Then and Now; March 27, 2019

In 1962, by choice, I accepted an instructor’s position at the University of Oklahoma. I also intended to add some more letters after my name, PhD. After arriving in Norman, I learned that my emphasis was to be on research and publication, not on my teaching. My feeling was the opposite. Soon I knew that the university and I had made a bad choice.

I had signed a contract both for my apartment and my position. I needed to find a way to negotiate my way out of my obligations. I decided to seek the advice of an attorney. I went to downtown Norman, climbed some rickety stairs, and found a no nonsense elderly attorney. After reading my documents, he gave me a one-sentence solution, “Get the hell out of town.” I paid him twenty-five dollars, I packed my belongings, loaded my car, found my way to Interstate 10 and drove non-stop until I reached the California border.

Once again chance not choice came to my rescue. Three of my former Los Banos students, Jerry Baugh, Keith Welch and Ted Brannon, had moved to Capitola, CA. to attend Cabrillo College. At the time Capitola was a town that was asleep. Rentals were easy to find. The boys had a room for me in their three-level house overlooking the town and the Pacific Ocean.

Now I needed a teaching job. Again chance was on my side. Soquel High School, part of the Santa Cruz City Schools, opened with 2200 students in September. Because of over enrollment another English teacher was needed. I was hired. In October of 1962 I began. I finally had found my root. I taught there for twenty-eight years, retiring in 1990.

My appreciation and thanks go to all the Lusk-Herald readers who have communicated with me. All have been supportive. Several have shared details, which I had forgot. No one has told me to stop writing. Yes, I miss the columns by George Flint and Judy Lucas. Yes, I wish they would start writing again.


John Wasserburger

PO Box 14

Capitola, CA 95010




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