Ron Bohrer and Larry Castleberry found the Folk School in 2011 when they attended our big Fall Festival with other members of their local museum in Tennessee. After seeing our class catalog, Ron says, “We had traveled the world and we thought, ‘We’ve been everywhere we want to go, let’s go there.’” And once they did, they decided, “Well, good grief, there’s no need to go anywhere else!”
Ron, a retired university head of foreign languages, and Larry, a retired healthcare finance professional, had both been creatively inclined before they became part of the Folk School’s family. Ron crocheted and knitted, and Larry was in his church’s needlework guild. They emphatically agree on the benefits of lifelong learning. “I’m amazed at people saying they don’t know what they’ll do when they retire,” Ron says. “I have so many creative interests, I don’t know how I ever worked!” Larry says it’s the new adventures and the personal connections they make with instructors and fellow students that keep them coming back. He tells a wonderful story of meeting a talented jewelry-maker Work-Study student of ours in a stained-glass class and of subsequently introducing him to an art gallery in Chattanooga where he so impressed people with his work that he was commissioned to make a staff member’s wedding rings. Ron and Larry’s Folk School story reminds us that students create both things and friendships while here.