Saturday, November 3, 2012
All of our children are special but today is Matt's special day. He and I went through a lot of life in the 90's and he was my best friend through some hard times. We both grew from it. It was hard to see him go off on his own but it was time. He did it a little more slowly and more cautiously than I did and was better off for it.
I wasl always impatient and rushed into everything, a little too quickly sometimes and Matt learned from that. I explained to him everything I could have done a little better as it happened. I really think he learned from that.
That has made him a better teacher than I was. I really wanted to farm and planting time and harvest time was so hard on me. So I substituted a school farm for my own during school hours and lived my dream out there with my students every chance I got.
The Cincinnati Enquirer had good things to say about him. "Winkle is one of the most sought-after teachers at Fayetteville Perry. More than half of the 290-member student body is enrolled in his classes; 150 are active members of the FFA Chapter he oversees.
It's a huge draw considering just 10 percent live on farms and only a fraction plan careers in agriculture.
But Winkle isn't surprised at the popularity of his courses. He believes agricultural education is relevant to everything."
Matt went with me everywhere I went ever since he was born. I got him addicted to tractor pulling and then to FFA. He loved to go FFA meetings with me where he ended up serving as chapter president, won every award they had and received all four FFA Degrees there.
None of our kids got into trouble but Matt was a really good kid, right when I needed him to be. I will tell a story on him though, teaching him to drive, I let him practice in the driveway. He missed the clutch on my little silver Chevy Chevette diesel and ran into the garage door. The car was so low on horsepower it didn't break down the door. Now we can both laugh about that.
So here's to my son Matt Winkle, the oldest of 6 great kids. Happy birthday, Matt, and many, many more.