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Grandma Marcoe

January 2013

Dear Boys,

Father Boyle once had a small fire in his apartment and he said that a fire will quickly tell you what is important in your life because at that moment you try to save what you care about most. I have thought about what I would try to save in a situation like that and I always come back to the same thing. Pictures!!! Yes, all of the pictures that your mother and I have taken over the years and the pictures from when I was a kid. In trying to figure out why I have come to the conclusion that the pictures are what helps me remember the good times in my life as well as the good people in my life. One of the best examples of this is my Grandma Marcoe. I was very young when my Grandma Marcoe suddenly passed away, 8 years old. Now in my mid-forties I have very few actual memories of Grandma Marcoe, but the pictures that we have helped cement these memories and will always give me good feelings about her. Maybe this is so important to me because you two were not too much different in age from me when your Grandpa Marcoe died, and I want you both to have as good of memories of him that I have of her. My wish is that pictures and stories will help keep him strong in your hearts and memories as I never want you to forget what an amazing grandfather you had.
I have thought long and hard about what to say to you two about my Grandma. So, I thought about what I remember about my Grandma, I thought about what people have said about my Grandma, and I reflected upon the pictures I have seen of my Grandma and suddenly I realized that I have a lot more of my Grandma in me than I have ever realized. One thing that people will tell you about my Grandma is that she was a home body. She never left the State of Washington and never went far enough that she couldn’t get back home for the night. Yes, I have been places and done some travelling but honestly I would prefer to be “home”. Your mother frequently loves to tell me how much of a home body that I am. I have a hard time arguing with her about this. One of my best memories of Grandma Marcoe is her reading the book “Three Billy Goats Gruff” to me. She was an amazing story-teller and most of her 30 plus grandkids and vividly remember her saying “Trip Trap, Trip Trap” in a way that kept us on our toes. I too love telling stories, sometimes too much my students will say. Your Grandma Marcoe has forever ruined chocolate chip cookies for me because try as they may, no one, even my talented mother, can make chocolate chip cookies that taste as good as my Grandma Marcoe’s. I remember saying as a kid “Grandma Raden is the pie grandma and Grandma Marcoe is the Cookie grandma”. As you both know I love spending time in the kitchen as well. My Grandma Marcoe also loved playing pranks on her kids. This might be the part of her personality that I admire the most and the one I love to continue on. Your Grandpa would tell me about how on walks home from church she would suddenly sprint off and hide from them only to jump out of nowhere to scare the “shit” out of him. I can remember when she had to take her insulin shots she would make it funny and scary all at the same time. Who doesn’t love a Grandma that would do that? Maybe, this is why I love messing with you two so much.
Keep your Papa’s memory close to your hearts boys. Never forget to take some time to look at the pictures we have of him with you two. You will never remember everything about him but some things will stick. I know this because there are things, only a few, that I remember about my Grandma Marcoe. Things such as I will always think of her when I eat a pear. She had a pear tree in her back yard that I used to get pears from. Each and every Christmas Eve does not go by without me thinking about what a good sport Grandma Marcoe was when we wanted to eat by candlelight and she agreeing to do so even though she could not see a thing. Pixie Sticks candy brings her to my memory as I thought I was the coolest kid in town because I could walk from her house to the Golden Rule and get a Pixie Stick by telling them to put it on her tab. I wish I had more time with her to make more memories but the pictures and stories have kept her close to my heart. My memories of her a good ones and I have no doubt that she loved me. I hope your memories of Papa are good ones too and know that he loved you both.

Love you always,
Dad

ps I included the video below because she wanted the children’s choir at All Saints to sing “Let There be Peace on Earth” at her funeral. The picture was taken only a couple of months before her death.

Anna Marcoe my Grandma :)

Anna Marcoe my Grandma ūüôā

Brian Gibson

January, 2013

Dear Boys,

Until the day that I leave this Earth I will always enjoy playing NBA/NFL/NCAA All-Time Draft with you two. There are only a small handful of people that we can call on anytime of the day or night to give us their honest opinion of who won. Lenny T. Rogers is one that we call on and occasionally we hit up Jason Bellerive and Caleb Knox. However, in all of times of doing this only one person judged our draft and at the same time submitted his own team of undrafted players and judged them as well (giving himself second place). That person would be my friend and co-worker Brian Gibson. He does not just judge our picks on gut instinct he gets our picks then takes out books and looks up facts and figures to give a great answer. Why? Why in the world would someone take that much time out of their busy life to give us an answer to our goofball draft? Well, boys I think it is because he “get’s it”. He get’s how special, although insignificant, something like the draft is to us. Brian Gibson and I are true “kindred spirits”.

There are many links leading to me ending up at Doris M. Stahl Junior High. One of the main links is that Brian Gibson was the mentor teacher for Troy Hodge. Troy Hodge is the one that got me connected to the Storm. I can sit here and describe all of the people and links but honestly I think it was God who finally looked down from heaven and said “these two kindred spirits need to meet and enjoy time on this Earth together”. So, in his almighty power he set the wheels in motion for us to become great friends. You know in the movie Step Brothers when they get night vision goggles and they say “Can you imagine if we had these when we were 12? Even better. We got them when we’re 40.”, well that is how I feel about my friendship with Brian. We would have been great friends at age 12 but even better is I have him at a friend in my 40’s.

A “kindred spirit” by definition is “A person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one’s own”. Brian and I definitely share many interests and attitudes. First of all, both Brian and I have a great love of sports. The bond we share is that both of us had to grow to love sports in a similar manner. God graced neither of us with the physical abilities to be ones to play and dominate sports like you two do. Although, both of us did have great moments in the fifth quarter, you can ask Halverson. Our lack of abilities in no way shape or form diminished our love of watching and cheering on our favorite high school, college and pro teams. Brian, in fact, won a Sportsmanship Award at his beloved W.F. West High School. Early on in our friendship I knew we would be friends when I saw a couple of the same late 70’s Sonic’s posters in his classroom that I had sported in my bedroom as a kid. Both Brian and I ventured to Western Washington University, although at different times and each of made the most of our experience and enjoyed our time in higher education. At Stahl we both enjoy making the school day better for our students even if it is a simple thing such as every Friday or last day of the week sending the busses off with a “Raise the Roof for Marcoe or Get Down with Gibson Contest”. Both of us have now directed the school play and he was a huge help for me last year when I made my director debut. John Diseth and I can always count on Gibson to break up the monotony of a 180 day school year with some sort of prank or joke. The other interest that he and I share is the immense love that we have for our families. On the very last day that his son Brittain was here at Doris M. Stahl Junior High, Brian was very emotional and asked me to cover his class for a bit. I was more than happy to do this because I had felt the exact same swell of emotion on Alex’s last day and I knew exactly what he was feeling. We both love our wives, parents, siblings and in-laws with all of our hearts.

Brian and I sometimes have too much fun together and it is not out of the ordinary for either of us to sometimes open our mouths and insert our foots. What I love about Brian is that even though he has sometimes made mistakes, the ever so popular prank on Fersch that backfired even though I was trying to stop him or his famous good-bye call to Joanne, he keeps plugging on and being himself. Few people on this Earth make me laugh as hard and as much as my friend Brian. Whether it is calling Bingo numbers with him at Stahl, listening to him do play by-play at a Volleyball-A-Thon, or just simply sitting back and listening to him interact with others at lunch I end up bent over crying laughing. It does my soul good. As I have said many times to you boys, I want you to make great choices about who you interact with. Most importantly will be who your choose for your spouse, learn from both Brian Gibson and your father, we got that one right. A close second is who your friends are. Whether sooner or later, I hope you find a “kindred spirit” out there like I did. When you do find that person, cherish them, keep them close and make sure to thank the good Lord above. I know that God is good because Brian Gibson is my friend.

I love you both more than I can say and I love Brian Gibson,
Dad

Brian and I sending the busses off

Brian and I sending the busses off

Brian and his son Brittain on the last day of school.

Brian and his son Brittain on the last day of school.

January, 2013

Scott Harrison

January, 2013

Dear Alex and Sam,
Local football coaching legend Frosty Westering at PLU wrote about book about making the “Big Time” where you are at. When I think about my friend Scott Harrison that is what comes to my mind. No matter what Scott is doing or where he is at he makes it seem or feel like the “Big Time”. He seems to have this affect on those around him as well.
I first remember working with Scott when I was the Social Studies Department Chair at Doris M. Stahl Junior High and Scott was working at the Puyallup School District main office as a Social Studies “Big Shot”, I don’t think that was his official job title, and we had several meetings together. Truth be told our paths had probably already crossed several times at St. John of the Woods church were his family are active members. My guess is he sold me several raffle tickets at the Crab Feed. I always enjoyed the Social Studies meetings with Scott because they were productive and well run. He always respected our time and our efforts. I usually came away with a few interesting nuggets of information along the way. He made the meetings feel important and worth the time. I was sad to see him leave the “Big Shot” job to become an administrator at Gov. John R. Rogers High School but at the same time happy because I knew Alex, you would soon be going there and I knew you would love having him there. Little did I know how important he would be to your high school experience and that of your cousin Jacob Manners.
Make the “Big Time” where you are at. For three years Mr. Harrison helped you feel like you were at the greatest High School in the world. When you,
Alex, were struggling with finding motivation to get through school, Mr. Harrison was the one that brought you into his office and was not afraid to tell you how the hog ate the rhubarb and at the same time give you the love and support that you needed. One way or another your “ass” as he said was going to get through that school with success and he was right. Our whole family will always be grateful to him for the work that he did with J-Cuz. It was no secret that Jacob was struggling with school and not finding a lot of motivation to come to school. Scott Harrison took time out of his day one summer to meet with Auntie Sylvia and Jacob. Harrison pulled no punches and told Jacob that he was not in a good situation with credits. He did however lay out a plan for that if he followed it would allow him to graduate on time. The choice was up to Jacob but Mr. Harrison was the one who helped made it work. Jacob made the choice to come to Gov. John R. Rogers and on the first day of school in his ROTC Class the teacher said “Manners!, your the one Mr. Harrison said to keep track of”. Jacob was no longer invisible to a school staff and at that moment J-Cuz knew what it felt like to be a part of the “Big Time”. Through hard work J-Cuz graduated on time but we all believe that without the support of Scott Harrison that probably would not have happened.
Mr. Harrison has moved on to make White River High School the “Big Time”. I know though that I will see him at least once a year at the St. John’s Crab Feed. As you boys get older I encourage you to find a way to get to know Scott Harrison and make sure that he is a part of your life, even if for just one day a year. You will then have the opportunity to make that meeting feel like the “Big Time”. I also encourage both of you to read the book by Coach Frosty and to live your life each day as if it is the “Big Time”

I love you both so much,

Dad

Alex and Scott Harrison at the RHS Award Banquet

Alex and Scott Harrison at the RHS Award Banquet

Mark Leppell

January, 2013

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, BOYS AND GIRLS,

IT’S ………

MARK LEPPELL FROM MARKLEPPELL.COM

Boys,
This is how I greeted Mark Leppell from Markleppell.com each day while we owned the store. It then became my standard greeting to when ever I saw him. It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter to you about our friend. I am happy to be able to share with you some great memories of Mark yet it is with sadness that I write this letter knowing we will not see him until we pass from this life into the next. People have sometimes referred to me as the “Mayor” of Puyallup because I know so many people. Don’t get me wrong boys, you both know I know a ton of people. Mark Leppell might have actually had me beat in the number of people we know in this so very small town of Puyallup. It wasn’t until we bought the store that your mother and I got to know Mark and Kari, however I am sure our paths crossed many times while growing up. It is too bad that the my time spent with Mark didn’t start earlier in life because I have a pretty good feeling that we would have made great friends growing up. Time, although way to short, with Mark taught me a lot about friends and I hope that you two can learn a few lessons about friends from Mark as well.
I will not sit here and claim to be an expert about friends and friendship. I will say though that something I have learned in about the subject is 1) we need friends to get through life and 2) you only get out of friendships what you put into them. Yes, we do need friends. As much as I love your mother, you two and all of our family, I cannot imagine going through life without friends, and lots of them! Life is tough boys, and telling you different would be lying. However, it can be easier and more enjoyable if you surround yourself with friends. Mark was a great example of that. He had a large circle of friends and he made it important to have them be an active part of his life. He, like us, loved sports and so he included friends with his love of sports. Mark played softball year after year with his friends. Even after his brain surgery Mark made sure he was involved with his friends softball team. Husky games were a big part of his life so he included friends in going to and watching games. Mark and his friends even took baseball trips around the country to visit various major league parks. Friends were always important to him and it was evident when he passed away. It was easy to see how many friends he had and how important he was to them. His circle of friends was, and still is a huge support to Kari and Chandler K. as they adjust to life without him. You only get out of things what you put into them, and friendship is one of those things. One of the reasons Mark and I became so close so fast is that both of us put time, effort and energy into becoming friends. Mark made it part of his daily routine to come into the store each day. Yes, he love to get the breakfast sausage/tube, but it was the special greeting and the sharing that I think really brought him in. Going on the houseboat together helped us reach a special bond, reasons for that cannot be shared over the world wide web. Mark also took the time to plan a couple of vacations with us. Those two spring break trips to the ocean will always be fun memories for us to draw upon. Time, boys, time is was helped us become friends. Unfortunately, that time was way to short.
I miss my friend Mark Leppell from Markleppell.com but I am always thankful for the short time we were friends. I hope you boys have a circle of friends to help you get through life. Take weekend trips with your friends, go to baseball parks, play and do all of these things now because as we have tragically found out, tomorrow is never promised to us.

Love you two,
Dad

Spring Break at the Ocean

Spring Break at the Ocean

mleppell2

Bill Wanden

January 2013

Dear Boys,

As you both probably know, the list of great things that your Grandma and Papa Marcoe did for me is very, very, very long. Decisions they made to help me make it through this life started in my first few days on Earth. Your Grandma and Papa asked Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bill to be my Godparents. Still to this day that choice has been providing me love and guidance. I am confidant that my Uncle Bill may be the greatest Godfather of all time. Some might argue that Marlon Brando the actor is the greatest “Godfather” and I would whole heartily disagree with them and fight them if I have to. You see boys, my Uncle Bill is the model of consistency and that among many reasons is why is has left such a huge Footprint on my Life.
Do either of you know what it is like to have someone that has included you in their daily prayers for over forty years without missing a day? No, you don’t (first of all you are only 20 and 16) ahahhaha.. I do however know the feeling. Each and every day of my life Uncle Bill has included me in his daily prayers. Boy oh boy do I need them too. To be loved by someone so much who never asks anything in return other than God’s good grace is a gift that I can never come close to repaying. Day in and day out your Uncle Bill shows the power of consistency. Since he and your Papa’s sister first met at Meeker Day’s in Puyallup he has been the consistent love of her life. Together they created a family that was built on love and centered by God. Uncle Bill has consistently kept God a part of his life and let Gods love help guide him. Consistently, Uncle Bill and Aunt DeeDee have sat in the same part of church and gone to the same mass. Uncle Bill has never let material things be his guide to happiness. Instead, he has consistently valued family, friends, and being active. Even though he and your Papa were not blood brothers, their love for each other could not have been stronger and I know your Papa cherished each moment they spent together. He and my aunt, who loves me so dearly, had lots of kids, who had lots of kids and they all enjoy spending time together.
I have been and always will be amazed at all of the different things that Uncle Bill knows how to do. I remember as a kid talking about wanting to try snow skiing. Uncle Bill had great advice on what to do, where to go, and how to do it. When it comes to golf, Uncle Bill was a one that would go golfing with us and while not spectacular he was good and had great tips to help my game. Fishing???, he has forgotten more about fishing than I will ever know. When your Papa retired and wanted to try woodworking it was your Uncle Bill who helped him get set up and teach him how to do various projects. Consistently, he amazes me, and I know I am not the only one.
Boys, you don’t have to be spectacular in life to make a difference. You can be consistently good in all that you do and when they write about you, and I have a feeling they will. You will have made a difference in the world and have made those around you better. I know this because I have seen this in my Godfather, Uncle Bill. The best Godfather I could have ever asked for. Thanks again Mom and Dad, you definitely got that one right.

Love ya,
Dad

The Godfather

The Godfather

Aunt DeDe and Uncle Bill

Aunt DeDe and Uncle Bill

Update 2013

Well folks!!!!! In December of 2012, Sam and I had a wager on a school test he had in math. He was wanting me to stop bugging him about homework and I was wanting him to give more effort. We made a deal. If he was to get an 85% or above, Dad would back off. Below that and he would have a lot of other work to do. He threw in one additional part. He wanted me to get back to writing these letters. So, I told him I would do 3 letters by the end of the winter break. He scored an 92%!!!! So I will be posting in a few minutes 3 more letters. I am going to get back to writing although it will not be daily. My goal is to do 5-6 a month. Thanks for all of your support and I am sorry about the delay.
Larry

Terry Petry

October 13th, 2010

Dear Boys,

Alex, you were fortunate enough to have several upperclassmen mentors during your sophomore season of water polo.  I too, had a mentor that season helping me understand a game that I knew nothing about, know what to expect for various games and tournaments, and the history of how far the program has come.  My mentor became your assistant coach Terry Petry.  Terry has become a great friend over the last three years and in doing so has left a great footprint on my life.

It wasn’t hard to figure out that Terry was “known” in the polo community.¬† At every game coaches, players, parents from the other teams seemed to know who he was.¬† He is one that people love to gravitate towards, myself included.¬† It wasn’t long and Terry was teaching me all about the game.¬† What was nice is the manner in which he did it.¬† Terry never came across as a “Mr. Know it All” about the sport and wasn’t helping to try to¬†impress me.¬† There was a sincere desire to help a dad understand what his son was getting into.¬† My guess is that he went through the same scenario when his son Eric was just learning the game.¬† We all were fortunate enough to hear¬†the news that Terry took the job as assistant¬†Coach at Rogers.¬† Terry was a great ying¬†to Coach Turver’s¬†yang, he helped balance her out and in doing so I know brought balance to the team.¬† Terry was the perfect coach for the new players and he did an amazing job of giving them some basic skills, boosting their confidence, putting them in situations in which they would have success and helping Turver with building blocks for the future.

Terry Petry¬†boys is another great example of you only get out of things what you put into them.¬† Terry never had to host bonfire’s¬†at his house, take kids to Oregon for tournaments, have players come to his pool to practice, build a goal for us to practice at the lake, and include Sam whenever possible.¬† He did this though because he wanted to give back to something that gave him and his family so much.¬† I can promise you both that if you talk to Terry, every ounce of effort, every second of time and¬†every penny spent on water polo has come back to him ten-fold.¬† We all should be so grateful¬†that Terry Petry has become a part of our life.

Love guys so much,

Dad

Sam and Terry at Auburn Tournament

Mr. and Mrs. Petry

Picture speaks for itself

Tomorrow:  Debra Turver