The Alumni Newsletter for my high school (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute) arrived today and listed those classmates who have passed away recently, plus those who have donated $$$$ to support various school projects. My last summer break was spent working on a surveying team as a pole and stake man. When I graduated in 1947, I had visions of becoming a civil engineer and constructing bridges and buildings.
The Poly newsletter is titled, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow with Building Bridges through the 21st Century as a sub-title. Eage-Eyes (one of the members of my blogging team) piped up with, “Do you see the similarity of this heading and our Petaluma360 blog site which is called, Our River Town … Past, Now, Future with the sub-title, Bill Hammerman on Petaluma‘s Past, Present, Future. What do think about that coincidence. Was it meant to be?
Hammerhead thought the nail had been hit on the head because bridges are built by civil engineers; like our local D Street bridge, the S.F. Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Me asked Bill, “Did you ever build any bridges?” “No, I never graduated as a civil engineer, although I was coop-student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. Myself reminded Bill that he transferred during a semester break, to Maryland State Teachers College in Towson, Md. with the help of his mentor (a YMCA Camp Director) who guided him through this period of changing professional studies.
His mentor simply said that all Bill did was change his goal of building “structural” bridges to that of building “social” bridges. In a couple of years, Bill graduated from a pilot Junior High School Teacher Credential Program and continued his graduate studies at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Child Study at College Park, as well as start his teaching career as a ninth-grade math-science teacher.
I (the third member of The Trio) agreed with Myself and thought that after a 40 year professional career in education, Bill’s retirement activities in Petaluma involving history, computer literacy, and emergency preparedness are perfect examples of his earlier “bridge building” dreams as a teen-ager. The blog team, however, wonders what “community bridges” remain to be built in Petaluma during the 21st Century. What types of “social” construction projects might The Trio consider food for thought? Any suggestions?