Friday, June 15, 2018

Resident Voices: My Father's Son

“My name is Herb Foerster. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1928. I moved to Porterville, California in 1954, and I have lived in this area for 69 years.

My mother and father were both very important to me. As a matter of fact, they are the people whom I admire the most. They gave me my beginning, and encouraged me when I went off to college, a place that ultimately became my home away from home. This experience helped me gain knowledge in science and chemistry. In turn, I wrote and created my own chemistry textbooks for 30 years, and I developed a course where students could learn without anxiety or worry.

My father met my mother in Pittsburgh. My father was an intermittent laborer during the Industrial Revolution in the 1880s and 1890s working all over the west as a stone mason, building tall smoke stacks. Father had been married early on in life and they had a son, but Father’s first wife died on a homestead in Nebraska, and he eventually lost the homestead because he had put it in his wife's name. Father was of a very strict German descent, and he worked all the time prior to meeting my mother. 

Because of his earlier experience, my father abandoned his strictness, adopted a new attitude toward me, and consequently I was raised by a family who was very quiet. My father turned out to be a wonderful father. My mother was very religious, and I grew up to be a very quiet person due to her quietness. I had wonderful parents even though they were older – my mother was 47 when I was born in 1928, and my father was 61 years old.

I attended school on an island in the Ohio River, completing grades 1-9. When I was in the 10th grade, my father retired, and I finished school in Mercer County. Later, when I graduated from high school, my parents allowed me to choose what I would do with my life. About 1946, I served in a military band as a flute and piccolo player. I went to play in Montgomery, Alabama for three years, and, on the GI Bill, I applied to Pomona College. I went through graduate school, and I became a teacher. I taught chemistry and physics, and I also developed a lifelong interest in connections between science and religion.

Chemistry, physics, and connections between science and religion are some of the topics that have always interested me most. I also enjoy astronomy and space interface connections with religion. My goal is to write to people about what I have learned in my life.

All this thanks to a very special Father!"

By Herb Foerster, Claremont Manor Retirement Community 



LifeBio is an engagement program that captures cherished memories and lasting legacies through storytelling. Since launching in 2000, LifeBio has helped 20,000 people tell their life stories through autobiographical tools and services for all levels of care. LifeBio uses technologies as mediums to help individual document their stories in an easy and unique way such as tablets, web cams, and audio and video equipment. LifeBio has been a partner with Front Porch since 2009. For more details, check out LifeBio’s Impact Story on the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) website.
 

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