywhere but here, though a few have been incorporated into this project. I will forever see a bit farther because they were teachers in the truest sense of the word.

Actually, it’s my fervent hope that what I owe them is paid forward each time I enter a classroom and follow their example to the best of my ability. Who can say?

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