Thanks for this great story.
I, too, have been beating my head against the wall for Lisp-like languages. They could never click in my mind for some reason.
My very first programming language was FORTRAN IV, too. I learned it in high school (early 1970s) on a used IBM mainframe.
In the 1980s, I was a FORTRAN 77 guru. I knew this language inside out and upside down. For the next two decades, C was my principal professional language.
Read IT’s Dirty Little Secret for more complete thoughts on the language.