Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Lots of things have happened recently and right now, we are getting ready for next weeks Thanksgiving meal. Moving over to the senior center will have it's challenges but I really feel this will turn into one of those red letter type of events.

Last Friday was the Veteran's day parade. I am so honored to be able to call Bob Maxwell my friend. Bob and Bea rode with Judy in the rumble seat of her car. My father and grandson rode up front with Judy.

I also consider it an honor to be close with Dottie Dolan who Trinity got to drive through the parade with. Dottie is the wife of Mike Dolan who was the man who got the local veteran day parade started again by walking down Wall street with a flag. Mike was a great man who passed on a couple of years back.

Then there was John Spence. I first met John through the Band of Brothers. John was the first American frogman. John is a quiet man with a certain humbleness about him. I was able to get one of our local guys and businessman, Harry Fagen, to cart John through the parade in his really cool Weezel. That is kind of like a jeep with tracks on it.

The parade went off well and we were blessed with a sunny day so what more could you ask for.

Yesterday, as Zin and I talked in the entrance of the diner getting ready for the days Band of Brothers meeting, a familiar voice struck out behind me. "Good Morning, Lyle" came the greeting as I looked up at the face of the man that I have always considered to be my favorite sports figure, Dan Fouts.

Dan, when he comes into the meeting often just sits over with his great Uncle Stu and we mostly just leave him alone wanting him to feel at ease in our meetings and not having to be up front like he has to be so many times.

But, today, Dan has volunteered to field questions from the group and who could turn that down. I knew that today's meeting was going to be one to remember.

After a couple of announcements, Zin gave Dan the microphone and Dan opened up the meeting for questions. A few were fired at him regarding some of the guys favorites including the Niners who Dan said that after working one of their games had come to realize that they were the real deal.

I looked for an opening and then snapped out, "So, what is wrong with this years Chargers?". With a smile, Dan returned, "Next question......Lyle, you didn't raise your hand.". Later, when someone stated something about the raiders, he said once more, "Next question.". Both non answers drew laughter from the group.

He did go on to talk about the division race that the Chargers and Raiders (his nemesis) are in and how crazy that division race is right now.

He answered questions on Tim Tebow stating that if he ever learned how to throw the ball, he will be one hell of a quarterback. He did go on to say that in the trenches, Tim was the type of guy you would want with you. He plays with allot of heart and strength and leaves it all out on the field.

He also explained how he does not see the Ducks playing in the championship this year simply because of the group of teams in the mix and the games that they have left. For instance, if Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, then they probably jump Oregon in the standings and something similar could be said if Arkansas happens to be able to take out LSU. He said that the Rose Bowl is still quite an accomplishment of which all agreed.

As the meeting wound down, Dan and Stu ducked out the door to miss the rush. I thanked Dan and he returned with "My pleasure, Lyle. I will see you again when I am in town.".

I walked back into the meeting with a grin on my face. Just how many guys get to meet their sports idols. And then reduce that number to how many guys are on a first name basis with the same.

Bob Maxwell, Dottie Dolan, John Spence, and Dan Fouts. Such an honor to know them but even a greater honor to call them 'Friend'. I am truly blessed.


The old Marine Lady said...

I know you're going to take this wrong, but I want you to know that putting a simple "sports figure" in the same breath with two genuine heroes is essentially the problem with our nation.

I know you didn't use the term hero, but you basically put them all in the same group and they should not be. Haven't you heard how the term "hero" is bandied about? Gabby Gifford being hailed as a hero? For what.... showing up to give a speech? That's not heroic. And don't get me started on the servicemember who gave (wanted to givee?) his Purple Heart to Gifford...WHAT?

Sigh. Anyway, I'm not trying to pick nits, but please know that associating the three, such as you did, does a disservice to my brothers. :(

Semper Fi,

diner life said...

No Worries. Certainly not meant that way either.

The people closest to me are my veteran brothers and sisters especially Bob Maxwell.

I guess I liken Dan's entertaining of the guys yesterday to a sort of USO type of thing. He lifted their spirits with his visit and interaction.