Leland Gamson

Profile Updated: June 14, 2015
Leland Gamson
I Reside: Marion, IN USA
Spouse/Partner: Bonnie
My Children: Butler, born 2001; Apricot and Buffy, born 2002. Yes, they are dogs but we did partially raise six humans More…for six years as part of our church's Big Brother and Sister program
Occupation(s): Retired VA Social Worker, writer
Military Service: USAR for 23 years  
Yes! Attending Reunion
My Nick Name:


Where I was born:

Minneapolis, MN

An Opening Statement:

After seven years I am updating my profile. This is not do to lack of affection for my fellow Vikings but because my dyslexia makes computer use a challenge. After 35 years in Civil Service, I retired 2-28-2013 from the VA to get serious about my writing. In August or September, Sojourn Press will publish five of my children's stories. To escape the Hoosier Winters we bought a Spanish Mission house in Cottonwood, AZ. It is in the Verde Valley and as close to the World to Come before the World To Come comes. We have a guest room and are near an airport and Amtrak shuttle.

An Opening Statement (Part 2):

From ages 58 to 61 I competed in body building competitions. As there was very little competition in my age and weight groups, I now have trophies to compensate for not lettering in Whitman. After blowing out my shoulder (I already have a damaged back, knee) I retired from competitive body building

From 1983 to 1999 I contacted presidential sights asking if they were interested in receiving a tulip poplar seedling from one planted by Geo Washington in 1785. Working with the Mt Vernon Horticulturist, we sent out 60. After retiring, I contacted the 60 sights to find out how the trees were doing and offering to send a plaque to identify the tree. To my horror only eleven trees survived. Ten sights accepted the plaques.

Elementary School:


Jr. High School:


Marital Status:


My Email address:


My Parents:

Anita Gamson (1917-2012)
Arthur Gamson (1917-2011)


MSW, Catholic U, '81
M.Ed, American U, '74
BA in Religion, Hiram College, '73

Professional Achievement(s):

LTC USAR (Ret) presently Battalion S-5 (Civil Affairs) Indiana Guard Reserve, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board Certified Diplomate, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Homeless Veterans Coordinator, Residential Care Coordinator, Field Instructor and Student Liaison for my VA Medical Center, In Directory of Poets and Writers, Academy of American Poets, Professional free lance writing and acting, Chancellor; Knights of Pythias,

My Biggest Disappointment(s):

The near strangle hold by secular humanists
on educational and scientific institutions. The breakdown of the family. In my county over 50% of the births are out of wedlock.

Three words to describe myself in 1969?

Taking it in.

My Favorite Teacher(s):

Terrell Nisewaner

What was my BEST moment at Whitman:

There is no one highlight but working in Eugene McCarthy's 1968 headquarters was exiting.. At 17 I experienced participatory democracy. The Junior Civitan convention in Virginia Beach was great.

What I loved most about Whitman:

Feeling connected to others and the world. The 60's was an exiting time to grow up in.

What was my WORST moment at Whitman:

There had to have been bad moments but I must have suppressed them as I can't recall any off the top of my head.

What I hated most about Whitman:

Advanced algebra/trig

Family members who attended Whitman:

Neil Gamson, 1967

My Interests:

Travel, trains, Presidential homes,
Intersection of Science and Religion, Church lay ministery, YMCA, Israel, writing children's stories, reading about near death experiences, current events, local history, Americana

My Weakness:

My dyslexia has not improved and I am low tech

My Favorite Music:

Irish, 60's, Blue Grass, Steven Foster

My Favorite Food:

Tex Mex, Chinese, Amish

My Favorite Restaurants:

Many as I am easily pleased

My Favorite "My Time":

YMCA and library

My Favorite Hero(s):

John Wesley, FDR, Moses, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington, Moshe Dyane, St. James, Henry Berg, Clara Barton...it is a long list as there are many heroic people in this world. Most are obscure and simply are quietly helping others and caring for their family while working for low wages. I run into them in nursing homes, collecting trash ,in the CVS ,etc.

My Favorite Book(s):

Too many to list all. C.S. Lewis and Isaac B. Singer are favorite writers. "The Good Old Days: They Were Terrible" and "The Imperfect Panacea" made major impacts on my world view. One drove home the idea that there were no "good old days" and the other the fact that there are no simple solutions to social problems. I have read about ten books on near death experiences, reviewed two. "Dogs that Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home", is another favorite. Of course there is Proverbs and The Gospel of Matthew

My Favorite Movie(s):

Are still the "Wizard of Oz" and "It is a Wonderful Life"

My Favorite Musicals:

Fiddler On the Roof, The Sound of Music, Eva, My Fair Lady

My Favorite Sports Teams:

Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles

My Health:

In May of 2005, a fourth class spindle cell tumor appeared around my femoral artery. A local surgeon said I had six months to live. I eat healthfully, go to the YMCA regularly, and don't smoke or drink and this happened anyway. Not believeing it was God's perfect will that my dogs out live me, we went to the Mayo Clinic for a three month stay. After massive amounts of chemo, radiation, deep surgery and the use of 2000 hours of saved up sick leave, I returned to work. When I get to Heaven, I have to thank the Mayo family for founding their outstanding clinic. As of 2014 I am cancer free, PTL.

My Giving:

Animal protection, fighting factory farming, Israel, local Methodist Churches we attend in Indiana and Arizona, cancer research

My Bucket List:

Completed list includes taking every cross country train in the US, taking a Mississippi river boat cruise, touring Israel, Scotland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Vancouver Island, having a successful marriage, having meaningful work, living in an uncongested area, ballooning, spelunking, winning body building competions (OK there was little competition at my weight and age), being included in "The Directory of Writers and Poets" and the Academy of American Poets, retiring as an officer in the Army of the USA. In August when my children's books are out, the bucket list will include their becoming best sellers in their category. After that five more children's books are on the way.

Getting my mostly completed film screen turned into a major movie success is on the list. As only one out of 500 film plays are sold, this is a long shot.

Famous or interesting people you've met?

George McGovern, Philip E Johnson, Ona Gelman Bunce

How do I relax?

Walking our poodle pack, talking to the pooches, reading, working out at the Y, listening to 60 music, blue grass and Irish

What is your Biggest turn-on?

Any act of kindness

What is your Biggest turn-off?

Shallow thinking and emotional thinking at the expense of reason and evidence. Most political and religious extremists thinking, including militant atheism, falls into this category.

Language(s) I speak:

English and pocito EspaƱola

My Pets:

Three toy poodles

I am a Veteran:


Favorite Quotation/s:

"He who was seated on the thrown said, "I am making everything new". Rev 21:5

Philosophy of life/Credo:

The Boy Scout motto, oath and law says it best.

Last book read/Book now reading:

Now reading G W Bush's auto biography and "Reagan's Crusade". Just read a bio of Susan Wesley, John Wesley's mother.

About My Wife:

Bonnie Lou is a retired Credit Union CEO. She is a native Hoosier and part of a close family. Her organizational skills counter balance my creativity. She is very active in our Methodist Church.

Leland's Latest Interactions

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Leland Gamson has a birthday today.
Dec 30, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Leland Gamson posted a message.
May 24, 2017 at 8:53 PM

Hi Barbara, After retiring we got a Winter home in Cottonwood, AZ. When people ask if we miss the snow I reply, "We see snow every day in the Verde Valley, on the mountain tops where it belongs" If you ever have another Arizona Viking reunion please let me know. We reside in Arizona from Nov 22 thru April 22. I would love to meet Ted as I am a big supporter of Charter schools. They reach kids in our Rustbelt town public schools don't. My cell is 765-603-0996 and our AR address is 1620 E Crestview Circle, Cottonwood, AZ 86326.

Leland Gamson added a comment on Profile.
Apr 27, 2017 at 10:26 PM
Leland Gamson has a birthday today.
Dec 30, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for Mary Chris Fox BLACKISTONE.
Jan 10, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Among my fondest memories of our high school days are Chris's Saturday night parties at her home. Under the supervision of her late mother, the parties were both wholesome and fun. Once i asked her if I could bring my older brother with me as he was home on break from Beloit College. She said that was a good idea as "it will make the party more sophisticated". I will always remember Chris as being comfortable with herself and with others. I look foreward to a great Viking renunion party in the World To Come. 

Leland Gamson has a birthday today.
Dec 30, 2015 at 4:33 AM
Leland Gamson posted a message.
Jun 14, 2015 at 10:22 PM

Message from class mascot Whitman, Walt (see SAGA and 1989 up date if you forgot who I am). Being 216 dog years old, I have decided to give up independent living and move in with class mate Leland P. Gamson. I chose him as he already has a poodle pack. We announce that he has written five children's books with Sojourn Publishing, and now available on Amazon. They are: "Why Can't Dogs Talk", "If Your Dog Were A Human", "Lokael: The Donkey Who Carried Jesus", "Samson At the Olympics", and "Where Is Grandpa?". More books are in the works.

Leland Gamson has a birthday today.
Dec 30, 2014 at 4:33 AM
Leland Gamson added a comment on Profile.
Nov 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM
Jun 12, 2014 at 11:41 PM