I can count nine, and thus I'm more than blessed.
- Barbara Radovich, high school speech teacher at Highland High School in Albuquerque, N.M.,who taught me more about myself, now that I think about it, and gave me the confidence to stand up and speak and lead--probably the most important and influential teacher in my life.
- Don Green, Oklahoma Christian College, who taught American political thought and constitution law...teaching me to reason, think critically, and to see the long perspective of history.
- Frank Finney, Central State College, Oklahoma (now UCO where I teach)--who taught a course in Whitman and me how to interpret, enjoy and write about literature.
- Henry Africa, who ran the Linotype school at the University of Iowa, and showed me there's more to journalism than technology, and more to education than a degree.
- Callaway Buckley, executive editor of The Duncan Banner, who took a young journalist and made an editor and better journalist of him, with scathing criticism and confidence and praise.
- Donald J. Morrison, partner and publisher of The Waurika News-Democrat, who infused me with a love for community journalism, and how to not only put a paper out, but with what it means to the readers.
- Charles Fleming, colleague at OSU, and chair of my doctoral committee, whose organization and complete opposite of teaching style, helped me get my "union card" to higher ed, and taught me to always honor the birthday of the U.S. Marines. Vietnam's Agent Orange claimed him a few years later, but I know many fellow students in whose lives he still lives.
- Harry Heath--at OSU, my last mentor, and friend, a giant who forgot more about journalism than I know, but whose confidence and example nurtured and propelled me to where I am today.
- I've left out the name of my first grade teacher, long ago, in Fort Worth. I don't know what she did, nor remember her first name, but Mrs. Gaylee must have been terrific.