Monday, July 16, 2012

Mr. T and the Bears

The reports of his demise are premature: Our favorite Bear who rose through the ranks of CHS from a cub to the leader of the band to a head Bear (teacher), Mr. Don Taylor, is rebounding from a recent stroke. Seems he thought is was high and inside but instead of a strike it was a stroke that put him under the weather for a few innings. But in typical Agent 917 fashion, the Don of Teaching is up and around, not letting any little think like a stroke bench him. He is still getting well wishes. I will forward any such wishes to him. Keep those special in your heart.

We are the Bears, the mighty, mighty bears: Once again a solid core of alumni stepped forward to help our Bears attend the Red Bull 7 on 7 football classic in Dallas. Of course we were once again far-and-away the smallest school in the competition. Think Skapik's Department Store going up against Macy's with all its resources. That is how the competition appeared with our graduating class of fewer than 50 taking on the Jack in the Beanstalk giant schools with casts of thousands. The CHS football budget would fit in the hip pocket of the water boy on some of the teams. But our guys once again did not realize they were overmatched. Somebody forgot to tell them

Game 1 the Bears played powerhouse Arlington Sanguine, and stubbed their toe, losing 28-26. Some fans said the officials missed a few calls that could have reversed the outcome but our guys soldiered on since it was a double elimination. "Fee-Fie-foe-fum, we are ready to overcome!"

Game two was another powerhouse which our guys dispatched 28-3 followed by another wipeout of another giant 33-9. The fourth of six games played that first day was monster school Midwest City, Oklahoma... whose quarterback some years ago was Troy Aikman. Bears 36. Midwest City 11. That brought on another All-hat-no-cattle Texas team to the slaughter, 21-15. The sixth and final game of the evening that would send the winner to the quarterfinals was nip and tuck. Bears were down 12-11, then 18-12. When the smoke cleared our guys lost 26-14. But they held their heads high as they should. They are our champions. Congratulations fellas. You again made us proud.

The gentlemen who helped put together the trip were able to get a good price on the airlines out of Cleveland. It was heartening to hear that several churches took their vans to the school, loaded up the Bears and their equipment, and drove them to Cleveland for the flight to Dallas. We are still a caring community.

You can't go back but: I have written about two groups of Clairton High School grads and friends of the community. The first flies under the banner of "Reaching the Reachable." This group has focused on the children at school. They've spoken at assemblies, modeled successful behavior, brought in powerful alumni, arranged mentoring and tutorial assistance, provided seminars in which college representative spoke on the ins and outs of financial aid, arranged field trips, provided connections for our students to attend science and math enrichment, and many other academic pursuits. This is one of the most powerful, pro academic organizations I have ever been associated with and I'm overjoyed at what they are doing for our young people. Planning for post-secondary education, be it university, community college, vocational training or apprenticeships is the way to earn your way up and break the cycle of poverty that exists in too many circumstances. Our children are our future.

Everybody knows Clairton is a rundown place nobody cares about - NOT! Another group of Clairton residents, alumni, and other interested parties has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce for some activities and have started restoring the community "one brick at a time." This group has donated time and money, sweat and toil, and started with the cleanup of Memorial hill n the edge of Clairton Park. Working with veterans they've cleaned up the memorial and are in the process of restoring it to its glory days. But that is just a fraction of the good things that are being by this group. You can see one of their projects, a web page called that advocates for the community.

These aren't  the only groups that have committed themselves to restoring our community. They are the ones I highlighted today. If you'd like to have your group recognized, send me an email with the pertinent information.

A little blogging music Maestro: “City of Prayer” featuring Carlton Dennis and Heidi Rojas.

Dr. Forgot

PS Apologies for the typos. I just reread the blog and corrected them. Embarrassing for a CHS grad!

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