Showsight Spring Edition, February/March 2021

A Retrospective



T hinking back on the many events we’ve experienced in 2020, there was one major change that made me think back to my elementary school days. In 2020, we saw a world where “virtual learning” became a catchphrase for our youth. On every level, from elementary school all the way through colleges and universities, students began taking all of their classes online or through virtual teaching via Skype or some type of live streaming. I guess, in some ways, this is a testament to how far technology has progressed over the past half century. On the other hand, it may be a reflection of how technology has replaced the hard work and research that many of us born and raised in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s experienced. Our world today is so focused on immediate results, with very little effort [required] on the part of most people. I think back to my Catholic elementary and high school days. I pretty much had nuns as teachers for most of my education and, for those who can relate, it was not always pleasant. The dreaded “Sisters” were known to rule with an iron fist. (Or a hard wooden ruler, if you know what I mean.) Our subjects in those days were highlighted by the three “Rs” of the day, “Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.” We learned our ABCs, how to read and write in cursive (the nuns I had made me write and rewrite until they could read it without any guessing). We had Spelling (no spell check, you had to look it up in the dic- tionary if you needed help), history, geography, civics, math (no calculators, just a paper and pencil), algebra, a second language, science, and various other classes, many of which could be used as a trade if you chose not to attend college. Catholic school taught me a lot about discipline, hard work, and respect for others—espe- cially people in authority. For me, one of the most valuable things I took from those early years was a love for reading. In my elementary school years, we had requirements to read a cer- tain number of books throughout the year as well as a “summer reading” requirement. Since we did not have the technology available today, we also had to research our work in person at the local library through various resources such as encyclopedias and other research books and periodicals. The public library was where you would go to also check out the books you were interested in reading and, typically, you had about a week to ten days to read and return them. It was through books that one could find a new world to explore and dream about. I always loved history and biographies. They told real stories of people and places, and the events that have shaped the world. Even to this day, I am most content when reading a great mystery or novel and trying to imagine the events in my mind as they unfold. School also taught me the importance of doing things right the first time. I learned that “short cuts” would often jump out and bite me later. If you were typing your reports, you needed to make sure everything was correct or you would get graded down for misspellings, bad punctuation, and so on. So many of the things I learned in school have prepared me for my professional life as well as my life in the sport of purebred dogs. Starting in dogs, I was very fortunate to live in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Public Library, through the generosity of the Western Reserve Kennel Club, has one of the most extensive collections of dog-related books in the world. It housed the AKC Studbook as well as the stud books from numerous registries throughout the world. To research a pedigree, you could go to the library and trace the lineage of most dogs for many, many generations. It

“So many of the things I learned in

school have prepared me for my professional

life as well as my life in the sport of purebred dogs.”


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