Jeff "Gus" Tracy

Jeff “Gus” Tracy, my good buddy and huge fan of The History Factory, was his candid and equally profound self at the Central High School graduation in Paddock Lake, Wisconsin.  As reported by Joe Potente in the Kenosha News on June 2, 2013:

… It was the commencement ceremony’s faculty speaker, health and physical education teacher Jeff Tracy, who appeared to have the most profound effect on the raucous, beach-ball-bouncing audience.

“We didn’t have Facebook,” Tracy said, referring back to his high school days. “We had face-to-face. We didn’t have smartphones. We had a lot of smart asses.

“We didn’t have the Internet. We had the World Book encyclopedia. … And guess what, we didn’t have pants that drooped below our asses.”

On a more serious note, Tracy urged the new graduates to do as he did when they go out and get married and have children. That is, he said, to choose a husband or a wife who is a great friend.

“Improve your life,” Tracy added, “Improve your friends, and improve your friends’ lives.”

And, again, on a less serious note: “In closing,” Tracy said, “I do want you to go out and follow your dreams — unless your dreams are stupid.”

-Bruce Weindruch