Here’s something I dumped on Jaquandor – he’s still thinking about it: “Come up with a list of the 20 (or 25) most important/influential people in your life. I’m particularly interested in those people who may be out of your life now (a music teacher, a lost friend) who you look back and see their impact.”
So, with no disrespect to those not on the list who I love dearly, here’s my list:
My two sisters
My paternal grandmother, who was my first Sunday School teacher. She also taught me canasta, the first “grown-up” card game I ever played.
My maternal grandmother – my sisters and I spent every day after school with her as well as most of the summers
Great aunt Deanna, her sister- played card games and Scrabble with me, protected me from some of my grandmother’s excesses – I can still hear her say, “Leave the boy alone!” – and loved watching JEOPARDY! on TV
Great aunt Charlotte – my mother’s uncle’s wife, the force behind whatever moxie my mother showed, and the matriarch of many of the people I consider as cousins, having no first cousins of my own.
Two or three friends I’ve known since kindergarten, some of whom may get mentioned here eventually.
Pat – the secretary at my elementary school, she had Friday Night Bible Club at her house, which I attended from the time I was nine until I was 16.
Paul Peca – my sixth-grade teacher, who I mentioned here
Walter – my parents’ godson, and the grandson of MY godparents, essentially handed down to me two jobs, one as a newspaper deliverer, and the other as a page at Binghamton Public Library
Helen Foley – Rod Serling’s favorite teacher and one of mine.
The guy I met the first day of college
Alan Chartock – from whom I took American Government and Politics in 1971
Lynn – college friend in my student government days
Tom Skulan – founder of FantaCo, where I got to meet a lot of interesting people
Fred Hembeck – who got me into blogging
Eldest niece – the avuncular role I had with her spread, as I occasionally took care of my friends’ kids as well
Debbie – good friend in the 1980s, and I know a ton of people through her
Broome – ditto, and there are probably more people I know indirectly from him in the Albany area than anyone
Eric – I could mention almost any choir director, but he was arguably the best at making difficult music seem achievable
Three or four exes, one of whom nagged me to go to library school
Wife – among other things, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t own a home
Daughter – parenting is just different than being an uncle
So that’s 25 to 27 people. It was my original question, so if I want to cheat a little, so be it.