Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Seattle Trip Continued . . .

Thursday, April 14, 2016:

The second day of my trip to the Pacific Northwest alternated between lazy, frenetic and satisfying.

In the morning Mark Johnson, my host, and I just lounged about the house as he had work to do via his computer interspersed with long moments of discussion on topics ranging from Husky football to a road trip to Costa Rica.

Mark's wife Susie was in Hawaii with friends, daughter Sophie was away at college (BIOLA in La Mirada, CA) and daughter Mallory was on Spring Break with her church group building a small home in Tijuana, Mexico. Thus, we had a lot of time to chat up both past experiences and future hoped for adventures.

After a trip to Seattle's Costco store #1, we stopped in downtown for a sandwich.

 Hole-in-the-Wall Dining


I had never been to this spot but the pastrami sandwich was tremendous!

My afternoon was reserved for a drive South of Seattle to the city of Tacoma for not one but two EuroBall talks to college Seniors at first, the University of Puget Sound at 3:00 p.m. and then a 5:30 p.m. engagement at Pacific Lutheran University.

This would be the first time over the last eight years that I had ever done two of these talks in one day. It was also the first time that I had ever talked with college Seniors outside of Southern California.

In SoCal, over the many years I have spoken on several occasions with Seniors at California Lutheran, Chapman, Claremont-Mudd, La Verne, Occidental, San Diego, Southern California and UCLA.

Home of the Loggers

Scenic Track/Football Stadium
at UPS

The Puget Sound campus was gorgeous on this bright, sunny Spring afternoon in the Pacific Northwest.

 Three interested Loggers

We had a good 90 minute talk and Q & A session. Hopefully all three of them will find an opportunity in EuroBall.

A big thank you to Puget Sound Head Football Coach Jeff Thomas for being the ever gracious host in allowing me to speak with these players.

Once done at UPS, I had to drive cross-town in Tacoma's rush hour traffic to honor my second speaking engagement.

 Home of the Lutes

Yet another picturesque, forested campus with small college charm.

PLU Trophy Case

In 2008, our Catania Elephants in Italy were quarterbacked by the irrepressible Jason Johnson. Jason's Grandfather, Frosty Westering, was PLU's long time, Hall of Fame football coach.

That is Coach Westering's College Hall of Fame certificate in the background of the trophy case.

His book on his unique approach to coaching in particular and life in general is a must read in my opinion.

Frosty Westering Bobble Head

We had a chance to meet Coach Westering once when Laurie and I flew to Seattle to watch the Huskies play Jason's Arizona Wildcats a few years ago. 

That meeting was just as much fun as I had imagined it would be.

Frosty was a great man!

 PLU's undefeated 7-0-2 team was the
1947 Northwest Conference Champions

The Northwest Conference opened for business in 1947 and the Lutes won that inaugural title.

That was the year I was born and first year coach Marv Tommervik was at the PLU helm. Tommervik's assistant was Marv Harshman who would go on to eventual fame as the basketball coach at PLU (13 years, 236-117), Washington State (13 years, 155-181) and Washington (14 years, 246-146).

Harshman was also PLU's Head Football Coach for seven seasons going 27-26-2.  

 Proud Sports Traditions

The current Head Coach of the Lutes is Scott Westering who is Frosty's son and Jason Johnson's uncle. Although Scott could not be there when I arrived due to a previous commitment, he did a good job of selling my talk to his players.

Thanks Scott!

Eight interested Lutes

Another productive meeting with more bright eyed, enthusiastic players with their whole lives in front of them.

Of note, the player fifth from the left is Kellen Westering, Frosty's grandson, Scott's son and Jason Johnson's cousin.

The small world of EuroBall . . .

Friday, April 15, 2016:

I was up early and opted to take a morning six mile stroll through and around my . . .

Alma Mater
U of W, Class of 1969

 The U of W campus was first the site of the
1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

The original U of W campus was located in downtown Seattle.

Frosh Pond

Henry Suzzallo Library


toga! Toga! TOGA!!!

 Anybody missing their Air Jordans?

These bricks were first laid
here in the Fall of 1966

Just in case you were wondering.

Good lighting for this stained
glass from inside Miller Hall

Denny Hall
The Oldest Building on Campus

The Quad

The Columns
at the Sylvan Grove Theater

Jim Owens
U of W Head Football Coach

"J.O." was our head coach during my years as a Husky. 
Entrance to the Student Section

 A Noble Husky ever vigilant

 I like the tribute to Husky Heroes

Upon returning to Mark's home, we were joined by Husky great Clyde Werner and his friend Doug who was visiting Seattle and was a long time high school football coach in Nebraska.

Again we ate at the Ram restaurant and again I was so caught up in the moment that I again forgot to have the same waitress as two days ago take our photo.

Finally, it was Friday evening, and time for the Big Deal of the Weekend . . .

The 2016 UW Football Coaches Clinic

The first two hours were breakout sessions with 11 different Husky assistant coaches each talking and fielding questions for an hour.

During the first session I listened to Linebackers Coach Bob Gregory and the second hour I was instructed on the nuances of Defensive Line play by Coach Ikaika Malloe. Both of these coaches did a great job!

The final talk of the night was by Husky Head Coach Chris Petersen. His topic was "Built for Life" in which he discussed in depth the culture that the Husky coaching staff was trying to instill into the players that, once ingrained, should lead to success both on the field and in their eventual lives after football.

Coach Petersen was dynamic, I'd like to think that the UW's football fortunes are on the upswing.

Friday night's post-clinic Social
was held in the Recruiting Lounge
overlooking the game field

Great chili, hot dogs and cold, refreshing adult beverages made for a good event.

Hard to argue against this
statement during daylight hours

The 1960 National Champions

 The 1991 National Champions

Some of the possible Husky
uniform combinations

Let me again go on record as being 100% against the white helmets, black jerseys and black pants.

OK, this blogpost is long enough already, I'll finish up the final two days of this Seattle Road Trip's chronicles in the next blogpost.

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