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April 19, 2018

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April 19, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of David Pomatti.
January 11, 2018
Nancy McHugh
A complete and fearless leader who modeled for her colleagues as well as for her students. Thank you Nancy for showing all of us the way. You are loved and will be greatly missed.
Bob Infantino
Professor of EducationEmeritus
University of San Diego
January 9, 2018
Dear Nancy McHugh,
I am sad to hear of your passing. I remember you from my High School days. I had dropped out in the middle of my senior year and you had phoned me at home to express your sadness about my decision to leave school and potentially ruin my life, which I did, as a matter of fact, nothing I wanted ever worked out, but you believed in me and called me an "idea" person. I thank you for your encouragement. I have always been honored by your words. Although I went back to school later in life, and now have a doctorate in music, there are few jobs in my field, and I sit inside a looming mound of debt. You most certainly did love your students. What an awesome person you were and are.

Peter Thoegersen
December 10, 2012
It is with great sadness that I learned of Nancy McHugh's passing. As a student at Grant HighSchool from 1982-1985, I was extremely, extremely fortunate to have had her as a teacher in Honors English and again, in AP English. She was not just a teacher, but a mentor, coach, and guide as I developed my academic and life skills. I have very fond memories of the projects we did during 10th grade and again in 12th grade. To her family, I want to thank you for the time you allowed her to spend with us.
I'm sure she probably never new this, but because of her careful coaching, and her guidance, I've gone on to become a doctor, a professor, and coach of my own students in an academic setting. Her excellent skills as an English teacher have enabled me to become an effective professor, and published author.
The day before graduation, Grant High School 1985, Nancy McHugh came up to me during rehearsal. She told me I could write, not to give up, continue improving, learning, testing the limits. Because of her never ending dedication, generations of students have gone on to successful careers, giving back. I know I have, and I thank Nancy McHugh for this.
Paul Subar DDS, EdD
Assistant Professor
Special Care/Hospital Dentistry
University of the Pacific, San Francisco
October 2, 2012
I look into those deep brown eyes,
Fringed with lashes any girl would
Die for. And I see yellow laughter
And blue dreaminess and warm love and,
Most of all, enthralling innocence.
When I gaze at that dear little face,
I see his father (my son), and myself
At four-- and I almost know who I
Was-- and am.

This was one of a page of poems that my grandmother felt inspired to write about me when I was much younger. The others document moments and milestones of my adolescence, like the fact that at age one I already knew one hundred words. Not bad for a one- year-old, but my grandmother was the one who took the time to count them and write them all down. Another describes one of our outings to the Pantages Theater, a memory she recalled often. When we were both nervous for different reasons sitting in our seats and admiring the beautifully restored theater. I turned to her and said, “Grandma, this is a wonderful place!”

I remember several of our “outings” to local theaters, museums, and other amusing forums. Each ended with me in my car seat in the back of her car as she drove me home. By this point I was always exhausted, so I would close my eyes and start to nod off. “Don't fall asleep!” she would warn from the front seat, grinning and looking at me
in the rearview mirror. “I'm not sleeping, Grandma, I'm only resting my eyes.” I'd say every time. This was undoubtably a line I'd heard my dad give my mom when she would also catch him taking an afternoon nap. My grandmother would laugh, and each time, without fail, I'd be fast asleep by the time she pulled up to the house to drop me off. Though I'm sure I was often cranky from being woken up prematurely from a nap, my grandmother never let it spoil the end of the outing. And despite her warning from the front seat, she'd always let me fall asleep on the ride home if I was tired enough.

This patience and unwavering love shined through in just about every aspect of my relationship with my grandmother. I know she believed in me, was proud of me, and had high hopes and expectations for me, but she also taught me the meaning of unconditional love. I remember making grandma cookies with her and seeing how much of the dough she would let me eat, and how many times I could get away with mashing the cookies with a fork without rinsing it in the water again.

These are some of the memories I've held dearest from my childhood. But lately as I've been looking back over photographs, and papers, I've begun to take on a new appreciation for my grandmother. The endless poems, stories, and essays that she kept ?led away all those years at Scadlock tell me something about her, and
show me something about myself. How ?tting that her poems, like my innocent eyes at four-years-old, are now able to show me a part of my grandmother which I somehow inherited. Beyond physical resemblance, and a passion for dressing up, I credit my grandmother with instilling in me a love of language and words. That as much as they can be used as a tool in academic pursuits, she showed me that they are also malleable enough to be played with for one's own amusement. I certainly don't consider myself to be anywhere near the writer my grandmother was, but I too have started to compile my own catalogue of verses and essays and I feel extremely proud to have been recognized by the NCTE Council for which she served as president.

So, as I prepared for today, it seemed ?tting to honor her through verse. An old
picture of us having just completed a puzzle served as the moment of inspiration.

Pieces Falling Into Place
I sit at her dining room table
A boy with his grandmother ?nishing a puzzle
It's dif?cult to rest until the last piece comes together
Until the image is complete
Each of the fragmented thoughts forming a singular vision
Until it has been instilled with an aura
Only then may you sigh, whew! I haven't lost any
And truly enjoy the fruits of one's labor
Though I was only 4, I already had a sense of this feeling
Of a restlessness verging so closely on the satisfaction
Of being able to step back and admire your work
When your efforts take on a form that you can be proud of
Its a moment worth pushing oneself for when you can make your own reward
Perhaps I learned this from my grandmother then
And realized that it could be applied to more than puzzles and baking Grandma cookies
And now that she's gone, this is how I will start to remember her
As pieces coming together, forming one loving, momentous, unwavering, and accomplished individual
So yes, there are pieces enough
And now that they have fallen into place
I can begin to truly appreciate each one
--Drew Pomatti -Sept 1, 2012