space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From Our Readers...
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marinette's Season Ends With Loss in Regional Final
* Peshtigo Youth Track Club was Big Success
* Komp Wins Feature at Norway Speedway
* DNR Offering Surface Water Grant Funding
* Area Athletes Earn WFSCA All District/State Honors

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: June 17, 2021

Fresh Look at Dad

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



**********

My father has been dead more than five years now. Our family; notably the four grandchildren, remember him very fondly and every family gathering includes the recounting of some of his adventures and misadventures, his quirky sayings and hobbies, and his relics " the hand-painted "hobo camp" sign he made for his burn barrel, the suitcases he hung in the big pine tree he climbed across the road from our house, and his gifts of homemade airplanes and kites. There is no end of laughing, but we also recall his bravery as a prisoner of war during his combat tour in Europe during WWII and his stoic battle with the cancer that killed him.

I recently received a very special gift, which allowed me to see my father with a fresh perspective.

My dad graduated from UW Madison, courtesy of the GI bill " taxpayer money to equip soldiers for a successful transition to a civilian life in recognition of their service to our country. After graduation, he took a job teaching in a public school in tiny Orangeville, IL. I knew very little about Dad's time as a freshly educated teacher not far separated from the horrors of war and prison camp.

But fortunately for Dad, and those of us who loved him, one of the high school students in his English class was observant and intelligent. While he went on to a career in the field of microbiology as a professor, he also loved literature and writing, and it was these qualities which led him to reach out to my dad a few years before he died.

His initial letter was to let Dad know he appreciated having him as a teacher and to thank him for the inspiration that drove "the student," despite his science-based career choice, to continue writing and reading. In fact, he cited his writing skills as a key factor in his career success.

This kind outreach led to an ongoing correspondence, with "the student" able to access my Dad's weekly essays in the Peshtigo Times on line, and a continued communication between them. Eventually, "the student" and his lovely wife visited my parents, who greatly enjoyed their company.

"The student" is now retiring himself, and as a part of cleaning out his office of 50 years, he found his file of correspondence with his former teacher. He reached out to me, and offered me the archive, which I was happy to accept.

What a revelation.

My dad was a lifelong, passionate advocate for investment in public education. What I didn't know (and perhaps, due to wishful thinking on my part,) is the ongoing struggle for adequate funding for education is NOT new. In one of the letters to his student, my dad recounts a visit to his classroom by a couple of local elected officials of some sort. They were there to assess the adequacy of instruction in "grammar" that had become a source of taxpayer complaint. "Kids are not being taught to write and speak properly in school." Sound familiar? Surely did to me. They arrived during the scheduled unit on poetry, and took seats in dad's classroom with notebooks and pens to observe the class.

Dad thought the unit was going well, with good student engagement. But the grammar police watched from the back radiating disapproval. After the class they approached Dad and one asked where he had gotten his degree. "University of Wisconsin Madison!" he said, and I am sure he said it with pride. The ranking political official then asked "Where is that?" Mind you, Orangeville, IL is scant miles beyond the Wisconsin border and probably less than 60 miles from the well-respected university. Ah. Perhaps I see where a little of Dad's frustration with the ongoing disrespect of public schools and public school teachers came from. Grammar police politicians will do that to you. I'd argue the biggest influence on children's grammar is their home environment, as they spend the most time listening and observing, and where they are presented with a good example, or not. It is much the same with religious formation. Home is the big influencer, not the classroom, and rightly so in my opinion.

A second revelation struck me much harder. My father never talked about his personal experiences during the war while I was growing up. He was patriotic but very vocally anti-war, and I understood it was his personal experience that made him think the way he did. He influenced my opinions on the subject then, and continues to do so now. It was only very late in his life that he wrote some of his shocking wartime and prison camp experiences in the essays in the Peshtigo Times, and when I read them, I was exposed to the disturbing stories for the first time.

Clearly, he had shielded us from a lot of ugliness. I only knew him as "dad," adjusted to life as a social worker and family man. "The student," however, knew him as someone relatively fresh from war.

While my dad led a play practice after school one day, someone set off a large firecracker just outside the building. My dad threw himself flat on the floor in an instant. "The student" wrote about this event in a letter to my father. Obviously the memory had stayed with "the student" for decades. I just read the account a few weeks ago, and am versed in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in soldiers, as most of us now are. This story touched me in a way nothing my dad ever said to me about the war had, and I realized he had been deeply impacted in ways I never saw.

So my thanks to the student, Dr. Robert Switzer. Thanks for your outreach to my Dad in the late autumn of his life. He was so proud when he showed me your initial letter. Thanks to you and your wife for your kindness to my mom and him. Thank you for keeping the archive. Thank you for sharing it with me, and know it will make its way among my siblings and Dad's four grandchildren. You are a fine man, with a wonderful wife, and if my dad had even a tiny role in your formation, it is one more thing I am proud of.

Happy father's day in heaven, Dad; and happy father's day to my husband, our son, and all the dads, grandfathers, uncles, step-fathers and other male mentors of young people on father's day.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
07-29-2021Front Page
Peshtigo Cemetery Marker Back After Refurbishing

07-29-2021Front Page
Crivitz Classes To Be Mask Free And In Person For 2021-2022

07-29-2021Front Page
Marinette Administrator Presents School Reopening Plan To Board

07-29-2021Front Page
Controversy Swirls Around Wausaukee Rescue Squad

07-29-2021Front Page
Town Board To Review Several Water Options

07-29-2021Front Page
Jury Brings Guilty Verdicts In Old McClintock Murder Case

07-29-2021Community - Coleman
CHS Class of 1981 40 Year Reunion

07-29-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Class of ඎ Reunion is Sept. 11th

07-29-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Golf Outing For Old Wrestling Boards

07-29-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Pound Library "Bricks in the Park"

07-28-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman/Pound Senior Bingo Club Disbands

07-28-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Board To Weigh ARPA Fund Projects

07-28-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Area Has Need for Licensed Daycare

07-28-2021Community - Crivitz
American Legion Member Open House Cookout Aug. 18

07-28-2021Community - Crivitz
Auto Junkiez 4 Veterans Car, Truck, Bike Show

07-28-2021Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire and Rescue Auxiliary Plan for Parade, Picnic

07-28-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Students Win Legion Auxiliary Awards

07-28-2021Community - Wausaukee
WBA Scavenger Hunt Gives Away Gas Grill

07-28-2021Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Chair Praises Fireman's Picnic Success

07-28-2021Sports
Marinette's Season Ends With Loss in Regional Final

07-28-2021Sports
Peshtigo Youth Track Club was Big Success

07-28-2021Sports
Komp Wins Feature at Norway Speedway

07-28-2021Sports
DNR Offering Surface Water Grant Funding

07-28-2021Sports
Area Athletes Earn WFSCA All District/State Honors

07-28-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers...

07-28-2021Perspectives
From My Window

07-28-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-28-2021Obituaries
Carol J. Babcock

07-28-2021Obituaries
Carol J. Behnke

07-28-2021Obituaries
Sharon A. Biever

07-28-2021Obituaries
Mary Ann Colassacco

07-28-2021Obituaries
Gary Crandall

07-28-2021Obituaries
Dale W. Green

07-28-2021Obituaries
Laura M. Hall

07-28-2021Obituaries
Angeline C. Jacob

07-28-2021Obituaries
Betty A. Johnson

07-28-2021Obituaries
Sylvia R. Kahler

07-28-2021Obituaries
Barbara A. Kowalski

07-28-2021Obituaries
Christine M. Krienke

07-28-2021Obituaries
William E. LaBombard

07-28-2021Obituaries
Therese A. Lescelius

07-28-2021Obituaries
Donald J. Mailloux

07-28-2021Obituaries
Delores Paugh

07-28-2021Obituaries
Cynthia S. Reed

07-28-2021Obituaries
Mary Samsa

07-28-2021Obituaries
Ronald H. Seidl

07-28-2021Obituaries
Darcy L. Slayton

07-28-2021Obituaries
Melvin E. Smiley

07-28-2021Obituaries
John M. Stoneburner Jr.

07-28-2021Obituaries
Marvin N. Strehlow

07-28-2021Obituaries
Arthur Thurow

07-28-2021Obituaries
Lynda M. Wilczak

07-28-2021Obituaries
Michael P. Wolf

07-22-2021Front Page
Peshtigo Parks & Rec Christmas In July Event Very Successful

07-22-2021Front Page
PHS Alumni Pepper "Fore" Peshtigo Scholarship Golf Outing was Success

07-22-2021Front Page
Clerk Clarence Coble Adresses Town Board

07-22-2021
Clerk Clarence Coble Adresses Town Board

07-22-2021Front Page
Approximately 300 Gather to Celebrate Menominee River

07-22-2021Front Page
Aquila Withdraws Latest Safety Permit Request

07-22-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Ski Cats place 3rd at State Waterski Championships

07-22-2021Community - Crivitz
Friends of Crivitz Airport Met July 17

07-22-2021Community - Crivitz
Paul Seidl Named Member of Year for Bowhunters Club

07-22-2021Community - Crivitz
Place CBA Rummage Sale on Map By Aug. 4

07-22-2021
Coleman Fire Department Picnic Was Huge Success

07-22-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Class of ඎ Reunion is Sept. 11th

07-22-2021Community - Wausaukee
Patriot Club Raises $6,000 For BDP, Goodman Youth

07-22-2021Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Blood Drive Net 41 Pints

07-22-2021Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire and Rescue Prepares for Parade, Picnic

07-22-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wagner To Seek Legal Input On Old Depot Demolition

07-22-2021Sports
Nemetz Leads Marines NEC All-Conference Selections

07-22-2021Sports
11 Bulldogs Receive 2021 Packerland Softball/Baseball Post-Season Honors

07-22-2021Sports
Ty Kretz Wins Little River 2021 Club Championship

07-22-2021Sports
Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing Application Deadline August 1

07-22-2021Sports
DNR Seeking Public Input On PFAS Contamination In Marinette/Peshtigo

07-22-2021Perspectives
From My Window

07-22-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-22-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers...

07-22-2021Obituaries
Auralia Feifarek

07-22-2021Obituaries
Steven R. Gigant

07-22-2021Obituaries
Eugene P. Grille

07-22-2021Obituaries
Geraldine F. Heinz

07-22-2021Obituaries
David W. Jahns

07-22-2021Obituaries
Lloyd P. Kaufman

07-22-2021Obituaries
Nancy L. McDonald

07-22-2021Obituaries
Dominic E. Nowak

07-22-2021Obituaries
Maryann E. Richlen

07-22-2021Obituaries
Sandra A. Saunier

07-22-2021Obituaries
Sharon A. Schramm

07-22-2021Obituaries
Duane F. Schwartz

07-22-2021Obituaries
Donald Stank

07-15-2021Front Page
New Playground For Badger Park Okayed

07-15-2021Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo Board Meets In Special Session

07-15-2021Front Page
Ceranski Protest Leaves No School Board Quorum

07-15-2021Front Page
Recreation Deputies Give Updates on ATV/UTV Rules

07-15-2021Front Page
Genealogy Group To Present 1871 "Stories From The Ashes"

07-15-2021Community - Coleman
Pound To Implement 2019 3% Sewer Rate Increase

07-15-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Schools To Reopen With Normal Rules In Place

07-15-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Fireman's Picnic, Parade Events July 16, 17

07-15-2021Community - Coleman
Eckstrom Receives National Honor for Academic Achievement

07-15-2021Community - Coleman
Hillside North Hosts Back To Church Sunday and Picnic

07-15-2021Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam Friday, July 16

07-15-2021Community - Crivitz
Zietlow Receives $2,500 Scholarship from Cousins

07-15-2021Community - Wausaukee
Coming to 1st Presbyterian Church in Wausaukee July 18

07-15-2021Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Centennial Craft Show is Aug. 13

07-15-2021Sports
Coleman's Matt Osterberg Picked by Phillies in MLB Draft

07-15-2021Sports
Coleman's Casper Quailifes for State Amateur with Win at Fox Valley G.C.

07-15-2021Sports
4th Annual "Swing Fore Hope" Golf Outing Thursday, July 29

07-15-2021Sports
Sharp-Tiled Grouse Hunting Season Closed for Fall 2021

07-15-2021Sports
DNR Following Multi-State Reports Of Sick Songbirds

07-15-2021Perspectives
From My Window

07-15-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-15-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers...

07-15-2021Obituaries
Michelle L. Bayer

07-15-2021Obituaries
Jennifer L. Boehler

07-15-2021Obituaries
Roger "Roge" Evers

07-15-2021Obituaries
Charles D. Guay

07-15-2021Obituaries
William H. Harris

07-15-2021Obituaries
Elma Hertel

07-15-2021Obituaries
William J. Jacomet

07-15-2021Obituaries
Margaret Catherine Lentz

07-15-2021Obituaries
Reginald D. Peterson

07-15-2021Obituaries
Daniel J. Prue

07-15-2021Obituaries
Michael J. Shanks Jr.

07-15-2021Obituaries
Donald Stank

07-15-2021Obituaries
Marilyn R. Steier

07-15-2021Obituaries
Jaycee R. Sunshine Vallier

07-08-2021Front Page
Police Chief Rick Badgley Retires, Mike Sievert Named Interim Chief

07-08-2021Front Page
Fire Destroys Pole Building At Baumgarten Residence

07-08-2021Front Page
Landfill Future Again On MarOco Agenda

07-08-2021Front Page
Marinette Council Says No To Proposed Water Resolution

07-08-2021Front Page
Salaries On Agenda For Peshtigo School Board

07-08-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board To Set Re-Opening Plans On July 12

07-08-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board To Meet On July 12

07-08-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman W&S To Meet On July 12

07-08-2021Community - Crivitz
Family Funday Day in Crivitz

07-08-2021Community - Crivitz
LNRB Meets July 14

07-08-2021Community - Crivitz
Crafters Needed for Crivitz Art in the Park

07-08-2021Community - Crivitz
KC's Offer Two Scholarships On What Patriotism Means

07-08-2021Community - Wausaukee
Large Crowds Enjoy Wausaukee 4th of July

07-08-2021Community - Wausaukee
Register for Wausaukee Back to School Program

07-08-2021Community - Wausaukee
May Need Extension For Wausaukee Well Project

07-08-2021Community - Wausaukee
Fall Fest Book Sale in Wausaukee

07-08-2021Sports
Marines Fall in State Semi-Final 4-1

07-08-2021Sports
Compe/Hoida to Play In WFSCA All Star Game

07-08-2021Sports
7th Annual Friends of Mike Golf Outing Friday, July 23

07-08-2021Sports
Three Marines Receive GCAW All State Academic Honors

07-08-2021Sports
Justin Mondiek Takes Second Straight Stateline Challenge

07-08-2021Perspectives
From My Window

07-08-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers...

07-08-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Are you pleased that Aaron Rodgers will be playing for the Green Bay Packers in the 2021-22 season?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2021
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites