…from 1990 to 1994.
Yeah, I’m old. Rub it in.
During those four years, I had a homeroom teacher named Mr. Cooney. I can’t remember my homeroom number, but it was on the third floor. 310 maybe? Whatever. It’s irrelevant.
Mr. Cooney’s full name was Chuck Cooney, and it’s safe to say that for those four years I made his life pretty much a living hell. I was the loud funny kid (to be read: asshole) who just loved starting off his day with the easily agitated and extremely animated Mr. Cooney.
Last week, I got thinking about Mr. Cooney. What was he up to? Was he still in Milwaukee? Still teaching? Was he even still alive?
And so I did what everyone with questions does nowadays: I Googled him. And I found this:
During the civil rights movement, Chuck Cooney marched for equal rights and open housing for Milwaukee’s minorities. He was also friends with Father Groppi.
And this is the part where I feel like a dick.
Over the past twenty years or so, I’ve never thought of Mr. Cooney as anything more than a slightly neurotic public school teacher. Definitely never as a real person, and especially not as someone with interesting stories to tell.
And so I’m sorry, Mr. Cooney. Looking back on it, I wish I had been a little more inquisitive (to be read: less of an asshole) during those four years together, because I would have loved to have heard more stories like these.
I can admit when I’m wrong… it just might take me two decades,