Beautifully Human / Jack Siebert

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

As we continue our series today called Beautifully Human...

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We focus on the beauty of humans and the power in their stories…

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Through telling their stories we hope to connect this world. To spread some love and humanity...

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To show a common thread of beautiful humans…

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This week we go to San Mateo, California with Jack Siebert to hear his incredible story...

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I met Jack at his home in San Mateo and spent a lovely evening in San Francisco with him, he welcomed me in like family from the moment I met him. 

Our car ride home really stayed with me. Jack lives 45 minutes north of Santa Clara where we were staying but drove us all the way past his home to make sure we were safely home. We shared stories of Romania and life lived. Such a kind and beautiful soul… 

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Let’s all be beautifully human… 

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Beautifully Human is now a podcast! Tune in to hear more beautiful stories!

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#beautifullyhuman #jacksiebert  #sanmateocalifornia #wanderlustmoonduo #stayhuman

Jack Siebert / San Mateo, California

Nik,

I don't look upon this as a homework assignment, rather I see it as a challenge. A challenge for me to remember things; many folks over the years have told me that I have an incredible memory. Well often that memory is for small details, the microcosm of life; however I often rue the moments I have forgotten in life. When I was 16, my step-father retired and we moved from my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin to Sarasota, Florida. In some ways the move was great; I made friends, I learned how to water ski, I spent many a weekend day on the beach just walking; however, it seemed to have truncated my life in a town where I was born and raised. I lost contact with almost everyone there and even though I moved back to Kenosha three years later, it was never the same. But in 2005 I was invited to attend the 45th reunion of the graduating class from Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, even though I had not graduated from there with that class; I graduated with the class in Sarasota in 1961. The person responsible for this is named Suzette and to this day I don't think she realizes what a gift she gave me; I returned for that reunion and have gone back for about 4-5 more, one time taking Nato with me. Never once, not once did anyone say anything about my being gay - positive or negative - they just accepted me and my husband as part of that family. Now that I write this, I realize that even though I have thanked Suzette for bringing me back into the fold, I haven't expressed to her what I just told you, so I will.

Now to your questions:

Tell me a story that shaped your life…

- I guess that a story which shaped my life the most must have been the divorce of my parents; it wasn't the divorce itself per se, but rather the disappearance of my father from my life. Soon after the divorce he and his new wife left Kenosha for Southern California where they remained the rest of their lives. They would return to Kenosha about every 3 years - ostensibly to see us, but I felt over the years it was more to see her mother. She, his second wife, had given up one of her children for adoption and her second child, a daughter, and she never had a very good relationship form I know. Anyway, my father was a non involved person in my life - no letters, no birthday cards, no attendance at important events in my life (high school and college graduation, marriage, etc.). Only when my 3 brothers and I were all older did he seem to want a relationship; the work of raising us was done (by our Mother of course and step-father) and he seemed to now want some of the glory of showing off his four sons, all of whom were successful with college degrees and grandchildren. We all in a way made our peace with him knowing that he had had a terrible childhood, but the absence of him in my life over the years was palpable. My step-father was a good man and provided very well for my Mother and us and for that I was always grateful. My father lived to be 94, longer than my Mother, and he lived alone in a double wide trailer in a retirement community in SoCal after his wife died. I would talk to him periodically and Nato and I even went to visit him once; he never questioned my sexual orientation which I was grateful for - he accepted Nato without question.



Tell me a story that almost ruined your life...

- A story that almost ruined my life, I have to go back to when I was in the Peace Corps. I had entered the program with high expectations as I was accepted to work in an educational television program in Bogotá, Colombia. So I was going to be able to put the 7 years of studying Spanish and one year of working in Educational TV at the UW in Madison to work. As it turned out, these two things did happen; what I did not expect to happen was coming to the realization that I was so homesick I couldn't stay there so I left after