Monday, June 8, 2015

How Did I Get Here?

I needed a blog topic today, and one fell right in to my lap.

WNEP received a feedback comment yesterday.  It was someone trying to get in touch me to ask about Hyman Markowitz.  The message was from a relative.

The comment was forwarded to me, and I responded with my e-mail.  To make a long story short, the relative obviously came across a blog I wrote about Markowitz in 2008.  The family ran a downtown Scranton newsstand for a long time.  It was forced to move because the old building at Wyoming and Linden was sold and torn down.  It found a new home, about a block away, on Linden, near the intersection with Penn.  The blog mentioned how Hyman Markowitz, who often worked at the newsstand, was my freshman year civics teacher.

I've read a lot of broadcaster/journalist biographies and auto biographies.  Most mention an influential teacher or two.  I was interested in broadcasting and news by the time my freshman year rolled around, and Hyman Markowitz came in to my life, but here is how he fits in to the puzzle.

Politics and government is a big part of what I do.  Hyman Markowitz gave me the foundation.  By the time our paths crossed, he was getting close to retirement.  There were days Mr. Markowitz seemed a little tired.  There is a difference between tired and lazy, a word I often use to describe some of his contemporaries.  There was still an interest in the subject matter, and still a desire, a strong desire to get it in to my head and the heads of my classmates.

How did Mr. Markowitz accomplish that?  Just by making civics, politics, and government as simple and as entertaining as possible.  It helped because my interest was there.  Mr. Markowitz made it so easy to understand.

I remember my early days as a radio pup, struggling to learn the business, how to navigate a courthouse, and the ins-and-outs of politics and elections.  Luckily, thankfully, I had a base-- Mr. Markowitz's base.

He passed away in 1995.  82 years old.

I'm sorry our paths rarely crossed after high school and college graduation, and after I started in the business.  I really needed to say "thank you."

As of this writing, Mr. Markowitz's relative has not contacted me.  When we do touch base, the relative will know Hyman Markowitz had a positive impact on so many lives.