Turns out May 3 is Teacher Appreciation Day. Since I've never thanked my teachers, let me do it here:
L. Norman Adams was my high school history/social studies teacher, for whom I wrote many pages of papers and with whom I engaged in much back and forth, focused, if I remember correctly, on the nature and course of the Cold War. I failed to keep up my correspondence with Norm so I lost track of him.
David Brion Davis was a young professor of American intellectual history, whose 2-term survey course in my sophomore year was challenging and amazing. He went on to win prizes for his books on slavery.
Looking back, what they had in common was an intense interest in and caring about their subject.