There’s been a whack of friends who have rallied behind me in this last week when my dad died, and it’s made my heart soar like a Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher, but at this time I’d like to take a moment to say thanks to Mel St. Onge, an Orillia guy, a former longtime sports columnist for the Packet and Times, and a terrific baseball player who showed big promise
about a century ago a few years back.
When Mel found out I was coming back, he put the wheels in motion. He phoned others, came to the funeral, arranged to have the closed Orillia arena unlocked so I could see it again, and he drove me around the old hometown after taking me to the local donut shop where he and other friends gather daily to chew the fat and insult each other the way good friends do, and we laughed and talked about old times, old games, and old teammates. He and all concerned have been a breath of fresh air.
And except for the arena tour, Mel did basically the same thing when I was back as few years ago. Both times he’s gone out of his way, drove me around, relived old hockey and baseball glory through words and newspaper clippings, and spoke with affection for my dad whom he had once worked with. Hell, he wouldn’t even let me buy his coffee.
I say treasure your old friends. I’ve learned this. Family and friends are what’s most important in this life that flashes by like a bolt of lightning. I’ve learned that there are certain folks in this crazy world who come through for you when the going gets tough.
My life can divided in different ways. My sporting years, my wild hippie counter-culture years, and my somewhat normal years, and friends from all of these have shown great support recently, with some driving many miles to be at the funeral, and many others who have contacted me in different ways, including many of you who know me only through this site. I’m extremely touched.
Thanks a lot everybody. Thanks a lot Mel.