I was asked if I had any role models to admire, and, yes, I did.
Of course, everyone should have a role model in their parents, first and for all. I can say that, even though our parents were tough on us at times, the things they taught us were very beneficial to us as we left the nest and embarked on our own.
And yes, when I was a wee boy up there in the north end, I found some very good people to know and admire.
Henry Wagoner was the policeman in our area, and he was a man of honor who had many friends. He was very strict in how he watched us when he was walking his beat.
Old Circus John, whose real name was Wesley Byers, was another influence who made us kids better when grown up. Lee Walters was the principal at Willard School and was admired by all because of the type of person he was and how dedicated to his profession he was. And John Curry, who was a great voice of the people, gave the younger generation a good role model to have.
As I grew up and started to sort of pay my way through life, I met many people who always were thinking of what they could do to make this city a better one.
Robert Hamp at the Tribune gave me my first job delivering the paper. Frank Neal, who with Bill Borden, hired me on at Kroger as a stock boy. They presented this city with sincere thoughts on how our city could be.
Later on in my life, I met a man who will always be on my list of great human beings, and that was Coach Joe Platt. He said I had a chance to be a Wildkat my junior year, but we moved out to the country and so I did not get that chance.