This morning Chris, the youngest son, called to tell me that his father had died earlier in the morning. His father and mother Jeannie were vacationing at Rehoboth Beach with other family members. Mr. Charles T. “Terry” Lindsay was 87 years old, the same age as Norman Maclean when he died. That is, if any is, a good age to die, and his age should tell you a great deal about him because it means that he was of a certain time and culture.
Terry Lindsay was born about ten years too late to technically belong to the “greatest generation” as defined by Tom Brokaw in his book. But he was a child of that generation, and he learned from it. And he learned his lessons well because he lived the life and values in which it believed: Dedication to family and friends; A sound work ethic built on fairness and honesty; Duty to civic organizations; and so much more.
In the late 1970’s I was a young and inexperienced teacher and wrestling coach in Alexandria, VA. Herb Soles, the head coach and I, had committed to participate in a newly begun wrestling tournament of independent schools in the state. When we became aware that the fledgling tournament had no permanent and rotating trophy for the winning team for each year, I decided to approach the father of one of our young and promising wrestlers. So, I nervously went to Terry’s automobile dealership office to ask for money. I fumbled in my explanation for the need for a trophy, but he instantly caused me to relax by asking in a calm voice, “How much do you need, Roger?” I admitted to not having any idea of the cost involved. In his reassuring voice Terry told me to go buy the trophy that we wanted and send him the bill.
Terry Lindsay and other contemporary parents of his generation and kind may not have been members of The Greatest Generation, but they were great parents with which to work. They were always present in the education of their sons, but never in the way. They always supported us teachers and coaches by allowing us to do our jobs while they did theirs-we taught their children, and they earned the money to pay the bills. They gave their resources without meddling in how those resources would be used. They shared and supported our educational vision for their sons. They were cheerful.
Retired now many years, I have no knowledge of how parents are at such a school as the one where I worked in the 1970’s. But I hope that they have many Terry and Jeannie Lindsay’s who share the joy and responsibility of giving children a sound education.