The singer Billy Joel and I are the same age. He once tried to alibi us Baby Boomers from being responsible for this messed up world by claiming “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Maybe so, but we haven’t exactly extinguished the fire either.

Our Baby Boomer generation have wrought much change to the societal, cultural and political landscapes of America and my guess is that when future generations do a final tally on us Boomers, we won’t be remembered very fondly.

The conflagration has seemingly gotten much hotter on our watch. Today’s world would be well advised to not trust anyone over the age of 55.

That said, we have had our heroes. This past Monday evening, I attended a lovely dedication by the Allegany County Education Association who named their headquarters building after John Reuschlein.

John passed away last fall, soon after retiring as president of the ACEA. John was a wonderful husband to Elaine, a very long serving professional educator in Allegany County, a fine athlete and outdoorsman and great company. He could be silly and off-color; but at his core John was a giving, thoughtful, generous and spiritual grownup.

Unlike so many of us, John was not a cynic. He had an informed skepticism and could be frustrated by the clownish behavior of folks; but, he did not give up on people. He had great faith in the basic goodness and high potential of humans, especially the thousands of students he taught, to do the right thing.

So John, you were one of the good Baby Boomers. You fought the fire manfully. We thank you for that, buddy, and we miss you.

Jon Ketzner


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