Today, fifty-three years after I left his seventh grade English class, I had the privilege of reconnecting with Chuck Dowdle, the most influential teacher I had in my 17 years of formal education provided by the State of California—K through 12 plus 4 at UCD. I recognized him immediately. I’ve changed but he hasn’t. Honora and I met Chuck and his lovely wife Carmelle at Robin’s in Cambria for a delicious bowl of Salmon Bisque followed by coffee and strawberry-rhubarb pie at their home. We talked for hours and reminisced about the 1958-59 school year, the incredibly unique teaching approach he took, and the students, all of whom he remembered. He even noted that in the seventh grade I was shy and now I don’t shut up. We were thrilled when Chuck presented us with signed copies of his books about his life and teaching kids to read and write.
The first two shots are of Chuck and me at Robin’s and Chuck and Carmelle under an arbor in their garden. The last shot is one I took in Cambria. I was taken by the similarity of the sign to my name. Can you find my name hidden in the sign?