Those of us who are longtime Gordon Bonnet fans were pleased to hear how life has gone for Gordon since his retirement. After 27 years teaching all things scientific at the Trumansburg High School — physics, biology, earth science — plus designing and teaching courses of his own making, Gordon began a new chapter. A 30-year Trumansburg devotee, he has made his home these many years a long way from his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana.
Growing up an only child, Gordon Bonnet moseyed on to the University of Louisiana after high school. Graduating with his degree in physics, Gordon moved to the north Pacific, where for five years he taught in the inner-city Seattle school system. He loved this city with its temperate weather, the vast waterways nearby, the endless outdoor areas to hike. But the cost of living and the challenges of bustling city life prompted Gordon to consider something else.
Trumasnburg! Arriving in September of 1992, Gordon knew no one. And now Gordon sums up his 30 years in Trumansburg: “I’ve had a good run all the way.” When friends of Gordon gather, some of us know him as an author of madly creative fiction: speculative fiction, murder mysteries and historical fiction. But, more on this in an upcoming column.
How would one manage to write novels and also blog? Some Gordon fans and followers have never even met him, but wake up eager to read Gordon’s blog six days a week. Skeptophilia.com turns up 3.5 million page views with daily columns on science and critical thinking.
Perhaps this blog is the glue that holds the folks who know Gordon from different vantage points together? (And those who reunite after a decade or two, say “Gordon is still Gordon — loving, enthusiastic, boundlessly energetic, engaged.”)
What about others who have not been Gordon’s students, nor read his blog, nor read his books?
Some think of him as a mentor, a coach for aspiring writers, a fellow runner (with beloved pup Guinness tagging along at his side), a musician playing the flute in Crooked Sixpence, a wildly popular contra dance trio.
For some villagers, Gordon is known as “Carol’s husband" or Lucas and Nathan’s father.
Despite his sons both being grown, they’re still an integral part of his life.
Carol Bloomgarden, who rivals Gordon as juggler, mentions that they have enjoyed many trips to Ecuador, Spain, Trinidad, and Belize for bird watching, a passion they share. (Stay tuned for a glimpse into Carol’s life as artist, nurse-teacher, partner, parent and more.)
Here are the only clues I garnered from Gordon how he manages such a wild life.
Writing: “I’ve always been a Morning Person. I like to write when I first wake up…Afternoons I slow down. My blog is fun. But, when I can feel a power outage coming on, I tell my readers
‘I’m going to take a break next week. I will post again on X date.’ Ditto for vacations. This keeps the internal battery charged.”
Writing Partners: “I’ve met once a week with my writing partner for 20 years. We both write fiction and we read aloud to each other. We can hear the flow and we catch mistakes…We gently critique each other.”
So, Gordon, what’s it like to be retired, yet still so engaged in the world, and in one’s inner mind? “I don’t have enough time to be bored.”
To catch a glimpse of Gordon, check out his website, gordonbonnet.com.