David “Mas” Masumoto’s piece on teachers was very touching and relevant to me.
We attended the same high school and knew the same teachers. I graduated a few years before he did.
I wrote a letter to a teacher that helped me go from picking grapes as a teenager to becoming a film editor at Warner Bros. and Disney Studios. On the way, I worked at KMJ radio as a remote engineer with Dick Shepard and at Channel 24 with Bob Long, and the rest of the news staff, as a floor manager.
I never dreamed of going to college until Ed Perkins at Sanger High School told me I could get a scholarship to Fresno State if I got my grades up. Being the oldest of eight kids in the family, it was a struggle to find quiet time to do homework, but I did, got the scholarship, and it changed my life.
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He responded to my letter by congratulating me on my success, and thanked me for remembering him.
I told him he was one of the most important people in my life, and I would always be thankful he chose to help me achieve what I thought would never be possible.
Mike Gavaldon, Fresno