Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Tienhaara Boys

Back in about 1978 the Tienhaara Boys began to attend the Church of the Good Shepherd in Fitchburg, MA, with their father Richard, and step-mother Barbara.


The family never became Episcopalians, but the Church of the Good Shepherd was a good “way station” for them at that time. 

The “Tienhaara Boys” of 1978-ish were Richard who was aged about 18 or 19, Sean (maybe 17), and Bryan – a wee bit younger. Each of them was (and is) over 6’ tall.  They delighted in giving this 5’8” Michael Povey a group hug at “The Peace” – dwarfing him in the middle of their hugging triangle.


I left Fitchburg, but have stayed in touch with Richard (jr).  He was a basketball star at the University of Lowell (now U.Mass Lowell), and later at Clark University in Worcester, MA.  There he met his future wife Elizabeth.  I co-officiated at their wedding on Long Island in 1984.


(Richard is the only one of the three who met my late mother.  It was on one of her visits to Pittsfield.  R is about 6’7” and he and I will never forget that Mum said “you should come to England and paint my kitchen ceiling without using a ladder”!) 


Richard and I were able to get together for breakfast last year when I was in Connecticut and Massachusetts at the time of the consecration of my friend Ian Douglas (another Fitchburg native) to be the Bishop of Connecticut.


But I had not seen Sean in about fifteen years.  Nor had I seen Bryan or Richard Sr.  since 1980.


Thanks to Facebook (don’t knock it) I re-connected with Bryan (who now lives in Ft. Lauderdale) earlier this week.  He alerted me to a family reunion which was to take place at the wonderful Fort De Soto County Park (Pinellas County FL) and was scheduled for today.


So I hoved over there today (taking Penne [my dog] who travels well and who charmed everyone with her gentle nature).


Forgive my teary eyes.  It was so wonderful to be with these guys and their wives and children, together with their dad (long since divorced from Barbara, and married to a super woman named Betty for 25 years). 


Oh how I value these old connections.


 I add one more thing.  I got to chat with Elizabeth (Richard Jr’s wife).  We agreed that he is a man of utter integrity, and total purity of heart.

Thank God that a man to whom I ministered “way back then” is now a source of inspiration to me


Richard, Michael, Sean and Bryan.

Richard, Michael, Sean, Bryan and Richard Sr.

1 comment:

  1. I met Richard once at the celebration of your 25 years as a Minister in America. That also was in Fitchburg at the Church of the Good Shepherd. I instantly liked him as if I had known him all my life, & instinctively knew he was a man of Great Integrity.

    Please say Hi to him from me. M