Thursday, February 2, 2012
College road trip
I was up early in my assigned dorm room at Rochester College after just a few hours of rest. Our tour of campus was set to start at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast.
Andy made it on time, too, despite experiencing a taste of dorm life by staying up about all night with new friends.
Close to Nowhere
Ms. Dottie was one of a kind...
Dottie Chumney passed away last week after a long bout with cancer. If I’m not mistaken, she was on her fourth round of chemo/treatment.
She was one of the first people around here that I wrote a story about. And boy, was she interesting -- then and now.
I’d never met her before, when I traipsed to her store in Red Banks. Boots ’N Spurs was probably the first Western store I’d been in also.
The Preacher’s Corner
‘What a job! – One hour a week!’
Many preachers will feel somewhat “understood” or even vindicated by this humorous description of a minister’s work I ran across a few weeks ago. It is by Ben Morrell, from a speech before the Committee on Religion in American Life, in answer to the question: “What does a minister do?”
Letters To The Editor
More than a coach
All of us know of the controversial departure of Joe Paterno from his position as head coach at Penn State University months ago, and there will always be mixed opinions of how it was handled, how much he really knew, and if he could have done more. No one will ever know, but I want to believe the best, because there is more people should really know about Joe Paterno. He did so much away from the football field. Regardless of what people believe, there can never be any doubt about what he did for college athletics, and most importantly, for college academics.
I have been a follower of Joe Paterno for many years, when I first read about his passion for academic success. I was so impressed by what he preached to his players and what he believed in most. His true passion was in the academic arena. The demand he put on his players was not just to win on the field; it was to win in the classroom. Sure, he wanted them to perform on the field, and to give their best for 60 minutes on a Saturday, but he loved watching his players walk the stage on graduation Saturday even more.
For 40-plus years, during Joe Paterno’s tenure as head coach at Penn State, his football teams enjoyed a constant higher graduation rate than the national average. In recent years, his teams have had a graduation rate of at least 78 percent; much higher than the national average of 67 percent.
Over the last 40 years, he and his wife have given $4 million to Penn State University for academic, not athletic, advancements. His contributions have helped build a new wing to the Penn State University Library and a newly built Student Spiritual Life Center.
The media reports have been numerous these past days since his death, hailing his accomplishments as the winningest coach in Division 1 football. That, of course, should be admired. But, he was so much more than a coach, and that is not always reported. He was a developer of successful, confident, prepared college graduates, who could find success in whatever they choose in life.
So many times today, in both high school and college programs, the coach who wins the most is the best coach out there. There is something wrong with this picture. I find it so disturbing that the public doesn’t look enough at the philanthropic, academic, and spiritual commitments of the coaches who are “molding” the young men they coach.
Joe Paterno made his players much more than players, and that should be appreciated much more than his winning record. One former player said, “My thoughts of him are not as a coach because he was beyond that. He was an educator and a teacher. He taught lessons, some about football, mostly about life.”
He expected much more from his players – values, principles, integrity – all the qualities that make young men succeed in athletics, academics, and life!
I hope many coaches, young and old, will take a look at what it really means to be a successful coach; not just one who wins games.
One former player, Penn State running back Mike Guman, said, “You could have become a good football player at many places but you wouldn’t become the man you are if you didn’t go to Penn State.”
Thank you, Coach, for shaping the lives of so many the right way!
Joe Paterno - 1926-2012
Lee and Mae Gill and family are thankful to have family and friends to join together to present a benefit program on Mae’s behalf.
To each program participant, you helped to make a difference. Special thanks to the program committee members Alice Thomas, JoAnn Moore, Clarence Hudson, Clayton Campbell Jr., Gerald and Natalie White, Syldra Jones; Ollie Hollaway, master of ceremony Rev. Willie Hoey, principal Clara Isom and Holy Family, Sheriff Kenny Dickerson and Bobby Harris and other cooks, members of St. Joseph Council Knights of Columbus, Claude Vinson, Rust College family and the Baptist Student Union Gospel Choir, HSHS Class of 1979 and Adolphus Chapel Male Chorus and church family, Rev. Billy Williams, Pastor, Annie Hollowell, Manya Falkner, Alfred Moore, Earnestine Scott, Wayne Fiddis, and all area male choruses, groups, and for the donations.
Thanks again to each of you who helped to make the program a memorable one. May God bless and keep you for whatever the part.
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