Stan’s Obligatory Blog


A story about a teacher who changed my life…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:42 pm

When we visited Grandpa last week, I got to dig through some piles of old photos and rediscover pieces of my past. I found a big stash of pictures from my bike racing days, which was fun. I also found my 6th grade class picture. This was from Radio Park Elementary in State College, PA.

I will never forget Mr. Wagner, and I think of him pretty often, considering how long ago I was in his class. But the reason is simple. In the fall of 1970, he won some sort of sweepstakes, and his prize was a trip to the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. This seemed terribly exotic to all of us kids there in central Pennsylvania. When he came back, he gave our class a slide show of his trip. Lots of pictures of parade floats and football. Both things that really don’t interest me. But I remember one thing he said about the trip. That it was 75 degrees on New Year’s Day. And I made a mental note right then and there that when I grew up, I wanted to live in this ‘Pasadena’ place. And now, here I am. And it’s quite nice. So I will always fondly remember Mr. Wagner for (perhaps unwittingly) piquing my interest in Southern California, which has turned out to in fact be my Most Favorite Place.

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