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May 31, 2013


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From one Don to another, thank you for the lovely and worthy tribute.

Thank you for this tribute, I had him in 1975 & 1976 for College Prep English... he really prepared us for college English classes. I also was privileged to work with him in theater as a stage manager for his plays.

Carol (Ford) Guy, class of 1976

Jon, very poignant and moving story about a teacher that obviously made a difference in a lot of lives. I will share this with my daughter who is a high school English teacher, albeit in a "dreaded charter school". She loves it nonetheless. So enjoy your writing. Thank you.

Jon, this is a very moving piece. I, too, went to Coronado High School and made a career out of being "just a teacher." My elementary and high school experiences is where my passion for learning took root. I had such amazing teachers and wanted to be just like them. I am grateful for those years and only wish today's young people are equally as fortunate. Thank you for giving a voice to the millions of people out there who have made a career choice to be "just a teacher."

Kathy Wiebke

Nice tribute, and even though most of your readers never knew him, many of us had someone that made such a positive contribution to whatever path we followed. Thanks.

Very moving Jon.
My deliberate avoidance of schools and teachers cost me dearly. I was in my twenties when I realized what I had missed after taking a philosophy class from Phil Smelser at Phoenix college.

I am sure there are still many great teachers out there striving to provide the best for their students.

But they are up against the for profit crowd, the narrow minded morality crowd and the nut jobs that want teachers to carry guns.

May your continued writings reflect your teachers expectations.

A beautiful and fitting tribute to a great teacher, and a fine gentleman. My children were fortunate to have been his students at Coronado. I am a close, personal friend of Salle Sherrod. They were dear friends, inspiring to many young, (and older)lives.

Chris posts: "Nice tribute, and even though most of your readers never knew him, many of us had someone that made such a positive contribution to whatever path we followed". Mine was Emma, the English and Journalism teacher. She nudged me toward being more responsible and disciplined. 60 years later, I'm married to a retired language arts teacher whose approach is eerily similar.

" I know he and the other fine teachers at Coronado saved my life. They set me out on a series of adventures, an appreciation of the world and a willingness to fight worthy battles thanks to the treasures they gave me, even though I didn't realize I was carrying them when I graduated."

This is good stuff.

That's the way I feel about the public education that I received in AZ. My teachers in grade school (at Orangewood), high school (Washington) and the really, really, fine instruction that I received at Glendale Community College (class of '68)still live in my memory.

A belated thank you from me is definitely in order.

Very nice article. Thank you for your tribute to Mr. Bradshaw. I had him (and Mrs. Sherrod, etc.) for English at Coronado from 1984-1988. I worked at Broadway at Los Arcos mall the summer after graduation and Mr. Bradshaw and Mr. Hughes would "stalk" me in the linen department and hide behind pillows and stuff. Funny guys - especially together. I went on to a career in engineering but always was grateful for the skills they gave us at Coronado to be decent writers and thinkers. Coronado was special - thanks for reminding me of that.

Thank you for a fine article. I was very fortunate to have Mr. Bradshaw for two of the years that I attended Coronado (1984-86). Likewise, he inspired me and guided me from a blue collar upbringing to a cultured adult who wanted nothing more than to emulate his mentor. I am a public school teacher and I often think back on those glory days at Coronado. I was fortunate, indeed, to be at that school at that particular moment. Years later, I saw Mr. B at a Coronado football game and we caught up, but I hadn't really done anything with my life yet. I wish I could have talked with him again and told him that I am now a Social Studies teacher to 7th graders and it is a fulfilling life's work. I don't know when teachers became the villains in our society, but I have never regretted becoming one because I always look back on those wonderful days at CHS. "A Catcher in the Rye" is still one of my favorite novels and every time I reread it, I remember sitting in the front row of Mr. Bradshaw's College Composition class and actually catching myself laughing out loud. What a great man and what a great mentor. Now, I too, am just a teacher...

This post has made me regret how I avoided grade and high school as often as possible. Earning money in whatever manner I could was always first and foremost from the time I was six.
Consequently I barley managed to graduate from High School and it was so close not even my picture is in the Graduate section of Washington HS 1958.

re Lash -- You are really not much older than I am ('66 Washington grad.). But 8 years in those days were an epoch. Why would a 6 year old be concerned with making money? Did you come from a family that worked in agriculture? There were still a lot of farms in that area in the late '50's.

Born on a poor Iowa farm. no electricity, no running water, no birth certificate. My first venture at 6 was to try and sell stuff other people threw away. Second venture at 9 a paper route, Parents out of work. I bought coal for the house family occupied for free to keep from freezing to death. Got to heaven or whats called Sunnyslope January 1950. Selling donut holes to the tuberculars at the Walbash trailer court and then catching animals and selling them. Tortoise's brought ten bucks. Paper routes, and then at 14 the fields of John Jacobs, lettuce and grapes and then the Carol Arthur Sweet Potato farm in Glendale. among the 66 jobs I have had in 72 years.
School always seemed to be a nuisance. I have the distinction of graduating last in my class. Today I believe education is the key and that all who so desire should be provided with a no cost education to at least 4 years of college or a similar equivalent where they would surely encounter those who are "Just a Teacher."

Lash -- Thanks for the info. My story of growing up in Phx in the late 50's, throughout the 60's and coming of age in the 70's was very different from yours.

I thought that I was the luckiest kid in the world to have come to Phx at the age of 8 in 1957 from the burbs of Long Island to this little paradise of a city where a kid could safely hitchhike for 100 miles on a Saturday.

These were the days when kids could roam all over the place and just show up at dinnertime -- no questions asked.

Headless lucy, I got some of that experience, hitchhiking from the slope and Glendale to downtown Phoenix to go to the Fox theater. and then at 14 got on a bus for the midwest to work the fields in Iowa a while but the rag weed kept taking me out, so the desert became my haven. And the late 50's and early sixties were me and my 59 Chev,bench seat so your honey could sit next to you and straddle the four on the floor as you backed of your big V-8 engines pipes in front of Bobs Big Boy. Had my last fight at 19 in the field behind Mcdonalds (burgers were sometimes as low as15 cents) at Central and Indian School.

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