9/5/2017 4:56:00 AM Duck Ponderings: In honor of Glen Keller
As with our entire community, I was so sorry to hear about the death of Glen Keller. I referred to a binder with several pages related to communication with Glen due to our time spent working together in education.
In 1989, I wrote the following words in a letter to him:
"One of the characteristics I most admire about you is your friendliness. The face of a building has a lot to do with the faces within the walls of it. I've heard many compliments related to the atmosphere of the new Hope Elementary, and I feel strongly that it starts at the top. You have certainly been instrumental in the development of our new school and, more importantly, its happy face! Considering the role of each of us, it is ultimate that no face stays sad too long for too much is at stake. The warmth of your smile helps each of us to blossom!"
Then, I pulled out Glen's thoughtful response to the staff after a retirement banquet and reception in 1995 given for his many years of service to Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corporation. It reads as:
"Thanks to each of you for your support, encouragement, understanding, sympathy, laughs, cries, debates, hugs, etc. over the past years. I appreciate having had the opportunity to rub shoulders with you."
In 2012, Glen and I got together for lunch. Afterward, I received a "thank you." I share knowing many others can identify with appreciative expressions from him. It was just Glen!
"Thank you for lunch, but more importantly the time and conversations together. It was rewarding to get with you and reflect on the tremendous past that has evolved over our careers. It is great to share a relationship that has been long-lasting, memorable, practical, and proud."
Glen loved to recite poems. I found one within his Recognition & Retirement Banquet Program that seems quite fitting to end with:
Author Unknown (One of several versions)
There's a comforting thought at the close of the day
When I'm weary and lonely and sad
That sort of grips hold of this old heart
And bids it be merry and glad
It gets in my soul and drives out the blues
And finally thrills through and and through
It is just a sweet memory that chants the refrain
I'm glad I touched shoulders with you
Did you know you were brave
Did you know you were strong
Did you know there was one leaning hard
Did you know that I waited and listened and prayed
And was cheered by your simplest word
Did you know that I longed for that smile on your face
For the sound of your voice ringing true
Did you know I grew stronger and better because
I had merely rubbed shoulders with you
I admittedly got emotional at the end of this poem thinking about how fortunate I was, as well as countless others, to have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with Glen Keller.