Alan Teasley is a big man.
He used to be a lot bigger.
I met him when I was editing a health and fitness section at The Herald-Sun. I asked him to speak to readers we’d signed up for a weight-loss challenge.
He brought an old pair of jeans. Or maybe it was a belt. I don’t remember which, but it showed how much weight he had lost.
I do remember how Teasley won the group over with his gentle, self-deprecating humor.
So when Michael Yarbrough, spokesman for the Durham Public Schools, suggested we ask him to become one of our new My View columnists, it was a no-brainer.
Now 60, Teasley is the former grants administrator for the school system. But he is anything but retired. He teaches in Duke’s master’s of arts in teaching program, serves on the board of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and just got back from Machu Picchu, Peru.
(He's also co-authored a book on "reading" films with young people. Read about it here.)
In our culture, it often seems “you’re not supposed to enjoy things, and if you do you’re supposed to enjoy them quietly,” Teasley says. “I’m enjoying the hell out of my retirement!”
Still, when I asked the lifelong Durhamite to write a monthly column about his take on the Bull City, he hesitated.
That hesitation, he said moments later, was reason to do it.
“I’ve got plenty of opportunities to air my opinions -- just not publicly," he said. "I'm just scared enough to do it!"
I hope you enjoy reading Teasley's opinions.
Thanks for reading,