I’ve had a couple of surrogate fathers in my lifetime. Why? Because my own father was either on business trips, working, or wrapped up in his sports addiction. Even the bonding time we did have was surrounding his sports (going to hockey games, where he was in charge of the off the ice officials, fishing – where he required silence so he could drink beer and fish). When I became disabled at age 11, he was no longer able to teach me sports. He couldn’t relate. You get the idea.
I’d two surrogate fathers – Wayne Taysom, who had been my seventh grade homeroom teacher, and Kenneth Wells, my high school choir teacher.
Mr. Taysom and his Mormon family happened to live on my way home from high school. How fortuitous for me! Wayne and his lovely wife Jeanne would welcome me in whenever I stopped by. To talk, have a healthy snack, sometimes even dinner! In spite of the large family running around! (Come to think of it, Jeanne was a surrogate Mom, as well!)
Kenneth Wells was my high school choir teacher extraordinaire! He offered me one of the few highlights in my high school life, teaching me how to sing, read music, perform in the Baroque manner and how to appreciate such diverse music as J.S. Bach and Stan Getz. He pushed the Concert Choir into taking All State, and singing on Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in 1970. It was one of the highlights of my life.
These men gave me both discipline and direction when my own Father was unable to.
I salute them!