Thoughts on things from the news, TV, radio, and daily life that hit home with me.
Mr. Richard Wesp:
Mr. Richard Wesp taught Vocal Music at Anderson High School, my Alma Mater, for 57 years, beginning in 1955. He was also the Music Director for the entire Forest Hills School District, and as you can tell by the above numbers, he had only recently retired. He passed away about a week ago, the second of three victims in our county of the West Nile Virus. He was 80 years old.
He was an outstanding example of the fact that, at least at the time I was there, in the 1960’s, the students came first. Teachers’ strike? We’d never heard of that term. Never had one.
Mr. Wesp, as did virtually all the teachers that were there when I was a student, set an example by his actions as well as his words. Respect. Self discipline. Determination. He was an example to all students of each of those traits, and more, in his efforts to prepare us for life. I never had him as a teacher, but I didn’t have to. My best friend in high school, Dennis Atkinson, whom I mentioned in an earlier entry in this journal, did have Mr. Wesp as his teacher. Dennis was in the high school chorus, directed by Mr. Wesp, for four years. And in any conversation Dennis and I had about school, any comment Dennis made about Mr. Wesp was done with obvious respect and admiration for the man. And I knew Dennis well enough, both during and after those four years, to know that if he said something, he meant it. It was from the heart.
Mr. Wesp may be gone, but his influence on the faculty he worked with, and especially the well over 400,000 students he taught in his career will live on. At the school, yes. But most notably in the hearts, and minds, of those students he had a personal hand in preparing for dealing with life. And they will be far better off for having known him.
Rest in peace, Mr. Wesp. You most certainly deserve it. You will be sorely missed.