This week I lost a dear friend. Bill Currie passed on Monday, October 26 alone in his home. Currie was my high school journalism professor, but for me and so many of his previous staff members he was so much more. I spent yesterday evening among many of his family members, fellow faculty members and past students and staff members as we gathered to celebrate the magnificent life of this man and to say goodbye to our friend.
It would take me a million pages to sum up the man so anything I write will fall quite short. Currie was a man of legend… rarely did my sixteen-year-old self believe the outlandish stories he would tell on a weekly basis in that journalism workroom, however six years later I would never have second guessed a word he uttered. This is a man who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and yet found some of his greatest moments in a small classroom at a Mid-western high school. At sixteen, when I knew it all, he was a man in the way… he was a speed bump in every day, an obstacle. Being stubborn myself, he was a force to be reckoned with. He was always right, even when his ideas were off the wall. He loved us though, although most of us did not come to realize that until long after graduation.
And I feel the need to stop right now to say he would HATE every other word that I have written. I will never end a sentence with a preposition, misspell a word, use an ellipse, or a conjunction without thinking of this man.
Older and wiser (in the sense that I am now aware of my own ignorance) I have come to know how special Currie was to each student who was lucky enough to know him. He was a man who could have been anyone and could have done anything, yet he was, and lived to be, our teacher, mentor and friend. His purpose was to bring the best out in all of us, and in my case I can say that he was able to do that… and that he still is helping me be the person I am suppose to be.
I will miss him dearly, though knowing him he will never quite be gone. His mark is clearly stamped on my life and each time I set down to write even a thank you note I will think of him.
Now I must pick up my life where I left it 3 days ago and move forward. Though it is often difficult to face the fact that the world is speeding by despite the fact that something so earth shattering has happened, we must… we must pick everything back up as it was before and move forward. So with that I bid farewell to my friend, mentor and greatest teacher Currie. Every ounce of success I hope to find I dedicate to you!