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John, you so captured Dad's spirit, and he would be honored by your recollections of him. He would also be flabbergasted to be mentioned in the same article as Peyton Manning!
You shared the essence of his beliefs--that people should participate regularly in sports for the health benefits, for the value of self-discipline as it crosses into all areas of life, the importance of being a good sport and for the lifetime friendships that are made through sports. Ultimately, just for the pure pleasure of playing. You don't have to be the best on the court, course or the field to enjoy your game. The only person against whom we really compete is ourselves. There is great pleasure in working to be a little better today than you were yesterday, no matter what your skill level.
In their daily games Dad, Stan Whittemore, John Fetcher, and youngsters, like Cal Myers, spun the racket to see who would play with whom and who would earn the right to go home that day and tell about their victory. It was about the love of the game.
Thank you, John, for recognizing the importance of participation through the life of a humble guy who just liked to play. We have so many affordable venues here, like the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, for people to enjoy the benefits of sports. If Dad's legacy can mean anything, it would be to give sporting opportunities to as many people as possible for all the reasons we've shared, for them to start as young as they can and to continue for as long as they possibly can.
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