Over fifty years ago, I was privileged to have Doug as my first high school English teacher. I was one of those students who liked to read novels and discuss things in the news but was still struggling to get a handle on effective expository writing. My mind was often just a swirl of disconnected ideas that desperately needed to be whipped into coherent shape in order to be understood better. Doug took me under his wings that year and gave me a framework in which to express my views in a way that made sense. For the first time, I became aware of the importance of the topic sentence in which I introduce the big idea or issue on which to launch my argument. Once that was established, I focused on taking a position for or against it. From class discussions on assigned readings, Doug would get us to identify key points on which to build an argument. While I eked out a C in the course, Doug recommended me not to write the final, more a reward for the fact I always had my homework done, entered into class discussions, and took an interest in public speaking. Just yesterday, my older brother phoned to tell me that he had just been talking with Doug who, at eighty-five, was living in a town just to the north. I quickly looked up his number and phoned him. For the next hour we chatted about our respective career paths, which we learned had some interesting similarities. After Doug and I parted in 1964, he moved north to Prince George to become an administrator; later in 1975 I, too, moved north to Smithers to take up teaching. We talked at length about our love for reading and writing that has grown over the years. It came out that we were both Sun paper boys who loved reading newspapers in our spare time. I forgot to ask him what he thought of Alan Fotheringham, Marjorie Nicols, and Jack Webster. I do remember one very involved colloquy we had that year that centered on how to handle a dicey situation with ‘difficult’ parents, such as staying out beyond one’s curfew. Doug’s tongue-in-cheek response at the time was one that has stayed with me for a lifetime, especially as a parent: don’t come home until you know that their anger has turned to a sense of parental desperation ready to forgive and forget. What an canny insight into human nature, but what makes it truly uncanny was that unknowingly he was speaking directly to me. Only a year earlier, I had run away from home over some silly misunderstanding, and only when the police found me a day later were  my parents overjoyed to receive me back without consequences. It took me years to write about that crazy time in my life when I first understood that my parents might actually be just as vulnerable as myself. Thanks to Doug’s wise words that day, I had confirmation that there was actual evidence to the old notion that parents might really love their children.