I grew up in a small ranching community in Colorado, where I graduated in a class of 11 students. From first grade to sixth grade, I went to speech therapy every weekend, so I was very shy and introverted. My mother was the president of the PTC (Parent Teacher Club) and I thought, “I could never do that.”
Fast forward to 2002. I was a member of Saint John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver and Dean Peter Eaton had attended Archbishop Carey’s Tea for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Anniversary. The ESU Denver Branch asked Dean Eaton to speak at their Queen’s Tea. There was an invitation in the church bulletin, so Bruce and I signed up to go. We had an enjoyable time and knew lots of members who went to Saint John’s. The next Denver ESU events were at the Cactus Club, Denver Country Club, and University Club, all places we had never been, so we said, “Let’s join.” I called the Branch Secretary and asked if Bruce and I could join as a couple. Pat Cowan said we would be welcomed with open arms, so we joined ESU as “venue groupies.”
Then in 2003, I was asked to join the Denver Board of Directors. In 2006, I was asked to be President Elect and I became President of the Denver Branch from 2007 to 2010. Being an introvert, this was a very big step for me but I had full support from all the members. During my term as President, I attended all the AGMs. The one in Richmond, Virginia was special, as it celebrated the 300th year of Jamestown. Both sides of my family came into Jamestown. My mother’s side was on the Sea Venture with John Rolf, saving Jamestown from starvation.
In fall 2008, Bruce and I went to the UK to attend the World Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. In London and Grange-over-Sands, we visited Page Scholars we had hosted in Denver. At the Fall AGM 2009, I became a National Board Member, and when I attended the June 2010 Meeting on my first trip to New York City, Chair Pat Schroeder called me a “New York Virgin.” I also chaired the committee that planned the National AGM at Denver in Fall 2010. Then Pat Schroeder asked me to represent the ESUUS at the launch of the Iceland Branch in Reykjavik, a real honor. I remained on the Denver Board of Directors until stepping down in June 2020.
Since growing up that shy introverted country boy, I have experienced things I could not have imagined and gone places I would never have dreamed of, all thanks to ESU!