Always Do Your Best

January 4, 1982 is significant to our family, and more importantly, significant to James Gibson and the scientific community. On the same day Bryant Gumbel became the co-anchor of the Today show and James Gibson discovered a planet.

Hard as it may be to believe, but the Today show’s success will be more fleeting than that of James Gibson. Gibson was a troubled teen in the 40’s. Even in the small farming community of Ellensburg, Washington, there was mischief to be made and James was sure to find it. Peter Tjossem, one of the local businessmen took it upon himself to mentor James and other needy teens. What resulted was that James determined to go to college and make something of him. Several years later he became a scientist in the astronomy and physics field.

In a show of gratitude, when James discovered minor planet #3090, he named it Tjossem after my great grandfather who pushed him to excellence. Though Peter Tjossem was long gone from this earth at the time of the discovery, the honor bestowed on the family through the chosen name, is one of significant for all of us.

As John Wooden, an early 20th century basketball coach once said, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Peter Tjossem believed in Gibson and Gibson believed what Peter told him. Imprinted with that belief, he worked hard to accomplish all of that which he was capable. I, for one, am very thankful he didn’t settle for anything less.

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