Every year Time Magazine comes out with a list of the 100 most influential people of the year. A friend asked readers of his blog to come up with their own list of influential people. I am taking this a step farther and making my own list of the 100 most influential people in my life. Some have been great influences and have affected me very positively. There are others that have had a negative affect on me although I am commenting on those distinctions. I am also not listing names to show favoritism or degree of influence. I am listing people as I think of them. Most of them are people that I know. Some of them I have never met, but their work or skill has impacted my life.
There are actually more than 100 names. But I am counting families as one. It was a great excercise in thinking about this. I challenge you to make your own list.
2. Linda O’Hara – my wife, my best friend and a street-fighter of the faith. I met her in a swimming pool 38 years ago. I knew we would be together even then. I still see a pretty little red haired girl when I look at her.
3. Julia O’Hara – the world’s greatest mother. Quiet, soft spoken. She would make June Cleaver envious
4. Marc O’Hara Senior – my mentor, my role model, my father. my teacher. I miss him so much.
5. Elizabeth (O’Hara) Franxmann – my daughter, my faithful friend and the mother of the world's cutest grandson.
6. Rachael (O’Hara) Schleper – my daughter, my buddy, my student and the mother of the world's funniest grandson and the world's cutest granddaughter.
7. Lydia Lacock (Dandy) – My maternal grandmother. She was a big lady with a heart of gold. She had an extraordinary and difficult life, but carried on. She was loved and she loved us. She lives in my heart and I will never forget her.
8. Elizabeth Weigand (O’Hara) Theier –My paternal grandmother. I called her Maymee and I can vaguely recall sitting on her lap in her home. Floral prints were on her dress, on the wallpaper, on the couch and on the draperies. She was also a big woman with a big heart and a difficult life. She left us too young and I never got to know her.
9. Colton Schleper – My best buddy and grandson. He was diagnosed with autism, but he is smarter than all of us put together. He taught himself to read at age 4 so he could understand the directions for his video games. He learned to use a computer when he was 2. Colton is his Mom's protector and has a tender heart.
10. Hope Schleper – My Sweet Princess Hope. She is funny and pretty as a picture. She is the spitting image of her mother in beauty and attitude.
11. Glenn Franxmann - My son-in-law. He's a brainbox. He's quiet and reserved. You don't know what he is thinking, although it probably has something to do with computer code. He graduated from Covington Latin School at 14 and went to college. He's mad about my daughter and is a great father and a good provider. I am happy to see my daughter find such a great guy.
12. Benjamin Herman Franxmann - My bouncing baby boy grandson and the cutest Harley rider you would ever come across. He keeps his mamma busy. He is an excellent gymnast at the baby gym and the head of his play group. I wish that I could see him more often.
13. Virginia Bohn – the greatest teacher that I have ever, bar none.
14. Robert Knauf – My vocal music teacher. He taught me so much about music.
15. Mike Wilshire – He and Blaine Shepherd played and sang some of the most beautiful songs. Mike wrote many of them. He married a wonderful girl named Sally and they were filled with God's Holy Spirit. All the initial learning I had about playing finger style guitar came from watching Mike play his 1930 Martin 00-17. Mike and Sally are pastors and founders of Cornerstone Church in Virginia.
16. Doug Abbott – Doug was one of my best childhood friends and was my closest male friend. He lived down the street from me. He bought a bass guitar and I played guitar. We learned together and grew up together. Doug went on to make music his career and was a very respect jazz bass player. We often played together at Christian events. He loved that since he received respect from the audience that he would never have received at a jazz bar. He passed away in 1999. I miss him very much. He was a good father to his children and tried very hard to be a great husband. Doug's family was very important to me when I was growing up. They were good people. I still consider Betsy and David and Doug's sons Ian and David and his stepdaughter Jenny to be family.
17. Kirk Prine – He had a tremendous influence on me when I first became a Christian
18. Kent Odor – He showed me a new way to look at things. Kent always saw life in a positive way. I don't know if that was because he was a preacher's kid or what. No matter what the problem, Kent saw the good side. He is a tall, sweet guy with a booming singing voice. We played music together for a couple of years and had some good times. He married a wonderful girl named Marsha and they have 4 kids. Kent is a pastor in Las Vegas.
19. Terry Fisher – I'm glad that Terry is my friend. I never knew how much he sacrificed to keep a Christian center, The Jesus House, going on. Terry spent every Saturday night of his young adolescent life WORKING there. We were all having a good time. He is still a sweet, gentle guy that loves the Lord and listens. He married Pam and they have 2 kids. Terry is a pastor in the Orlando area.
20. Reverend Frank Philips –the first pastor that I had when I became a Christian one Saturday night in January. He was so encouraging and helpful and his family was so good to me. I will never forget them.
21. Joanne and Whitey Slayback – great friends that took me in and showed me devotion to their family, each other and life in Christ. I cannot say enough about what the lessons in life that the Slaybacks' taught me. These were things I never thought of until I got older and had my own family. They were such wonderful people. I loved them and their daughters Sandy and Kim.
22. Gary and Karen Sweeten – when I was young in Christ they were mentors and helped me appreciate knowledge of the Word of God, devotion to family, how a healthy Christian family functions. I spent hours with the Sweetens and treasure those times. They are good and generous people. God bless them.
23. Paul - Rabbi Shaul - the most misunderstood and most prolific writer of the New Testament. God changed this man's heart and sould totally and in doing so caused history to change.
24. Peter - The man that our Lord entrusted the most important job to.
25. John - One of the disciples that provided us with a compilation of the life of Jesus. John was also a visionary, prophet and martyr.
26. Luke - Another man that provided us with his account of the life of Jesus and the life of the disciples after the Ressurection.
27. Mark - He wrote of the life of Jesus in a very pointed and brief style.
28. Matthew - formerly Levi the tax collector. Jesus changed his life. Matthew provided us with perhaps the most Jewish view of Jesus the Messiah.
29. Joseph - My very favorite personality of the Bible. He believed that God would direct his life. And even when things were bleakest, when he was kidnapped, imprisoned, he held on to that faith. He was also a prophet.
30. Moses - After Egypt had forgotten Joseph, God looked upon Moses, who was born in poverty of an enslaved people. Through circumstances Moses rose to power as the adopted son of Pharoah, fell out of favor and had to flee for his life. He listened to God. Even though he did not have the traits we associate with a leader, God put him in that position. Through Moses, God lead His people out of Egypt and to Israel.
Moses believed and trusted and was blessed beyond measure.
31. David - The King that God appointed to lead Israel. David life was full of tribulation, some of it was self inflicted. But David always sought God for answers and for help He trusted and believed.
32. Jacob - The father of Joseph and 12 other sons. Jacob was one of the Fathers of the Jewish nation.
33. Isaac - The son of Abraham that God asked to be sacrificed. He grew up to be the wise son. He received the blessing of his father through deception.
34. Abraham - The father of the Jewish nation.
35. Julianne O’Hara - My sister. We fought a lot as kids. She grew up to be the World’s greatest aunt. She treats her nieces and nephews way too good. She is very beloved by her entire family and me. She has a great circle of friends and goes out of her way for them. She is a great aunt to my kids and my brother's kids. She is a tireless day care worker and has taken care of many of my friends kids over the years.
36. Monty O’Hara - My little brother. He is named Montgomery because my Mom's aunt named her 4 sons Montgomery. It was a family name as we are distantly related to the actor Robert Montgomery. Monty is the daddy of four ever-lovin' daughters. He has done well for himself.
37. Tim O’Hara - My littlest brother, although he is much taller than me. He is great at fixing things and is an electrician and believes he can play golf. He was my business partner when we ran our Dad's store together.
38. Anne O'Hara - Monty's wife, my sis-in-law. The momma of Maggie, Molly, Annie and Ellie. She is outspoken and stands her ground. She is committed to her church and to Christ and to her family.
39. Mary Jo O'Hara - Tim's wife and my other sis-in-law. Mary Jo is a wonderful girl to have as a sister. She is committed to raising Ryan, my nephew and making sure he does his homework. She is a breast cancer survivor and has had a go of things in life. When life gives you lemons, make whiskey-sours.
40. John Ed Black – he taught me so much about music theory and composition and even how to play piano. He was one of the few teachers in high school saw my skill and took an interest in me. He bailed out to become an accountant. John Ed was cool.
41. Jack Kaiser – My poor high school band teacher. He took so much grief from the students and the parents. He had a great heart and saw my interest in music and helped cultivate it. Jack had played locally in some of the big bands of the 1940's.
42. Rabbi Guenther Plaut – I read the Torah with his commentaries at bedtime. This is a popular version that is used by Reform congregations. I take his commentaries as a Midrash, which is a way to interpret Scripture and Law in an argumentative form. Sometimes I agree with him and at times I do not. However his writings are wonderfully enlightening.
43. Bob Loreaux – He showed me not to put my faith in man, no matter how learned or authoritative they seem. Bob went off the deep end for a portion of his life. I felt bad for him. I hope he has found peace.
44. Charles Sheldon – The author of the first Christian book that I read. In His Steps. He was a minister and a propionate of the Social Gospel during the first part of the 20th Century.
45. Larry Norman – He is the grandfather of Christian Rock music and a man that has stood faithful to the Lord. Larry is very ill now. Pray for him.
46. Randy Stonehill – I met him in 1971 and 72 and 73. Randy is a wonderful Christian and a funny guy. He is one of the co-authors of the beautiful song, Your Love Broke Through.
47. Chet Atkins – The guitar player that I most admire. I listen to his tunes and I attempt to play them. Chet took fingerpicking to a new level. I only got to see him live once. Chet was the best.
48. Ruth German - She was my second grade teacher and a very eccentric lady. My classmates and I were puzzled because she wore a man's wristwatch and never shaved her legs. It was strange to see crops of hair pressed flat against her legs under her stockings. I was compulsively tardy since I was never a morning person. I was cold and would sit on the floor huddled in front of the furnace register and slowly put on my school clothes. So I arrived to school ten minutes after the bell. One morning Miss German became angry and to punish me she went to the class next door and pulled my little sister out of the first grade class so my sister could publically embarrass me in front of all of the second grade by telling them what a revoltingly slow person I was. This was a great excercise for killing any self esteem I may have had, but remember what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. Much later in life I met Miss German again and she was a lovely old lady. We talked at length about the changes in education. She was so impressed that the old school that she taught at for 30 years was now equipped with computers for the children. She passed away recently. She had been in a nursing home for several years and was confused in her old age. I was told that when the noise level became too loud, she would stand up from her wheelchair and shout, "Children! Children! Hush up and sit down at your desks."
49. Rick Mullins – He was only an acquaintance when he lived in Cincinnati and went to Cincinnati Bible Seminary. Rick was an extraordinary piano player and songwriter. Thankfully his talent was recognized and Rick and his wonderful songs became well known. He left us very young. What a sweet, humble guy. He had such a great attitude about life in Christ.
50. Reverend Tom and Ingrid Turnbull – Tom and Ingrid were members of a group that I was in when I was a young Christian. Tom was an Episcopal pastor and loved the New York folk scene of the late 1950's. His pretty wife Ingrid was from Germany. They helped mentor Linny and I prior to our marriage. They were a great example of a Christian family.
51. Linda (Lenny) Stevens/Meyers - She is a wonderful dedicated Christian woman that I met at Spiritual Revolution Day in Cincinnati back in 1971. She is from Missouri and attended Ozark Bible Seminary before enrolling at Cincinnati Bible Seminary. She joined a group called CIC (Christian Information Committee) that I also joined. We all lived in a small house in Price Hill in an extremely platonic enviroment. Lenny was the best. She was a sweet, beautiful Christian sister that stood firm on her faith. She married Rich Meyers and they have 3 children. I still consider her my sister although I haven't seen her in many years.
52. Myra Baker - Myra had joined the Christian Information Committee and was perhaps the one member that had her head on very straight. She was a dedicated Christian, a nurse and a sweet, sweet lady. She was also my sister.
53. Ruth Ray - She is now Sister Ruth and is a Fransiscan. A very tall and pretty girl. She was searching for a more spiritual life in Christ and moved in with a community of Franciscan Sisters. She eventually joined the order. My sister Ruth.
54. Joe and Cathy Freel - A local couple that joined CIC along with their young daughter Jenny.I think Joe and Cathy eventually divorced. I understand that Joe recently rededicated his life to Christ and was baptized again in his daughter Jenny's backyard swimming pool.
55. Tom and Patty Barger - The cousin of Joe Freel, Tom lived across the street from the
CIC house in Price Hill. He and his wife started coming to the meetings and became Christians. I saw Tom years later. He had divorced and remarried. He started coming back to church with his new wife. A few years ago I read his death notice in the paper.
56. Marsha and Hal Erdmann - Marsha Lucas was a dear friend who had attended the Jesus House and CIC. Hal was a big part of CIC and they married. They became great friends to Linny and I. They married and started a family and raised four great children. We used to visit them at their home on occasions. I felt so bad for them when their son Jeremy was killed in a freak automobile accident. They both love the Lord.
57. Tom and Deb Smith – My pastor in the mid 1970’s and his sweet wife. They both had good hearts and great intentions and are still standing firm for the Lord. Tom is a pastor in Indiana
58. Stew Williams – A great friend from my youth. A big guy with a big heart. I loved going to Stew's house. He lived on the third floor of a big tudor style home in a very private room. His two aunts and mother lived on the second floor. His aunts would spend their days endlessly sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee. They never went shopping. They ordered everything over the telephone and had it delivered. They either talked or listened to the table radio on the kitchen table. Stew's mom was so nice to everyone. She was a sweet lady, kind and generous to a fault. She passed away at a very early age. Stew was an excellent drummer, he still is. He had to give it up because of health problems. We had great times in our garage band. Stew went in the radio biz and had a career as an on-air personality in stations around the country. I believe he currently is the program director for a group of stations in Charleston South Carolina. Stay away from Clearchannel Stew! They eat babies for breakfast.
59. Richard Schleper - Richard is my former son-in-law and the father of my grandchildren Colton and Hope. I pray for Richard every day and my hope is that God's Will be done in his life. It will happen!
60. Brian Wilson – The Beach Boys A musical savant. I learned about musical arranging by listening to his songs and vocal arrangements. The arrangements of his tunes put together unusual instrumental groupings of instruments to get the sounds that he heard in his head onto a recording.
61. Dr. Elmer Thomas – He is a choral master and professor at the University of Cincinnati. When I was young I spent a summer studying under him and learned the basics of vocal music.
62. Dr. A. Gigi Tcheng – My favorite doctor, my friend and perhaps the smartest woman that I have ever known. She is a dedicated Christian.
63. Dr. Chuck Caldwell – My old doctor. A wonderful man. By following his gentle demeanor I have learned how to get my point across to people in a non-threatening manner.
64. Andy Bracke – The best manager that I have worked under in my present job. He is a great “people” motivator. He taught me how to listen.
65. Aunt Betty Hedger – She never had much. She never held a great job. She was never unhappy. She was never without. She was loved by her daughter and remembered and loved by her family. She grew up in a religious home and kept the faith. Aunt Betty was a remarkable and hard working woman.
66. Serena and Dan Rawe - Aunt Serena, my Dad’s younger sister. Betty was his big sister. Serena grew up, like the rest of the family, in the depression years. Life was difficult growing up in the 1930's and 40's. Serena married Dan, who was in the army and raised a family of two boys and one girl. When their daughter, Sue was 18 she was stricken with a cerebral aneurism that caused some damage to her brain. Sue bounced back, but still has some issues with her speech
67. Don and Kaye Weigand - Don, who we all knew as Uncle Johnny (I never knew why) was
my father’s younger brother. When their family was very young, my grandfather John O’Hara abandon his family, leaving the older kids sitting on the front seat of an Ice delivery truck. My great Grandpa Weigand owned the ice company and was taking care of my Grandmother and her kids. I do not know the whole story, but Don went to live with the Weigands. He took their surname.
68. Georgie and Ralph Chalk - My Grandma O’Hara remarried a man named George Theier. George
had two daughters from a first marriage and Georgie was the second child that my Grandmother had with George. The first child was stillborn and weighed over 15 pounds. My grandmother was diabetic. Georgie grew up and married Ralph Chalk who was also a soldier. They had a remarkable life in their home in Bellevue. Ralph and Georgie were very active in their church and the community. They have 4 children.
Ralph passed away in 2000. He was still a young man. Georgie loved him dearly.
69. Auntie and Eddie Kuhr - My mom’s older sister was a big part of my life when I was young. It was always nice to have a visit from Auntie (Aunt Annette) and Cousin Eddie. Eddie was a couple of years older than me. He was an only child and he seemed to have every wonderful toy that I could only dream about. Auntie’s husband George was much older than she and he was a grumpy old son of German immigrants that was used to having things his way. I guess it was my early lesson about “to whom much is given, much is required.” Eddie was one of my favorite cousins and I loved to have him come over and spend the day or go swimming at Tacoma Pool.
70. Cathy and Bill Silbersack - My aunt Cathy was my Dad’s youngest stepsister and the last child of my grandmother. I know a few things about the family history at this time and it wasn’t a pleasant place. My Dad and Uncle Johnny had joined the Army and were off in Europe and Grandpa Theier was apparently not too nice. Eventually Cathy, Betty and Georgie and Betty’s daughter Beth moved to their own place.
71. Terry Weigand - Terry was one of my favorite cousins. She was the same age as me and we grew up with similar interests. It didn’t hurt that she was pretty. Her sister Gail was Julianne’s age and was her pal. Terry married and moved to the Louisville area. We had some good times as kids. I miss all that great fun.
72. Beth Hedger - Beth was Betty’s daughter and another favorite cousin. I loved hangin’ with Cousin Beth. Beth was cool. She was smart and fun to be with. Beth grew up in Parochial School, like most of my cousins. When she was of age, she joined a commune and met Dwight Cummins. They were official hippies! They married in a Unitarian Church, but eventually rejoined society and stepped right into the middle class.
73. Walt Kelly – The artist and creator of the comic strip Pogo. I started reading the newspaper on a regular basis when I was about 11 years old and I loved reading the “funny pages.” Walt’s style and lettering were superior. When I became older I learned to appreciate the biting social commentary that went into his comic strip.
74. Dave Berry – I like his humor
75. Bob Brumfield – He was a funny man that wrote for the Post and Time Star many years ago. I was probably about 10 years old when I started reading his column. I loved his humor and view of life in Cincinnati.
76. Uncle Al and Captain Windy – I belong to the first generation that grew up with television. I was seated every childhood morning at 9 am in front of the old Westinghouse black and white TV watching Uncle Al the kiddies pal play his accordian so we could all dance while Captain Windy magically flew through the air and drew pictures for us.
77. Skipper Ryle - Uncle Al and Captain Windy were on Channel 9 and Skipper Ryle was on Channel 12. I met Skipper Ryle three times when I was on his show and asked to do a commercial for Duncan yo-yos. Two times were as a member in the peanut gallery and one time was as a performer in the Boy Scout Band.
78. The Beatles – I was never very athletic, I always liked music and had taken piano lessons. The Beatles played guitar and the guitar had fascinated me since I saw Roy Rogers play. Girls liked guitar players, guys admired guitar players. I was there.
79. Berke Breathed – The cartoonist and creator of Bloom County and Outland. He had a great sense of humor and insight to life in the 1980 and 90’s. before he burnt out.
80. Jimmy Dodd – The leader of the Mouseketeers in the original Micky Mouse Club. What a stupid premise. A club for children organized around our common devotion to a rodent. Hey, we were young. What did we know. Jimmy played guitar. Specifically it was a tenor guitar. And his was specially made by Candelaria Delgado the founder of East LA’s Candelas Music. Dodd was a Christian and didn’t have to say anything because it shined through. He wrote many of the shows songs. He also wrote a popular song called The Bible Tells Me So.
81. Harold and Geneva Vanlandingham – my wife’s parents
82. Mary Lou Schmidt – From 12-14 years old, she was my good buddy. She lived around the corner from me and we spent every day hangin’ in the neighborhood, especially in the summer time. She was a great pal. She married when she was very young.
83. Tennie Komar – She moved across the street from my family when I was a little guy. She was a year older than me and a tomboy. She was a great friend in my youth and my buddy. Her parents were very nice. Her father built a great treehouse that the neighborhood boys used more than Tennie. Her mother was
a southern belle from Mississippi and was not afraid to speak her mind. Tennie and I had great times growing up together. The summers were awesome. As we grew older Tennie went her way and I went mine.
I found out that she moved to Massachusetts and became a rock singer and gained some local notoriety. Tennie and I sure had a great childhood together.
84. Mike and Cathy Pelzer – When I was a little guy, Mike and Cathy lived in the house behind
mine. They were good, good friends. Their family moved to Minnesota. I recently learned that Cathy married and moved back to this area.
85. Rosalie Reilly – Rosalie worked for my father and me for many years and we spent our hours at work sharing stories about our family life and our lives in general. She remarried a few years ago. I still write to her. Work was always fun with Rosalie. She recently got married and moved away from Delhi.
86. George Olinger – My first and only guitar teacher. George was a country guy that had worked at WLW radio in it’s live music days as a staff guitarist. He gave guitar lessons at Dodd’s Music in Covington Kentucky.
87. Pastor Clyde Miller - I met Pastor Miller through CIC. We would show up at his church wearing blue jeans and looking like a bunch of Jesus Freaks and he welcomed us with open arms. He was so dedicated to the Lord. Bless Him!
88. Gary Burbank - Gary entertained me on a daily basis for many years while I was working at the grocery store. He is an incredibly funny man and the alter ego of Earl Pitts, Gilbert Gnarley, Eunice and Bernice and a bunch of other personalities.
89. Bob and Nola Clarke - When Linny and I were going to Fellowship Christian Church, Bob and Nola were our best buddies. We would go out together and visit each others homes. They are sweet people.
90. Sharon Wilson - Sharon was a good friend to Linny and she sang frequently at The Jesus House, that Terry Fisher ran. Sharon sang with Kent and I on a recording of some songs that Jim Bankowski had written. Sharon was and still is so sweet, quiet and humble.
91. Jim Bankowski - I recall picking up Jim with Joanne Slayback and her kids. Jim’s overalls were covered with patches, so they were more patches than overalls. He had a beat up guitar case with a beat up Martin D-18 inside that was tuned to an odd tuning. He sang in a deep baritone voice these moving songs about his love for the Lord. He was raised in a Catholic home and his folks did not understand their son becoming a long-haired Jesus Freak. Jim eventually went to Oral Roberts University and graduated as a minister and became a missionary for a while.
92. Rising Hope - Michael Goldberg, Susan Goldberg, Ross and Lindel Johnson and Mikal Keifer I’m counting them as on since that is how this group influenced me. They made some great Christian music and were well know around here. They also made the rounds of summer camps and Churches not only singing, but staging visual productions about life in the Lord. Michael and Susan divorced and both have remarried and still love the Lord. Things happen. Michael is the radio voice on a non-profit station, a stain glass artist and choral director for a couple of churches. Mikal Keifer moved to Colorado. Ross and Lindel live around the area and have some kids. Ross occasionally makes guitars and occasionally Lindel and the family return to Oz which is Lindel’s birthplace.
93. Rick and Jenny Mapes - They moved to the Jesus House when Jenny was very, very pregnant with her daughter Jenny. They were such nice people and loved the Lord. I do not know all that happened, but they divorced. Both have remarried and Rick is still very active in his church.
94. Barbie Lind - Barbie was the Jesus House cheerleader. She was always there with sisterly hugs and kisses to lift your self esteem. I don’t know if I ever told her how much I appreciated her since I have always had a problem with self esteem.
95. Isabell Ricketts - Izzy ran a bookstore in downtown Cincinnati called Christian's Church Supplies. She was a middle aged woman that had at one time been fairly wealthy. She had two grown sons and grandchildren. She had been divorced and started her own career as the owner of a bookstore. Her store became the focal point of book purchases for the Jesus Movement and the Charismatic Movement in the Cincinnati area. You could always meet someone who was a friend at Isabell's store. I even went over to visit with her and we would attend a noon Bible study at Covenant Presbyterian and a lunch either at the Church or at Izzy Kadetz'. What a sweet lady and a good friend.
96. Bob and Joyce Bowen Bob could have been Lurch of the Addam’s family. He was big, tall and had a deep voice. You could imagine hearing him say, “You Rang?” Bob hailed from Ironton Ohio and he had been in trouble. Tom Turnbull had been his pastor at one time and sent him to live a CIC. Bob was a huge guy with a mop of strawberry blond hair. He thrived at CIC, gave up his old habits and became a fixture at the Norwood group with the Slayback family. He married a New Yorker named Joyce that moved to Cincinnati to take a job as a teacher. Bob and Joyce later migrated to Florida and Bob and had a son named Philip. Both are good, sweet people.
97.Joanne Mechem – I worked at Jewish Hospital and I had an opportunity to take a 6 month course to become an operating room technician for which I would become certified for after the course completion. Joanne Mechem was a nurse and was the instructor for the course. Although she was a registered nurse, she had never worked in an operating room and was unfamiliar with any of the procedures or protocol. The 6 month course turned into almost a year. It was a hard time in my life. Despite of my predicament, I passed the certification test, but did not work at the job too much longer since I was offered more money by working for my father. Joanne takes the prize for being the worst boss I ever had. From her I learned what not to do, how to spot poor management and try to avoid it. She was never really a friend, but she certainly influenced me.
98. Rick Marksberry became my friend back when I was going to Fellowship Christian Church. We didn’t live very far from each other. We both played guitar. So we got together with Andy Danzl and formed a band. Rick played guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, pedal steel guitar and piano. Rick knows just about every musician in the Cincinnati area. He played with John Denver when he was in town back in the 1970’s. It was a good time for me to play music again with a group of fellow musicians. Rick played on Jim Bankowski’s record and on the last Rising Hope record.
99. Hank Neer – Hank was a middle aged fellow that had grown up as a cradle Catholic. He was an ironworker from back-in-the-day. He thought nothing of being hundreds of feet above ground walking on steel girders with no harness. He had been a longshoreman in NYC and according to him, he was muscle for hire. Hank had a past right out of a black and white movie. He had become a Christian and changed his life. Despite his gruff exterior, he was solid gold inside.
100. Dave Mastin – Dave was my former manager. My job involves consultation. I have been given a lot of training to master my skills, however it Dave taught me the right words to use. I am forever grateful.