Farewell to an Angel gives the reader a personal view of the lives of a man and woman who were born, raised, worked, and found each other in the Crescent City. The man, John Hanson, was from the Carrollton neighborhood. The woman, Patty Callegan, was from the French Quarter. Their parents had only grammar school educations. They were poor, but not destitute. They always managed to shelter, clothe, and feed their families by dint of hard work. After starting on their memoirs, John had more time to work on his as Patty was simultaneously fighting cancer. Much of his memoirs are Patty's, however, since they were inseparable from their meeting in 1966 until Patty's death in 2014. A registered nurse and ever a patient advocate, Patty wrote only briefly of her life before nursing and marriage and only as an introduction to an exhaustive guide for cancer patients. These memoirs give the reader a unique view of 20th century America. The experiences of John and Patty are like no other. They give the ordinary person's perspective on three generations of cultural and scientific changes. Given their start in life, who could have predicted that George Halas would be John's chauffeur or Patty would serve as a private nurse to the Duke of Windsor and the King of Greece? Their paths crossed those of many hall-of-fame level individuals from the worlds of education, medicine, religion, business, sports, and politics. Yet, they were never enamored of the rich and famous and certainly never joined their ranks. The focus of their love was on one another and their students and patients. Their story will at times evoke both tears and laughter. Overall, it will edify.
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If variety is the spice of life, John Hanson is well-seasoned. Born and raised in New Orleans, he has 181 undergraduate credits and holds a master's degree in physics and math from the University of Mississippi. He was even accepted for admission to the medical schools of the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky at the age of 37. He has been a teacher of every grade level from 7th to 12th, as well as lower division classes of physics for the University of Kentucky. On the blue-collar side, he holds a diploma from the New Orleans Refrigeration School. On the white-collar side, he earned licenses to sell real estate and insurance. He has been director of recruitment and training for one of the oldest moving and storage companies in America. He has been a deputy sheriff, as well as a private investigator. He was invited to try out with the Chicago Bears, Houston Oilers, and Dallas Cowboys. His proudest achievement was his marriage of nearly 50 years to his angel, Patty, a registered nurse of extraordinary achievements. Being a Christian Brother ranks second.Review:
John Hanson's memoirs are a thing of profound beauty, deeply authentic in an era hungry for authenticity, and putting its readers back in touch with our deepest roots and hunger for connection. This memoir provides the Angela's Ashes for the great and colorful New Orleans. This book is full of wonderful, unforgettable, vignettes furnishing a profound contribution to American letters. It is a joy to read and, also, contains a love story for the ages. Reading it touched, moved, and inspired me. Buy it and read it, to gladden and enrich your heart forever. --Ralph Benko, internationally syndicated columnist
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Book Description Healthy Learning, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1606793438