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Thankful for influences in own life, hoping to be positive influence

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 10:50 a.m. CDT

To the editor:

I may not make it back to central Iowa much now, but I am thankful I made it in June. I had found out  my eighth-grade history teacher, Russell Clayton, had helped with the fundraising for the Lincoln and Tad statue at the Capitol in Des Moines.

When I was in the area to visit my dad — and attend an Iowa Cubs baseball game with him — we found that statue. It wasn’t easy, as it was raining at the time.

I graduated with a degree in history from the University of Iowa, and looking back I realized Mr. Clayton was one of the reasons why I liked History class more than most others. He made it come alive for us as he showed us artifacts.

This is more fun than just reading about history.

My dad is another one that gets credit for my love of history, taking me to museums and historic sites when I was young. This did include the Lincoln sites in Springfield, Ill., and nearby New Salem. Another notable visit was the Herbert Hoover museum in West Branch, which is much closer.

I do try to give back when I can, pay it forward, by participating in mentoring programs where I live now in the Twin Cities. I trust that I am making a positive impact in the lives of these students much like my mentors did for me.

Lyle LaRue

NHS Class of 1992

St. Paul, Minn.

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