Leland Gamson

Profile Updated: July 17, 2023
I Reside: Marion, IN USA
Spouse/Partner: Bonnie
My Homepage: www.lelandpgamson.com
My Children: Among our canine children, only Apricot, age 19, is alive. The others have joined, "the animals in Heaven More…who praise God'' (Rev 5:13)
Occupation(s): Retired VA Social Worker, currently writing and involved in Methodist ministry
Military Service: USAR for 23 years,Indiana Guard Reserve for nine  
My Nick Name:


Why I want to come to this reunion:

To see people I grew up with

Where I was born:

Minneapolis, MN

An Opening Statement:

After four years I am updating my profile again. 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 2015, Sojourn Press published five of my children's books, IF YOUR DOG WERE A HUMAN, LOKAEL:THE DONKEY WHO CARRIED JESUS, SAMSON AT THE OLYMPICS, WHERE IS GRANDPA?, and WHY CAN'T DOGS TALK? 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.
Now in 2019, Rain Gardens Publishing published five of my new children's books, IF YOUR CAT WERE A HUMAN, LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF, TAMIM:THE PASSOVER LAMB, THE IRISH SETTER IS MAILING A LETTER and WHY DO DOGS BARK? In 2020 Rain Garden's published my, THE PONY WHO WANTED TO BE A UNICORN.

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.

I won't bore anyone listing all of our travels, but highlights have been cruising down the Mississippi and Rhine Rivers. I write for a small evangelical magazine, HOPE IS NOW, and for THE UPPER ROOM.

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) in the Medical Service Corp., Battalion S-5 (Civil Affairs) Indiana Guard Reserve (Ret), 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, included as a Hoosier children's book author by the Indiana State Library's Center For Young Readers, Professional free lance writing and acting, Chancellor; Knights of Pythias, Certified Lay Minister with the United Methodist Church; received the Children's Book of the Year award for TAMIM:THE PASSOVER LAMB, from Glory Bound Publishing(Camp Verde, AZ)

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 60% of the births are out of wedlock.

Three words to describe myself in 1969?

Taking it in.

My Favorite Teacher(s):

Terrell Nisewaner, Carolyn Heckert

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. Carolyn Heckert took Paul Furnish and myself to the inner city of Philadelphia over the weekend as a sociology class volunteer experience.

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, doing Bible characters, teaching Sunday School.

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, Florence Nightingale...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, working in the CVS ,etc.

My Favorite Book(s):

Too many to list all. C.S. Lewis and Isaac B. Singer, Garrison Keillor 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 believing 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 2021 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. The bucket list for my future is my children's books becoming best sellers in their category.

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, Loyal Jones,("Mr. Appalachia", of Berea College), Ona Gelman Bunce

How do I relax?

Walking our poodle, talking to the her, 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:

One, very old in dog years, toy poodle.

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 Adam Hamilton's "Word's of Life". Finished "Hillbilly Elegy".

My Tombstone reads:

It will include the names of my late pooches, whose ashes will be in my casket. It will say we are reunited.

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.

About My Children:

While we did not have biological children,we did partialy raise six for six years and thus had some "parent experince".

Leland's Latest Interactions

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Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Apr 18, 2024 at 1:51 PM

  Ross was an active participant in our Freshman English class where Mr. R encouraged us to share our thoughts. While not close friends, we frequently talked to each before and after class. Ross was a likeable, easy going people person. It is comforting to learn, from his obituary, how he lead such a rich life as a teacher, coach mentor, family man, friend of animals and active church member. 

  I look foreward to seeing you again, Ross, at the great Whitman reunion in the Sky.

Leland Gamson added a comment on Profile.
Feb 24, 2024 at 1:27 PM
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Jul 17, 2023 at 1:54 PM
Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for Laura Goldin.
Feb 09, 2023 at 2:50 PM

The best word to describe Laura is "mensch".  In Hebrew Sunday School she was always engaged and enchouraged us slower learners. In our highly competative high school she graduated  valedictorian while being humble and kind to evryone. It is so admirable that she put her Yale and Harvard degees to use to protect our environement and the health and welfare of the most vulnerable among us.

Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for Laura Goldin.
Feb 09, 2023 at 2:50 PM

The best word to describe Laura is "mensch".  In Hebrew Sunday School she was always engaged and encouraged us slower learners. She graduated valedictorian in our highly competitive high school while being humble and kind to everyone. It is so admirable that she put her Yale and Harvard degrees to use to protect our environment and the health and welfare of the most vulnerable.

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Oct 06, 2021 at 6:56 PM
Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for Howard S. Gartenhaus.
Jan 01, 2021 at 5:56 PM

Howie's fondness for people was always apparent. I visited his fur store once, to catch up with him.  He was the same likeable jolly guy, he was in school. He didn't mind that I had no interest in animal furs. You will be missed Howie, rest in peace.

Leland Gamson

Leland Gamson has a birthday today.
Dec 30, 2020 at 4:33 AM
Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for John L. Baker.
Aug 22, 2020 at 7:20 PM

Thank you so much, Sharon, for sharing this article about our fellow class mate, John. "There is no greater love than this, that one should lay down his for his friends".

Leland Gamson

Leland Gamson has left an In Memory comment for Thomas Zitver.
Jun 21, 2020 at 6:41 PM

     In third grade Tom moved to Bannockburn, and we became close friends. We would compete, in his house, to see who could build the highest wood block tower, before it came tumbling down. When our world expanded, we biked to Glen Echo shopping center. We enjoyed finding bottles, to cash in at High's (now a Seven Eleven). We rarely failed to find enough glass bottles to exchange for ice cream cones. At two scoops for a nickel, our expeditions were self funded. If we found larger bottles, we would buy Superman comics for a dime. By the time the comics went for 15 cents, we outgrew them. That didn't stop us from checking out the Chris Reeve's Superman movies, together in our early adulthood. Yes, we agreed that Christopher Reeve's, got the "real Superman" character, right. After all, we were experts on Superman.

      As we progressed through elementary school, we were exposed to a broader world. I have fresh memories of Tom taking a keen interest in the Greeks, Romans, Vikings and the Mercury space flights. I still remember argueing with him, about who contributes more to space flight, the astronauts or rocket engineers. We would frequently spend the night at each other's house. We both got along well with each other's siblings. Tom saw the Twilight Zone, for the first time at the Gamson house. He agreed that it was more than just a modern "scarry show", as it had a Spiritual theme.

     At twelve, I got a poodle puppy, Flip. He followed us on our romps through Bannockburn. Now, we were three, and Tom and I would take turns "speaking" for Flip. We agreed Flip was the cutest dog on the planet. At Whitman, we were both active participants in the John Peter Altgeld Society. We listened to, and asked questions of, a wide variety of speakers. We grappled with concepts, such as World Federalism, gender roles, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, the threat of totalitarianism, and the purpose of higher education. In 1964 and 1966, we voluntered in the campaigns of Royce Hanson and Spellman for Congress. The latter was an early "peace" candidate.

     Both of us went to college in the Midwest, to experience a different region of the US. Tom went to Grinnel in Iowa, majoring in math. He taught math for a year, in a private high school. This surprised me, because  he was an introvert. When he discovered that most his students did not share his enthuaism for math, he became an actuary. For a few years, he lived in Bannockburn, and communited by bike, to his office at the OPM. After I left the the D.C. area, I would meet him for lunch, when back in town. We solved the world's problems, as we did, when members of the John Peter Altgeld Society. When in early middle age, I took my wife, Bonnie, to see Tom's boyhood home and meet his mother. Tom lived in an apartment on Capitol Hill for years and years. It was there that he died. He never told me about his cancer.

   Randy Alcorn, wrote a book simply entitled, "Heaven". He says that there are extroverts, who will spend eternity, in the inner court of Elohim's Celestial Kingdom. They will thrive in a place with bright colors and music, enjoying the company of multitudes. Others, who are by nature introverts, will be at home in the most outer parts of Heaven. There, their home is one of blissfull solitude. They are content with the company of just a few. Tom is among the latter. Tom, give my regards to your mother, father and, our forever cute, dog  pal, Flip.

Leland Gamson



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