February 11, 2016

Role Models

As a kid, we all have an aunt or an uncle or some big kid down the road, who is a bit of a role model for us.

"When I grow up, I want to be just like her!"  Hell, that still crosses my mind now and then because, in my own mind, I am not a grown-up yet!

Do you remember your childhood heroes? Those people that inspired you to set goals or to wing it?

When I was pretty young, I remember my dad standing in fields, at the side of roads, at the bottom of mountains, with his new camera. He took some photos that still astound me with their beauty of the Colorado Rockies, but also of photos that captured personalities and special moments.

My dad always made me feel safe, too. At 87 years old he still is one of my role models.

Miss Machado, a sixth grade teacher, who became Mrs. Cooper before the year was over was another of those adults that showed a true interest in her students. She listened. She didn't pretend to listen, she looked you in the eye, put down what she was doing and engaged. I wanted to be just like her.

Mrs. Gardner, my first boyfriend's mother, showed me what kind of a mother I wanted to be. She had eight children and her house was filled with chaos but a loving, nurturing chaos that I could thrive on. Her children could also talk to her about anything....anything! Whoa, what a concept!

Then John Robert Hall came into my life. He was a high school English and Drama teacher. Talk about a teacher that could restore clipped wings! I don't know anyone who wasn't deeply moved, inspired, freed to be themselves by this man. I don't know anyone who didn't love him with all their heart, even to this day.

I've also had bosses who have modeled that kind of leader that I would never, ever be, even if my life depended on it. (Dear Lord, this is not a prayer or challenge...merely a statement).

Oh, there was also Pam. She was my age. She was fearless. She was genuine. She was petite and had huge boobs and hair that could win pageants. She was my best friend. I was fearless when I was with her. I was also the tallest girl at school, needed falsies to break even. We made a good pair. She lives across the country now and teaches Women's Studies at an east coast university. Man, I miss her.

Did you have people who inspired you? What did they instill in you? What did they inspire?


  1. my maternal grandmother because she believed in me when everyone else cut me down.

    eleanor roosevelt, a role model for all women.

    1. OMG, yes! My maternal grandmother taught me about unconditional love, patience and how to eat a load of bread, fresh out of the over with zest!

      Eleanor is inspirational. I do lean toward her when I find myself retreating from change.

  2. I had a teacher in 5th grade who, one day when i wore a pair of, shall we say, flamboyant pants to school, who told me, as the other kids ridiculed me for my fashion sense, that one day I would be the one they would all be trying to emulate.

    It didn't quite happen that way, but it was nice for 11-year-old Bob to hear that. And I did learn to march to my own drummer.

    1. Being taught to march to your own music is the biggest gift ever. Seems to me you're still marching to it.

  3. I grew up in a working class family and working class neighbourhood filled with people that came to Canada from different parts of Europe in the 50s and 60s. My immigrant parents along with the rest of the neighbourhood arrived with next to nothing, lived in poverty for many years, worked long and hard hours, and built themselves up to a more comfortable living. So where do I start with all the people who have inspired me? People who have instilled a good work ethic, perseverance, hope, patience, humility, etc? There are just too many to name!


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