Thanks mom for all the support for our creativity–and a trio of amazing photos dad took (his expression of creativity).
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My apologies for the spelling errors yesterday. I was trying out new blogging software and frankly hit send before spell checking – grammar is optional for personal blogs but spelling is at least the minimum requirement so my apologies. I found five still in the text. Oh well. Back to the old software.

My youngest sister. Mom always encouraged us to be creative. Dad did as well not to discount his contribution. Dad’s creativity was in taking pictures. He was also an accomplished writer. But mom was the one that made sure we did creative things.

Lynne and I took a Saturday morning art class at the school of education. I don’t have the eye my father did for photographs (thank goodness it only skips one generation, my daughter has it). Jakki, who has spent a lot of time with her grandmother was also encouraged to be creative. She is constantly taking on incredibly cool projects and making interesting things.

Our house is filled plastic077with quilts made by my mother. I don’t think the boys have ever spent a night at home that they didn’t have one of mom’s quilts wrapped around them.

OK no clue where this windmill is – beautiful picture. In the end no story that goes with this. Simply one windmill waiting for Don Quixote. Or perhaps I should say one giant.

Dad and I had a stupid argument once about the concept of tilting at windmills. In thinking about it now some 35 years later I realize we were both coming at the question from the same side. We simply had different levels of experience in building out the arguments we presented. Dad was looking at the windmill we were tilting at from the more mature practical side (what do you need in the end beyond a long lance to take down a windmill). I was looking at it from the more romantic it isn’t the windmill it’s the concept of the windmill but in the end we were arguing how would you take the windmill down.

There are things you realize when you get older. Sadly sometimes something has to be missing in order to find the rationale behind what was really going or. Or worse you realize too late that in effect you were talking right past the person that was there to a person that in the end wasn’t ever there.


He had an amazing eye.

This is from our trip to Colorado. We spent a week or so in Estes Park which is in the Rockies. We rented a cabin and we hiked and (well I) fished for a week. I didn’t catch anything in the rushing rivers that week but I sure did try. There was a time when I loved fishing more than anything.

Looking back – I do the same thing now that I did then. I mediated by fishing when I was younger. My inner voice couldn’t be heard unless I was doing something physical. Later I ran for many years, mile after mile simply to quell the outer world and hear the voice within.

I hear that voice now without the running but as noted above, it took a long time.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

It is in the end all about growing up
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When I was growing in in Illinois and Chicago I was always interested in what was happening in Washington DC. It was after all our nations capital and always a place of interest and activity.

Living near the capital now is interesting. First off all it’s a lot different than I expected. I was born in Chicago Illinois. I was in and around Chicago most of the past 50 years. I lived in Bangkok Thailand as well. So I understand big cities. That isn’t the difference. I lived in Bloomington Indiana for many years and that actually isn’t the difference.

Bloomington is cultural (plays, events etc.) that happen all the time. Greenwood Indiana is the place we lived the past few years in Indiana and its is the difference. We had a wonderful Asian bistro for about 6 months. For the most part the food is within the traditional American category. There were community theaters but the better theater were in Indianapolis.

Perhaps the change occurred in us as we transitioned. Perhaps the change came in leaving Indiana. I don’t know, but now the kids want to go see theater productions of things. We have a wonderful theater group just 4 miles south of us, and one of the best regional theaters in the US just 24 miles from us.

Its just that the culture is there in greater abundance I guess. I find myself wistful for Cincinnati Ohio sometimes. I miss living there. It was a great place to live and work for the 9 years we were there. I find myself missing my early childhood in Chicago and being near my grandparents. I miss the wonderful land of smiles on occasion (Thailand) as well. But Greenwood – sadly I guess in the end I don’t miss Greenwood. I miss being near family and being able to hop in the car and see all of them in an hour. But the relaity of Greenwood Indiana not so much. I like being able to choose different ethic food for dinner. From El Salvadoran to Moroccan (although I find I don’t like Moraccan food as much now as I did the first time I had it). and of course Sushi.

I suspect in the end I’ve changed. Just as I changed 24 years ago when I left Bloomington. It is a part of growing up in the end.


IASA Fellow

I am proud to have been a teacher…
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When I was seventeen I wanted to be a writer more than anything on earth. To share my ideas with the world and know that at least one other person read them (spit them out and said yuck in the worst case loved them in the best case). That is not a very lucrative career choice and both my father and my grandfather told me to get a degree. My grandfather said it was a backup plan.

So I got a degree as a teacher. It was my backup plan. To quote the play “Little Shop of Horrors” (in the voice of Levi Stubbs of course) “Mama said you have a habit for causing things pain so be a” teacher. In the play the profession is dentist but you get the idea. To be honest I never wanted to be a teacher. My father was a phenomenal teacher and I didn’t want to be “the other Andersen.” In the end I just hope I lived up to the name.

Personally I think that two years in a classroom should be mandatory for everyone. I love my career and where it has gone but frankly everyone should have to be a volunteer coach, or teach for a few years to remember how things were and help others move forward. It’s the same with military service. I think the world would be a better place if we implemented universal service and teaching, military service and construction were the three options (we probably need more than 3 but you get the idea).

I wrote a book (long out of print now) called “There are days you just want to go home.” It was a year in the life of a teacher. As a teacher there were many days I wanted to go home more than the kids did.

During an interview I had right out of college I was told by a superintendent that I wasn’t long for teaching. He didn’t mean it in a bad way only that in the end I wouldn’t be a teacher for many years. He was right in the end. I was only there for a total of 7 years. I have friends, some while I was teaching and others that graduated with me that had then spent 20 or 30 years as teachers. Some of those fellow students have spent most of the last 24 years teaching. I respect that. My father spent 40 as an educator. He loved the concept and processing of teaching more than anything.

Don’t get me wrong I love teaching. I don’t like the politics of school.

Many years ago (1988) I founded a teaching society called The Society of Dead Teachers (also DTS-L for the on-line version). We at one point had a forum on virtually every major on-line system (AOL, Compuserv, Listserv DTS-L, bitnet DTS-L,  and of course STEPS!!!) We had thousands of readers and basic members. We talked about the issues of being an educator in a world where education isn’t always valued.

Truly if you want to make the world a fair and equitable place, educate all children equally. Don’t bring the highest systems down, bring the lowest systems up. Education is the great equalizer. If we are all speaking the same language and all start with the same basic facts and understanding it is in the end a lot harder to misunderstand each other.

There is no greater light in this world that shines than the eyes of a child that suddenly understands. What would the world look like tomorrow if every child n the world understood today?


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Looking to the future by seeing the past (sometimes for the first time)…
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I remember this face before gray hair. Looking far off into the distance that was the future. Not the future I see now pulled in much closer to me. Much tighter now. Not the infinite of childhood but the reality of your later adult years. That tomorrow doesn’t bring promise. It does sometimes, brings you promise of what could be and delivers it at your door like a faithful Labrador, paper slightly chewed but still for the most part legible. The future rolled tightly in a bag that can be consumed.

Now that the future is closer you wonder and worry more. You find the gaps and moments at times overwhelming and you wonder. Am I the only one.

My dad and my mother’s father (my grandfather) were always good for advice. Sure mom is always good for advice as well but I miss that connection. I miss those conversations.


Phoebe swimming the canoe at the edge of the picture. She didn’t trust anyone canoeing with her little girl (my sister Barb). So she would swim alongside the canoe. She created a bond with everyone in the family that was different. She was a very intelligent friend for my sisters and I. She was the controlling bossy older sister to my youngest sister. She wouldn’t let her do anything.

She was an amazing dog. You always knew you were safe when Phoebe was around. She projected not an intimidating terrifying presence rather a calm authority.

Dogs are like that.


On the left is Lynne and the right is Barb. Yesterday was Lynne’s birthday so happy birthday a day late sis!!!

I never realized just how many pictures dad actually took of us. I guess I remember when I think about it being asked for pause for a moment as he snapped a picture. But you don’t add up all those pauses to have a recollection of the picture of watching and looking out into the world.

Then you see them again. Some for the first time. Some for a second or third time. When I was a little kid I remember rushing to the photo albums at my grandparents house. To see the old pictures of Grandpa and Grandma is Aurora Illinois and at the lake house. To see mom when she was little. I don’t know why I wanted that connection to the past I guess in the end you just need to know, there is commonality.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Cages, tomatoes and Mount Version then and now….
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Joke. My youngest sister was very wild as a youngster so we kept her in this cage behind the house. We did let her friends visit as you can see form this picture. Joke.

Actually this was a dog cage behind our house in Sycamore Knolls. We moved to that house after we returned from Bangkok in about 1974/5 time frame. The house had a nice backyard that was soon filled with apple trees and a great hill in the front for sledding, except that it ended on the street of our cul-du-sac so in the end it wasn’t the optimal hill for sledding.

We added a smaller wooden fence initially or it was already there I don’t recall that. We did fence the entire backyard later with a chain-link fence. Dad and I dug trenches between the fence posts and laid bricks into the trenches so that we would haven’t to trim the grass next to the fence. That works for a couple of years.


In the spring of 1976 as the NCAA tournament was starting (basketball) we went to Philadelphia, Virginia, Washington DC on a long driving trip. We stopped at Mount Vernon while we were in Virginia. This is the long front “view” of Mount Vernon. The picture would have been taken in March 1976.

The worst part of that trip was in Virginia. We were on the trail of the lonesome pine winding through Virginia when poor Lynne got sick. She was throwing up for the first half of the mountain winding and I was throwing up for the second part of the mountain winding.

It was a great vacation despite that. Plus that year Indiana University capped off the last undefeated College Basketball season going 32-0 defeating Michigan in the National Title game. I loved that Indiana University team they were without a doubt one of the greatest college teams ever.


This is a side view of Mount Vernon I took in 2011. The kids and I went down (they had a day off and I took a personal day) and spent a glorious morning wandering the National Monument. I remember going to see Washington’s tomb as a 15 year old and then later with my own kids. It is simply an amazing testament.

Washington was a great innovator when it came to farming. He was always looking for a better way to do things. It is really fun to compare all the wonderful ideas he played with in building out Mount Vernon as a productive farm. Dad loved the new and exciting concepts in the ever changing wonder of farming. He was always considering and evaluating different ways to growing things. From raised beds to his backyard of bamboo he tried lot’s of different ways to grow things. The one constant? He always had a lot of tomatoes in the garden.

One of the first things I remember enjoying was a tomato with a little salt on it, just sitting there eating the tomato on the porch with mom. She loves tomatoes!


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The first American Civil War…
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Beaver Island Michigan. We spent a week there with my parents friends from Chicago (the Dickowskis I am sure I spelling the name wrong). I personally got my love of history and the exploration of historical places from my father. Beaver Island was originally populated by the Mormon Church and prior to the Mormons being pushed West they built out the island considerably.

In the 1840’s their candidate for governor of Michigan lost and they started the first American Civil war. Its one that history books forgot. But my dad knew about it and we talked quite a bit about both the persecution of the Mormon church at the item and the first American Civil War.

Beaver Island Michigan is an Island off the shore of Northern Michigan and on the map South of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. You get there via ferry.


I love lighthouses for some reason. I always have. Perhaps it is the stories of the men and women that risked their lives to protect others. Perhaps it is the pristine beauty of whitewashed bricks. Or in the end perhaps the undying optimism that the light can be seen. Who knows, but I love watching them, visiting them and like my father photographing them.

This is the lighthouse on Beaver Island.

Its funny to look back over the years of my childhood. I remember the vacations. Turtle Flambeau Flowage, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Porcupine Mountain State Park (UP Michigan also), Beaver Island, Estes Park Colorado, Florida (Barb and I visiting my grandparents), L.A. and many more. But the strongest memories I have are of my grandparents lake house in Cambridge Wisconsin.


A parents job done right is to teach your children to fly on their own. Sometimes you have to pick them up when they fall and sometimes you just have to be there. In the end they move on and become your friends. It is both the curse and joy of being a parent. Being willing for a moment to let go. To let them test the limits around them and push the envelope of the universe.

You leave them with memories. Images in their head of the lessons and dreams you shared with them. Memories of places from a long time ago.

Thanks dad for all the memories and the chance to relive them as we scan your slides with love. 6700 done so far with roughly 2800 to go.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The beach, and from the beach folder…where however I do not know…
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OK first off it’s a great picture of the entire family except for dad. Second off I suspect its more embarrassing for my wife and my mother that I am wearing those pants. Please note they were the style roughly at the time. I don’t remember where this was taken.

I believe the person leaving over and talking to mom was Kathleen Hart (one of mom’s dearest friends who lived in England). Lynne if facing Barb, barb is facing Lynne with her head turned towards mom. I suspect mom is quietly thanking the heavens as we were quietly doing something and not fighting at the time of this picture.

It should also be noted that my sister Lynne did in fact have hair for most of her life. It was the time we were traveling to Bangkok that the hair was incredibly short.


There is something horribly fishy about this picture.

Dad took a lot of pictures of his kids. I think of all the pictures we took most of them were of landscapes and nature. (he had a phenomenal eye). But if people were in the picture most of them had his kids.

Also it should be noted that my sisters and I did get along most of the time. We did have a few epic disagreements over the years. But for the most part we were reasonably willing to be at least in the same physical universe (although seldom in the same room, or for that matter same half the house).

Like the picture above I have no idea where this picture comes from. It is in a folder labeled beach. There is, as you can see one picture of the beach (at the top) but other than that not so much…


Not sure what the facial expressions mean in this one.

Not even sure where it is. I do know that it wasn’t a house we ever owned or lived in. The houses I don’t remember (in Chicago) were when it was me only or Lynne and I. The houses I do remember didn’t have large wooden decks that lead into overgrowth.

This is again a beach picture but I have not the slightest idea what beach. My gut is based on Barb’s age it is right after we were in Thailand. Past that my detective skills are not able to figure out the what and where.

I should be a great detective. My mother took me to every Agatha Christie movie ever (that we both loved!!!!) and she and I had to go to see the “Pink Panther” movies in the theater because dad couldn’t stand the embarrassing fall off the chair laughter that ensured when Peter Sellers hit the screen.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow