Thirty eight years after graduation, Marty Crowe remains a part of my life.
I wrote a column some months ago about being contacted by Marty's daughter, Maureen, saying she was going through his papers and found one of my old high school assignments among them. "A college level paper" Marty had written at the top.
Marty Crowe was a teacher of poetry and literature at my high school in Chippewa Falls. He was also the basketball coach
That column led to to the author of a Marty Crowe biography to contact me and send a copy of the book, which I received this week.
Which has led to a wave of guilt and self-reflection.
I was not as respectful to Marty in high school as I should have been. I was a smart-ass and a mean smart-ass at that. I respected no one and joked about everyone.
Years after graduating, I looked at my senior yearbook and most people wrote they were afraid to write anything because I would make fun of them.
I was a bully.
Yet Marty stuck with me. I could never get out of my head his reading of Randall Jarrell's poem, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner":