You were born in Greeley, Colorado–your grandma Dorothy never met you until we moved to Peru, Illinois. She and grandpa Don drove for 5 hours or more from Des Moines, Iowa just to see you when you were about three-years-old. Grandma Mary came on Amtrak from Howard, South Dakota at the same time so both grandmothers could meet you and each other. Grandma Dorothy always felt like a second-class citizen when with me because I had been to college and graduate school and studied in some of the best–Grinnell College, the University of Iowa, and Colorado State. I’m afraid I never treated your grandma Dorothy very well. Though I tried, often we didn’t really understand. If I had been a proper son maybe I would have visited her more often, written her more letters, sent her more cards, all this before she died of breast cancer at age 68. As I write this I am 67, and so far, I have no sign of cancer though I smoked for 28 years, so I will probably live to be more than 68-years-old. However, I too have felt sometimes like your grandma Dorothy towards you my dearest daughter. Perhaps, I wasn’t always the best father, and like your grandma Dorothy, I have always felt like a second-class citizen. My therapist says I am nearly recovered from bipolar disorder.
In 1990, I taught at Illinois Valley Community College. I had earned my M.F.A .in creative writing by December 15, GPA of 3.9. If I had passed my comprehensive the first time, I would have graduated with distinction. However, I had difficulty studying for any big examination at the end of my programs, and to tell you the truth, though, I went to school for 11 years earning three advanced degrees, but I hated school, didn’t like the mind bending work, not at all, not at all, what’s too say.