John Willson

John Willson
John Paul Willson has been a teacher for 48 years, most of them at Hillsdale College. He retired in 2005 (after around 12,500 students, 78,000 papers and exams, and 4000 meetings) but can't seem to get retirement right. He has been the second oldest in a five-generation picture. He still coaches punters and placekickers and plays a lot of golf. One wife, Helen; three daughters and ten grandchildren. Happy Catholic.

Recent Essays

Why I am a Conservative

If you love place, limits, liberty, and think they are words that have meaning, you are probably conservative, and should honor that word also.


I sense a gap on FPR between NoNamers and most of the rest.

Our Lost Founders

We should have been courageous, he said; we will have to face the consequences of our lack of courage, he said.

Schlubs of the World, Unite!

I've been reading Bill Kauffman's immensely entertaining, and very serious, Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin. This is Bill's attempt...

The Next Time You’re in New Hampshire

Now that GM stands for “Government Motors” who can love a Chevy? In many ways, seat belt laws paved the way for this transformation. Government straps me in, government keeps me safe.

On the Road Again

. . . we rediscovered the meaning of Place. Limits. Liberty.

Ideal Curriculum

This term gets used too much. Whenever you are exiled to a curriculum committee run as fast as if you were asked to...

Louis Auchincloss, RIP

Louis Auchincloss died January 26, 2010, aged 92. Most of the obits talk about his prolific writing career while working as a serious...

Tiger, Tiger

But what would bring Tiger back? Does anybody think he would go to confession? I mean, heck, Bill Clinton still thinks he has the moral upper hand on Ken Starr.

Friendship with New England Reserve

As the half-savage neighbor in Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Be My Valentine

Of all the Valentine legends I've heard, my favorite is the one that martyred St. Valentine because he secretly married Roman soldiers against the...

Newburgh and “President’s Day”

We have a Constitution and separation of powers and at least the idea of limited government because of the character of George Washington. Don’t think of Monday as “President’s Day.”