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Redefining Retirement: Lost History Discovered

Meet John Ruskamp
Redefining Retirement
John Ruskamp

John Ruskamp did not set out to make an epigraphic (the study of inscriptions) discovery and become a sought after researcher and expert. He believes the rocks spoke to him and the rest is serendipity.

The former CPS math and science teacher and assistant principal’s discovery of rare Chinese rock writings in North America was fueled by curiosity and past experience. John retired from teaching in 2004 and promised himself that he would take a break from everything, enjoy retirement, and allow about 18 months to see “what found him.” On a hiking trip in Utah, he recognized 3,000-year-old Chinese scripts hidden in the rocks. John had some familiarity with Chinese writing from his active duty days in the Navy in Vietnam. Using his background knowledge and curiosity, he felt challenged to continue searching to see if there were more. This began his retirement journey. He believes he was at the right place at the right time and is thankful he was able to connect with expert archeologists and epigraphic experts who encouraged him to persist and publish his work for all to learn from and enjoy.

John founded a registered research association, Epigraphic Research, and his discoveries, work, and more may be found on his website, Some of his projects include monitoring and disseminating scientific research about the Shroud of Turin, investigating the Hooper Ranch Pueblo Sun Dagger Shrine and Quetzalcoatl Effigy, and the ongoing identification of ancient Chinese rock writings in North America. He is involved with the Adler Planetarium's near-space high altitude balloon program and is a frequent lecturer. John is a member of numerous intellectual, scientific, cultural, historical, archaeological, and religious organizations.

John enjoys connecting and working with other CTPF members who have helped to develop and share his research findings. He suggests  that if you’re a retiree trying to figure out what’s next, you should “let your passion find you.”

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