Working for love or money? : "Along the Way"

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So how do you choose the right job?
If you had to choose between doing something you love, or making the most money: which one would you pick?
Everybody's different.
But we met a guy whose choice is crystal clear as we go "Along the Way" to Sturgis

Before the town of Sturgis, there was Fort Meade-- rising up in the wilderness of 1878. These days, a museum pays tribute to this Army Post, and the many who served here over the decades.

Museum Curator John Tesnow says, "You can't work here and not grow to love this place, there's so much here."

John Tesnow began here at the museum as a volunteer about 6 years ago, before this history lover was hired as the 'Museum Director' a couple years ago. He says early on Fort Meade's job was to get gold seekers out of the Black Hills...because by treaty -the land belonged to the Great Sioux Nation. But with a wave of gold seekers flooding in, that job became impossible.
However, the Fort's most famous role in history is noted on a marker out front.
Essentially, so the story goes, the idea came from a Commander's wife back in 1892.

Museum Curator John Tesnow says, "And all the other big countries had a National Anthem, and she particularly liked the words and the music to Francis Scott Key's song that we know today as our National Anthem."

He says the Post Band began playing the Star Spangled Banner at Fort Meade at the end of each day...a tradition that spread to other US Military Posts, eventually declared by Congress as our National Anthem.
The museum's open seasonally from May through September.

He also works a year round job, a position he loves even more. He remembers the day he was offered the job as Pastor of the Sturgis Christian Church.

John Tesnow says, "At that meeting the man who was Chairman of the Board of Elders says, 'I'm gonna tell you this. We have enough money to operate for 1 year. That was 27 years ago. God is good. "

It's a small church with a small congregation. He's a big man, about 6 foot five, with an even bigger heart.

"I love the Lord. I love people. I love sharing the Gospel message with people. I'm also the Chaplain at the Meade County Jail which gives me an avenue that's been a real blessing to me, helping people," says Pastor Tesnow.

He's not getting rich. His pay as Jail Chaplain is zero dollars, he's a volunteer. His pay at the Church after 27 years is $800 per month, which he says has always been enough.

Pastor Tesnow says, "I've never been to Seminary. I've never been to Bible College for that matter. I went to college to be a school teacher."

And, guess what, for several years he's been a substitute teacher primarily at Sturgis Williams Middle School...another job he loves, without big money. An age group many might not choose to teach.

Tesnow says, "And kids'll say Mr. Tesnow why do we have to learn about all this old stuff and I'll always have the same reply. If you do not know where you have been, you cannot know where you're going."

He'll be 70 years old in a couple weeks. He knows where's been, doing what he loves. But he'll likely never be rich, unless you measure wealth--not by dollars you've saved, but rather by people you've served.

By the way he's also a Vietnam Veteran, who helped build and load bombs onto B-52's from places like Guam.
It was when he was stationed at Ellsworth, that he met his wife who's from Rapid City--and talk about love--they've been married now 46 years.

If you've met someone cool "Along the Way" please call us or e-mail me at stevel@blackhillsfox.com to let me know.