Sunday, July 03, 2011

127, uh, 139 Influences: A Postscript

I could have added so many more categories and hundreds of more names to those people who have affected my thinking and communication skills. As it was, over the past 9 weeks and 12 posts, I overran my promise of 120 influences and ended with 127, adding 7 names to the last 3 categories (2 artists, 2 composers, and 3 musicians). All this did was make me want to start the list all over again to add a dozen or poets, dramatists, philosophers, and so one. But I have to stop somewhere.

Yet I won't stop not quite there but here. I should close on those a final dozen folks who have lived and learned and worked with me and had the greatest influence on my thinking. Unlike the previous 12 posts, whose influences appeared in alphabetical order, these influences appear in the order that they came into my life: Frank Vassallo, my father, for his remarkable storytelling; Elizabeth Hitz, my sister, for her aspirations to all things intellectual; Joseph Vella, my uncle, for his work ethic; Matthew Loscalzo, a neighborhood friend, high school classmate, and college classmate, for his remarkable leadership skills; Robert Doyle, a high school teacher who introduced me to music and art in its truest sense; Charles Lynch, an English professor in my undergraduate years, for showing me that great literature is not limited to the past; Georgia Kostares, my wife, for reminding me that selflessness and loyalty to family transfers to the writing discipline; Harry Kamish, my professional mentor, for his acumen and boundless knowledge; John Hitz, my brother-in-law, for the value he places on scholarship; Robert Delisle, a professor at Lehman College, for his perspective on children-centered education; J. J. Chambliss, a graduate professor at Rutgers, for his depth of intellectual inquiry; and Michael Bartlett, a spiritual mentor, for exemplifying how to walk the talk.

Books by Philip Vassallo