Mike Shipley

Profile Updated: September 11, 2015
Mike Shipley
Mike Shipley

Then

Mike Shipley

Now

Mike Shipley

Yearbook

Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In: VOLCAN 0424 Panama
Spouse/Partner: Single
Occupation: Vaquero
Children: Shawn Michael, 39, Fireman in Rock Island; Seth Alan 36, Dance Instructor and Entrepeneur in Geneseo; More…Brynn Christine, 24, Ass't. Buyer Zoolily in Seattle.
Comments:

I do not know yet if I will be able to attend the 50th. There are certain stars that need to align for me in able to do so, and at this point it does not look good! I was really hoping to see everyone again. I had a great time at the 45th and the time has gone so quickly, I am sure no one has aged, well, with the exception of Ivan Streit whose life posing as a wannabe-satirist and pseudo-humorist writing his Ivanton Post has taken quite a toll. But don't expect him to tell the truth about it if asked, in fact don't expect him to tell the truth about much of anything. There was an old lawyer joke that fits here, "How do you know when a lawyer is lying? ...." Well you know the rest. [PLEASE NOTE: It has been called to my attention by someone, who will remain anonymous, but Ivan called me very early in the morning, that those who did not know that Ivan and I are friends and did not know of his attempt at political satire in the "Ivanton Post", thought I was being mean to or angry with Ivan. NOT TRUE. How was I to know that when he told me the Ivanton Post was internationally syndicated with a readership in the thousands that there were actually only 20 people. I guess if you did not know my relationship with Ivan or of his syndicated newsletter, you could misinterpret my comments. Lighten Up!). The women of our class have faired considerably better than most of the men, that is unless those photos they post on Facebook have been Photo-shopped first.

I know there were other classmates that were TK's (Teacher's Kid) and maybe CK's (Coach's Kid) as well. There is a definite Yin and Yang of being in these categories. If you cared about how what you did may affect your teacher or coach parent, and I did, you toed the line. This may explain why I took a little excursion to the wild side when I went off to Colorado State after graduating. But all in all, I was lucky to have the parents I had and the lifestyle they exposed me to. Every summer from about the age of 5 or 6 to 15, we went on a camping trip out west. Wyoming was probably our favorite spot, but by the time I had to start working in the summer and not make the summer pilgrimage, I had been in every major national park west of the Mississippi with the exception of Bryce and Zion. I fell in love with the mountains and everything Western, which may explain why I have stepped out of the closet as a Cowboy! My love for horses also fed into this, and from the time I was 22 and on my own, I have raised horses.

My other passion at a young age was football. When we were still living on the corner of 9th Street and 19th Avenue, my Grandpa Pherigo bought me a football uniform complete with helmet, shoulder pads, jersey and pants. I thought I was pretty special the first time I strutted onto the John Deere Football field at about age 9. From then on it was waiting for my body to catch up to my dream. Football had a lasting affect on me, both emotionally and physically. (In later life I was an orthopedist dream). I played two seasons at Colorado State (Not a good showing but in later years a positive affect on my coaching in that I never wanted to make a player feel as I had felt while suiting up for the CSU Rams.) and my junior and senior year at Augustana. After graduation from Augie I continued on with football as the head coach of the Winola Jets and a social studies teacher, the consolidated high school of Viola and New Windsor. I was there for two years and took a job at MHS as an Assistant Varsity football coach and Social Studies teacher. My mom and dad were both still at the high school then. Next to the word "nepotism" in the dictionary they had our pictures. While at Moline High School, I met my first wife Cindy who was substituting as Health Nurse for Geneva who was attending the State basketball playoffs. I developed a bad head ache that day in order to go see if the nurse could assist me. She assisted me with a phone number and we were married the following October. I left after five years and reassumed the head coaching position at Winola. The Wednesday before our first game of the season, I had my first son, Shawn Michael. Was at Winola for 5 years before leaving teaching for a year and working at Bell's Western Store as manager of the tack department and the mobile store that we pulled around to the larger horse shows in Illinois and Iowa. It only took me a year before Bells had to go into bankruptcy, was a tough time in the economy in and around the Quad-Cities. I taught and coached two more years at Orion High School, before leaving the teaching field. I had gone through my first divorce and sold the farm I owned as a result. I decided to try something different and in a different part of the U.S. My dream had always been to move west and when I decided to go to law school, it was natural of me to look at the western states. I chose to move to Washington and attended Univ. of Puget Sound School of Law. When in law school I met my second wife Julie, who was a sister of a law school classmate. We married a week after I graduated and had my daughter Brynn a couple years after we were married. I practiced law for 23 years. I was always amused how they used the word "practice" but I guess they use it to describe what a doctor does too. My second marriage was about as long as my first. When my daughter graduated from high school she moved to California for college. She vowed she was not moving back to Washington in that most of the jobs in the area of fashion merchandising were in the LA area. I had nothing holding me to Washington so when I decided to retire, Panama became the destination. Packed up everything in two 20 foot containers and shipped them to Panama and loaded up my two horses and dogs in my truck and horse trailer and drove to Miami, from where the horses, truck and trailer were to be shipped.

I am now living in the mountains of Panama, close to the border with Costa Rica. The town I live in, Volcan, is 4700 feet in elevation and sports a population of around 10,000 people. It reminds me of a Geneseo in it's earlier days before it became a suburb. It sits under the tallest peak in Central America, Volcan Baru. It is often hidden in the clouds, but is a beautiful backdrop for the town. I brought two of my horses with me to Panama, a Paint stallion and a Breeding stock Paint mare. They have combined to put a couple nice foals on the ground which I have had no trouble selling. If anyone is interested in a business venture, I would like to import 2 or 3 more mares and possibly another stallion. Also brought my two cattle dogs with me, Hazer and Deuce. Outside of the horses and dogs and the household things needed to keep house, I brought nothing with me but a whole lot of memories. It has been interesting living as an immigrant in a Spanish speaking country when there has been so much made of immigrants in the U.S. being the scourge of all of U.S. society woes. I have been welcomed here, appreciate it when I can press #2 por ingles and am glad I chose to come here.
This is the preface to a fiction novel I am writing called "La Nina," I made some observations on aging that you may appreciate, and some may even agree with. I am hoping to finish my book before Christmas and see what happens. I am 33 chapters and 75,000 words into it already so I can see the end in sight.
Preface to "La Nina"
"When you are looking at the back end of your life, you contemplate time from a very different perspective than when you were getting your diploma, and with luck, your first job. In fact, in most cases, you contemplate everything differently: the opposite sex, sex itself, and your own mortality. Hours are seconds, weeks are days, and years pass by like months. If you are lucky when you are in your early 60’s and want to put it in perspective, at least from an actuarial point of view, you can think of the remainder of your life as a 1000 weekends, more or less. He had often thought of these things, but had not been retired long enough that weekends had lost their chronological significance, but once he acknowledged the 1000 weekend principle, the next week he realized he only had 999, more or less, left!
Any migration of people involves expulsion and attraction factors. His move to Panama was no exception. There were reasons he was leaving and there were reasons he had chosen Panama as his final refuge, the place where he would spend his last 1000 weekends. He had contemplated all these things and had made a conscious decision, at some point, that he would not be a willing participant in the aging process. That he would have to be dragged or carried into old age with a spent body and a smile on his face that even the undertaker would have trouble removing. He vowed to live with a positive energy and a sense of adventure that would be a distraction from what was happening to his body, and possibly his mind, with or without his acknowledgement or consent. What he had not contemplated was the sequence of events that would spring from his simple attraction to and, if he was honest with himself, his desire for the young girl, la nina."

School Story:

From six years of age, when my dad moved to Moline and took the head track coach position, my life was involved with MHS. I also had the privilege of teaching and coaching there for five years as well. My life revolved around coaches and teachers, games and meets, striving to make the football team, and taking girls on dates in a station wagon that smelled of analgesic balm and God knows what else. So it is hard for me to talk about a specific memory or story; they all blur together in what was my life for almost 25 years. There are stories and memories that Tagtmeier would not want me to tell. You will need to ask him and you better bring your water board if you want him to tell you.

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Jul 10, 2018 at 4:33 AM
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Mar 20, 2017 at 4:33 PM

I was sad to hear of Pat's passing.  Pat and I were teammates both on the football and track teams. Pat was somewhat of a legend our sophomore year in football because he had been working out with the varsity team because of his work ethic during summer workouts and the outstanding strength he displayed. I think probably his physical strength paled, as years went on, to his emotional and character strength. I would like to have said I was a close friend, but that was not necessarily the case, although we were certainly friendly with one another and kind of caught up on each others lives amd reconected at the last reunion I was able to attend and then again on facebook where we had some interesting chats. I think Pat's music reflected his caring and his humanity and will survive him for years to come. I know most of the Forber family and my condolences go out to them all on the loss of their brother and to his wife and sons. I will remember him smiling and picking his guitar! Peace and love friends!

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