Serve #17 – Morrie M.
Serve # 17
This Serve centers around a man named Morrie Melchert. He was a shop teacher and coach from my hometown of Rockford starting in the fall 1968, and retiring in 1999. He always had a handlebar mustache, and many of us wondered what held it up. The story doesn’t end there though. He to me was an instrumental part of my life in 1988. He was my photo class teacher as well as my small engines shop class teacher as well. I would be in error to say I did well in small engines class. Photo class though is where my world began to open up. It was there that Morrie helped me to see that I could express my self through photography. I owe much to this man, this teacher, this molder of dreams. He had a gentle spirit with students. Sometimes he was the smiling guy in the halls that served as an anchor for those of us going through our tumultuous teenage years, and other times he was the coach leading us on to become better people, athletes, students.
He has also faithfully served his wife in their 55 years of marriage, and helped raise 4 children. Morrie also served our country by joining the airforce before becoming a teacher. The years of service that Morrie has given to this world is many, and the impact on my life was and still is substantial.
Just before I took his photo I asked him why he served as a teacher. His answer was immediate, “I served to teach others to respect, do what’s right, and to improve as a person”.
Thank you Mr. Melchert for being my teacher, coach, and the guy who was the first to unlock my photographic abilities. You changed my life!