Hank says: 'Mr. Phinney was one of my most influencial teachers, at least one that I think about often. He taught 'Mechanics' to the Tech students in the high school basement, across the hall from the machine shop.
When he taught at PHS he lived in Lenox. He hired my father to butcher his sheep. ¬†That relationship gave him license not to tolerate misbehavior from me in the classroom. ¬†That was in addition to Mr. Massimiano who knew the Allessios on the farm. I had it rough! ¬†You may remember Mr. Phinney, in dead of winter, driving his rumble-seat convertible with the top down, and his sleeves rolled-up. ¬†He also beat the shop kids in arm wrestling all the time.
In the years before he died, we exchanged a few notes. ¬†We were in-synch
about growing tomatoes, but not at all in agreement regarding political
ideology or the Viet Nam War. Differences did not lessen our mutual respect. ¬†Rather than taking offense to being on the opposite sides of a
debate, he would say what's more important is that 'you care.'