Alan Rick's Latest Interactions
Posted on: Oct 26, 2015 at 3:33 AM
I was very sad to hear of Mike’s passing. He was a good friend of mine in elementary (Fern Hill) and junior high school. Like me, Mike was a high-energy guy; but he was also a fantastic athlete, far and away the best in our class. We played hockey on the same team when we were around 11 or so. Mike was the best player on our team and played center. It was our first experience in organized hockey. Looking back, the equipment was minimal – a leather brassier-like helmet and cardboard shin guards. We played outside in the community center rinks near the high school. Sometimes it was so cold, the skates barely dug in and our toes were frostbitten. Mike was also a great baseball player and made one of the Little League teams, which were highly selective at that time.
Mike (Mickey, as his family called him) was always ready for some fun and generous, thoughtful and helpful. I remember one sleepover when he and his bothers, Vern and Denny, showed me how to really play basketball. Most of us were shooting "set" shots, and they already knew how to do those “new” jump shots. He spent a long time helping me learn how to do them, which was a big feat as I was relatively small and not as strong. Because I was relatively small, I was an easy target for teasing and other things that boys do. Mike always protected me and stood between whomever and me, saying “do that to me first.”
Once we got to high school our paths diverged; but Mike came up to me at a high school reunion several years ago. It was so nice to see him and get a chance to catch up.
I trust that he left many good memories and that the best in him lives on in his children and grandchildren.