Grandma Katie graduated 8th grade. She had 8 kids and a dead husband (dust bowl pneumonia) in 1939, Indiahoma OK. All 4 boys enlisted and sent their checks home. They barely scratched out an existence in the middle of the Great Depression. The smallest (not youngest) boy was Bill, my dad. When older brothers Ivan and Carl left for the service Bill, by default, became man of the house in 1941, age 9. The next 10 years spent whooping anyone and everyone that offended a sister or his mom. Attended school with no shoes. Earning reputation as the toughest s.o.b. in Comanche County, Bar None.
My mom was sent down state Illinois from her family at age 14. Had 3 kids before she was 20. An abusive alcoholic during my entire childhood (like the cliché my first marriage mirrored same). My sister had two kids before she was 20, plus one more. She is now a great grandma at 62 years old. Kids having kids. My brother left our hometown his junior year of high school and has never been back.
I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1992 with a B.S. in Community Health Promotion, 3.97 gpa. Spent the next 20 years trying to raise my 3 children as a stay at home dad. Volunteering for USA Track & Field providing another important purpose, satisfaction of meaningful work outside the home. Advocating for others providing a deep fulfillment. Gulf Coast Windbreakers in the mid 80s, Brazosport Area Road Runners Assoc. in the 90s. Run For The Arts 10 Mile.
I was up to pace when moving to Nebraska in 2001. Established the USATF LDR program, Team Nebraska, Run Guru Elite, Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, dozens of more races over the last 20 years. Coaching too.
This is what I am. This what I do. This is what I have always done. This is what I will always do.