Friday, September 23, 2016

Maine Lab Rescue of Windham's mission is finding forever homes - By Lorraine Glowczak

It’s 10:30 Friday night and a dedicated lover of animals is working diligently to prepare for successful dog and cat adoptions the next morning at the Tractor Supply Co. store, 469 Roosevelt Trail in Windham the following day. The devoted individual is Erlene LeBorgne, founder and owner of Maine Lab Rescue in Windham.
As part of their monthly visit to the Tractor Supply Co. store as well as Saturday visits to other businesses in the greater Windham area; Maine Lab Rescue volunteers and foster families donate three hours of their Saturday afternoons to help find homes for dogs and cats who are rescued and transported here from Georgia. This Saturday’s event was a true success with a total of 15 out of the 24 animals that were brought in were adopted in the three-hour timeframe. (14 dogs and 1 cat.) a piece of a massive puzzle, true adoption victory occurs in multiple and meandering ways. 
Saturday’s event at the Tractor Supply Co. store was no different.

First, there is the adoption success story of Prissy, an 8-month old female pup, thought to be a retriever mix. Prissy hadn’t arrived at the store yet and her future adoptees, Kathy and David Garrold were anxiously waiting to “meet and greet” the golden four-legged sweetheart. As they waited, they shared their story, “this whole process has been a dream come true. We found Miss Prissy on Maine Lab Rescue’s Facebook page Tuesday this past week. We both fell in love with her picture and information. She was exactly what we were looking for.” filling out the adoption application and Garrolds’ references were checked and passed with flying colors, the Garrolds were accepted for adoption and made the two-hour trip from Monroe to  meet Prissy. 

“It was love at first sight,” Kathy Garrold stated, regarding the moment she saw Prissy walking in with her foster family, Angela Littlefield and her daughter, Neve.

After meeting Prissy and learning about her easy personality traits and simple needs from Littlefield, the Garrold’s signed the necessary papers and left with Prissy by their side.

Success and smiles continued on Saturday when foster parents, Michelle Diment and her daughter Samantha got to meet Zarah, a puppy they fostered a month ago, who now has a permanent and loving home in Windham. When asked if she had advice for future animal adopters, Michelle stated, “It’s important to educate and remind people that a puppy is a real commitment. People have a hard time believing or forget that those cute little 20-week old puppy faces will chew up your favorite shoes, go to the bathroom on the floor, or jump on the nice furniture.” However, Diment continued to say that with gentle commitment and training, the puppies grow out of this phase and become the dog people expect. 

“The same goes for some older dogs. Although they have passed the puppy stages, commitment and patience is still required to teach them manners,” she added. Diment explained that they may have just come off the streets or they have spent a majority of their life in kennels. But with persistence, they too can become an easy loving family companion.

The real success on Saturday, however, was the organization itself. LeBorgne explained that Maine Lab Rescue (MLR) is a result of a kitten she adopted from Georgia nearly 5 years ago. “I became aware of the challenges faced in the South and wanted to become part of the solution.” As a result, LeBorgne established MLR in 2012, which is headquartered here in Windham. Macon, Georgia serves as the center of operations in the south.

When asked why there is a pet overpopulation in southern states, LeBorgne explained that there are both cultural and financial reasons. “There is often a different perspective regarding spaying and neutering in the southern areas that we assume and take for granted in New England.” Financial barriers also play a large role. LeBorgne went on to say that there are many committed rescue volunteers in George that MLR works with on a daily basis. 

“They are just as caring, passionate, and determined to find a good home for the dogs that come into their care as we are.” Without them, she said, her job would be very difficult. In fact, Georgia foster parents are available around the clock to give a dog/cat a temporary home until they are transported to Maine on a weekly basis.

The adoption process includes an application with references followed by a public meet and greet. Adoption fees for cats are $185.00 and $425.00 for dogs. The adoption fees pay for medical care, spay/neuter, transportation, as well as the day to day expenses associated with operation of the rescue. LeBorgne stated, “We are very grateful that most veterinarians will provide services at a discounted rate.” However, the costs remain substantial. 

LeBorgne added that there is a constant need for foster parents. For those who are interested, please email To see the latest adoptable pets, check on the Maine Lab Rescue Facebook page, the website at or to view a full photo album, visit 

As for Prissy and her new parents, Kathy Garrold wrote, “I cannot say enough good about Maine Lab Rescue and the whole process. We feel very lucky to be a part of their family now and to have Miss Prissy in our lives.”

Maine Lab Rescue will have another adoption event at the Blue Seal Feeds, 43 Main St, Windham, this Saturday, September 24th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Windham resident joins Red Cross in massive Louisiana flood relief efforts - By Elizabeth Richards

It’s difficult to drop everything and help when natural disaster strikes, but that is exactly what Windham resident Ruth Lathrop did in late August, when she deployed as a volunteer with the American Red Cross to help flood victims in Louisiana.

“They called me on a Thursday at 4:30 in the afternoon and asked if I could go to Louisiana at 10:30 the next morning,” Lathrop said. She agreed without hesitation. “I didn’t even think about it.” Lathrop had volunteered with the Red Cross locally during the ice storm in 1998, and after some time off had been helping locally again over the past year. The trip to Louisiana was her first deployment. 

Though Lathrop is retired, she has a part time job cleaning at Birchwood Day School a couple of hours per night during the week. When she told them she had to leave for two weeks, they offered their full support. “They were great about it. They all pitched in down there and covered for me while I was gone,” she said.

Lathrop is from South Carolina, and has experienced severe flooding herself. “I had water in my house. I had a boat in my front yard,” she said. Witnessing many natural disasters played a role in her motivation to become a Disaster Red Cross Response volunteer. 

The trip to Louisiana took three days, and when they arrived Lathrop stayed in a shelter with approximately 200 other volunteers. They left the shelter early in the morning to pick up food and water, which they then delivered to heavily affected neighborhoods. Her team went to the same neighborhood daily, so they really got to know the people there, Lathrop said. 

When she first arrived, they were serving hot meals to 400 people at both lunch and dinnertime. By the time she left last week, Lathrop said, the need had decreased somewhat, and they were serving about 400 meals at lunch and dinner combined. 

Lathrop returned with many stories to tell about the destruction she witnessed, and the spirit of the people she had gone to help. “It was just an unbelievable experience to see firsthand everything people owned out on the sidewalk and their houses gutted down to the studs,” she said. “It was so sad to see the baby cribs and the stuffed animals and those kinds of things laying beside the road.” 

People affected by the flooding were living in shelters, with other family members, and some were even staying right at their damaged homes. One woman had three dogs, and couldn’t find anywhere to go with them. Refusing to leave the dogs, she pitched a tent in her yard. was touched by how grateful the people were for the assistance they received. “They would see us, and they would be crying,” she said. “It was the most heart wrenching thing.” 

Even when there wasn’t much to give, people were grateful for any help they received. The first day, Lathrop said, they had run out of hot meals and were preparing to leave. She saw a woman, and had to tell her there was no food left. “She looked up at me and a tear ran down the corner of her eye and she said ‘but I’m hungry.’ It just broke my heart,” Lathrop said. The driver told Lathrop to give the woman whatever she could find, which turned out to be some cookies and crackers and some bottled water. She assured the woman they would be back the next day at noon. 
What struck her most is the appreciation she received for even those meager offerings. “That’s what I found with all the people down there. They were so appreciative and thankful. Anything you could do for them was greatly appreciated,” she said. 

Hearing the stories and seeing the destruction up close was overwhelming, Lathrop said. “There is no way you can comprehend when you see it on TV from when you see it in person. You cannot believe the difference,” she said. 

Meeting the people impacted by the flooding was the most amazing part of the journey for Lathrop. “They were all strong people,” she said. The overall attitude was gratitude to be alive and strength as they talked of rebuilding. 

After two weeks, Lathrop was ready to come home and rest. Working in excruciating heat was exhausting, she said, and took a toll on her. But even though she needed to take a break, Lathrop said she told the Red Cross that after a week of rest, she would return if necessary.

According to a press release, several volunteers from Maine have been a part of the flood relief efforts. For information on how you can help, visit

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Boy Scouts take on the high seas of Maine - By Michelle Libby

Boy Scouts from Windham’s Troop 805 spend a week aboard a 45- foot schooner sailboat off the coast of Maine. The three adults and eight Scouts left from Buck’s Harbor on the Alamar and sailed up past Mount Desert Island and explored many coves and islands between there and North Haven.

The trip was for older Scouts and they learned a lot about sailing from how to hoist and lower the sails, to raising and propping anchor and how to steer and chart a course, according to Scoutmaster Chuck Libby. 

“We’d done a trip like this once before under the direction of Captain Tedd Gifford. The boys wanted to do it again,” Libby said. Gifford has been sailing most of his life and enjoys teaching the Scouts.
“Sailing builds character. It provides an experience they may not have had otherwise. It builds confidence. It gives them an appreciation for the beauty of their state and the coast of Maine. It teaches them to fend for themselves but also to be part of a team. They learn many skills including cooking, cleaning, navigating, tying knots, and the art of sailing,” said Gifford.

The boys had the chance to swim off the boat and explore islands that very few people get to see. For one Scout Mackerel Cove on Swan’s Island was his favorite stop. They saw porpoises and a sea lion or two. 

Libby compared staying on a boat like hiking, where you sleep in a different location each night and “every day brought new challenges.” The space was tight, but they made it work often sleeping on deck for the cooler air and more space. 

“It’s all about the boys. They did everything. The adults are right there to make sure they’re safe, but that’s it,” Libby said.

Local churches honor first responders past and present - By Michelle Libby

*Editor Note: Due to some graphic details this article may not be appropriate for some sensitive people. The account is from a first responder who worked at the scene in New York City.
Over 100 people joined local first responders at the Windham Assembly of God on Sunday night for a memorial service in honor of those who lost their lives 15 years ago on 9/11. 

Almost 3,000 innocent victims lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but to this day many who came in after the towers had fallen to clean up the wreckage are still suffering today and looking for answers. 

“We wanted to honor first responders in our community and acknowledge them. The occasion was fitting,” said pastor Tony Searles of the Windham Assembly of God. “It’s still very real in people’s hearts and lives.” 

Special speaker Raymond Gough, a now retired paramedic for MONOC in New Jersey was a first responder at Ground Zero on that day and he recounted many of the horrifying stories of the workers who toiled over the debris at a place called Fresh Kills landfill. Gough worked for one month at the site and even 15 years later, when he thinks about what he saw, it brings tears to his eyes. 

“And we uncovered personal remains, police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, badges, pistols, name plates all in this pile. All sights no one should have to see in their lifetime,” Gough said. He and his coworkers found human remains no bigger than a baseball that were used to identify victims through DNA. His goal was to help bring closure to families by finding the DNA. He worked alongside counselors who could debrief the workers, chaplains who worked side by side praying prayers of encouragement and Red Cross workers who stood by to give hugs as they came off the pile. 

Letters arrived from school children. One was from a kindergartener who had painted her hands on a paper and drew a heart around them. Written on the paper was “Let our tiny hands hold up your heavy hearts.” 

On his way home each night the road would be lined with people holding signs thanking the volunteers for their service. “You’re heroes,” they said. 

“I tell you, I didn’t feel like a hero that day,” Gough said. 

At one point they found a complete left arm with a gold wedding band. “My heart sank. This was someone’s husband, son, father. He wasn’t at war with anyone. His choices were jump, burn or be crushed to death – that was his choice.”

By December of 2001, nine victims had been identified by DNA remains that they had found. 

9/11 proved to Gough that there was no God. Gough was angry and filled with anguish, he said. After his services were no longer needed at Fresh Kills, things went downhill for Gough and his wife, Dawn. “We went bankrupt. I was a broken man.” He retired after 22 years in Emergency Medical Services. Therapy taught him how to cope. “I never felt the healing. There was always a deep emptiness in me,” he said. 

His wife asked him to go to church with her, but he refused. “I wasn’t a believer.” When he did finally agree to go, “it was the first time I was ever able to be around people for any length of time in four years. God always knows who need to hear the message,” he said. 

The sermon was about walking in the light. “I was hiding in the dark for comfort. Living in the light of God was the only thing that would help me,” Gough said. 

In the case of any first responders, stressful events over a long period of time can add up and at some point the post-traumatic stress will hit them like a rock. Sometimes it only takes one event like 9/11 to cause PTSD. “The first responders see people at their worst. People expect first responders to be miracle workers, but we’re not God,” Gough said. 

Gough’s advice to the audience was “drop the pride. If you need help, get it. There’s no shame in asking for help.” 

On 9/11 everybody was the same color – gray. “It was humanity, helping humanity. It’s amazing what 15 years has done. Victims helped each other escape and others led others to Jesus,” Gough said. “While they were running out, we were running in. All gave some of their lives, and some gave all of their lives.” Like Jesus, the first responders laid down their lives for the life of the sheep. (John 10:11) he said. 

First responders and volunteers from Ground Zero and Fresh Kills landfill are still suffering. As many as 1,600 people have died since 9/11 from respiratory issues, cancer and more all from Ground Zero. Sixty thousand men and women are sick, with 4,000 having cancer related to their work, Gough said.
“Never forget to place our trust in God and our faith in Jesus Christ. With God there is hope for a better tomorrow,” Gough concluded. Gough is now a pastor at New Limerick Baptist Church having fully accepted that God has a purpose for him. 

The service concluded with a bag piper playing Amazing Grace.  

Boy Scout Troop 51 provided the flag ceremony, Angela Searles was the pianist who leads the audience in patriotic songs and three pastors prayed individual prayers for police officers, firefighters, EMS and the military. 

The event was organized by Searles and children’s pastor Jimmy Lewis from Windham Assembly of God, pastor Peter Lagasse from  Cornerstone Assembly of God and Anthony McKeown from Hope Fellowship. The three churches created Windham Matters, a program that expresses their appreciation to stakeholders in the community. “Many have jobs that are thankless, teachers, firefighters, police.” 
They try to do special things for them at least once a month in hopes of building relationships with the community. 

Each first responder who attended was given a book titled, “Hope For My World…the Book of Hope,” which is a paraphrasing of The Bible for them to use in times of strife. Everyone in attendance was encouraged to give the men in uniform hugs on their way out.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Windham Christian Academy steps up safety - By Elizabeth Richards

Getting to and from school will be a little bit safer for Windham Christian Academy (WCA) students this year. The school has installed school zone signs with flashing lights on Roosevelt Trail in front of the campus.  

It’s a tricky section of the busy road, with the speed limit dropping from 50 miles per hour (mph) to the 15 mph school zone speed.  Excessive speed in front of the school has long been a problem, said Roy Mikelson, principal at WCA.  Every year has been a little bit worse, he added, and the school has dealt with numerous accidents over the years as people stopped to turn in and were rear ended by people not paying attention. 

Regular school zone signs were put up initially several years ago, but had no impact on the speed of traffic, Mikelson said.  Next, the Department of Transportation upgraded the signs to include the hours that the 15 mph limit was in effect.  Those didn’t work either.  “They just became invisible. People are used to travelling 50 miles an hour past here and [the signs] didn’t work,” said Mikelson. said he is grateful to the Windham Police Department and Chief Schofield, who recognized that there was a problem.  At times last year, an officer was parked on the side of the road by the school in the morning, which did have an impact on speed. 

But this presented a new problem, according to Mikelson.  People got in the habit of slowing down, even when there wasn’t an officer parked nearby, but other motorists who didn’t understand why they were slowing down became irate, honking, screaming at people and passing on the right in the breakdown lane. the problem has been ongoing, the flashing lights weren’t installed prior to this year primarily because of the expense.  Because the DOT isn’t legally required to put flashing lights on the signs, the $10,000 to $12,000 needed for the installation had to come from the school. With public schools, tax dollars pay for lights when needed, Mikelson said, but as a private school, WCA doesn’t have that funding.  Resources have held them back until now, but as the problem progressed they decided they just had to go ahead and do it, despite the cost.  

The lights were installed in late August.  A first day glitch on Tuesday showed how effective the lights can be. On that first day of school, the lights only worked on the side heading in from Raymond.   Mikelson said they had reprogrammed the light and were hoping it would work at the end of the day.  He added that it was clear that the lights are effective, as the traffic coming from Raymond had slowed while cars heading towards Raymond from Windham did not.  “It definitely gets people’s attention with the flashing lights,” he said. 

 “I’m very hopeful that this is going to be a major upgrade for us as far as the safety of our students and their families,” Mikelson said.

Raymond's John Bunting, NFL linebacker, Hall of Famer - By Walter Lunt

Long time Raymond summer resident John Bunting was honored recently in North Carolina with his induction into the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame. Bunting joins the likes of Willie Stargell, Roman Gabriel, Trott Nixon, Bob Boyd and dozens of other luminaries from the world of sports.

In his video tribute a rock song playing beneath the narration and pictures of his lengthy and storied career helped buoy the message The World is Going to Know Your Name.

Bunting settled into a chair next to a picnic table at his Raymond summer home on Thomas Pond and started talking football. Over the two-hour session he shared stories, observations and opinions from his nearly 4-decade career as a National Football League player and coach.

The former linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles reflected on his early life in the fifties and sixties fishing, catching frogs and skiing on the pond he and wife, Dawn refer to as their get-away sanctuary.

There was only one rule. We could play in and around the pond all day, but when the porch bell rang we had to return to camp to eat. I've had a wonderful life,” he continued,and Thomas Pond was a big part of it."

"The first sports model in my life was my older brother, Jim,” said Bunting. " He was my inspiration growing up- a very good football player and a great wrestler. I went to every one of his (wrestling) matches in high school. I remember how he took this guy, who was undefeated, and beat him in double overtime. He became county champion. It took my breath away and probably made me cry. That's how passionate I was about my older brother."

Bunting said he has similar feelings toward his younger brother, Paul, who was also a strong athlete, as starting point guard for a winning team in a NCAA Final Four, Division II championship game.
"My brothers taught me discipline, passion and (how to be) a dignified athlete, how to play for the game, not just for myself," Bunting said.
Following strong years playing high school football in Maryland, Bunting received a scholarship to play for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"I played for 3 years. Freshmen were not allowed to play varsity. Unfortunately, they changed that rule. Never should have. Let kids be kids for one more year in transition. They think they are the greatest players since Swiss cheese," he said, "and (as a coach) they are so hard to rehab."

Following the University of North Carolina, Bunting was drafted in the 10th round by the Philadelphia Eagles where he became a linebacker.

"In those days (1970- 71) we were the laughing stock of the league (not having a playoff berth since 1960), but a lot of great things happened."

There, Bunting would meet one of the most influential people of his major league sports career, Dick Vermeil. He credits the Eagle coach's passion for the game and for the way he treated his people, and for "winning the right way," and added, "like my brother winning through the dignity of the game."

“One of my greatest memories with the team is beating Dallas 20-7 in the 1981 NFC championship game," he said.

Bunting's time with the Eagles ended with the 1982 players' strike. The two sides faced off over free agency for players at the conclusion of their contracts, elimination or modification of so-called astro-turf, freedom to consult independent medical care and profit sharing with NFL properties. While the players made progress with these and other issues throughout the eighties, it was probably Bunting's involvement as a union representative that hastened the end of his career as an NFL player.

Coinciding with these events, however was the formation of a new "companion" football league that was not in competition with the NFL. The United States Football League was an eclectic mix of NFL veterans and promising young talent. The idea was to draft players within separate regions of the country to play spring games, thus extending the season for a growing fan base. On the advice of Carl Peterson, formerly from the front office of the Eagles, Stars coach Jim Moora recruited Bunting.

"He was a former Marine and bada--!" Bunting confided. "But I had a ball. We were drawing crowds of 35 and 45,000 and in '83 we made it into the championship game."

In 1984, despite a compromised Achilles heel, Bunting played out the championship game. The Stars won but at great cost to Bunting.

"At first, they just shot it up with cortisone. They could never do that today."

His playing days were over.

Bunting became the Stars linebacker coach. The team went on to another championship victory in 1985.

The following year, the USFL New Jersey Generals owner/president Donald Trump convinced the league to initiate antitrust action against the NFL in an effort to force playoff games between the two leagues. The court battle and confusion over stadium use resulted in the USFL folding in 1986.
“That's why I have little use for Donald Trump," Bunting said with a tinge of bitterness in his voice.
Never one to linger at the goal line, Bunting branched out, and for the next two years divided his time between defensive coaching at Brown University in Providence and broadcasting. He produced pre- and post-game shows for KYW sports radio in Philadelphia and performed color commentary for Temple University games.

By 1987 Bunting had found another dream job, as well as the love of his life. Glassboro State College in New Jersey needed a head football coach to fix a failing program. The position came with no strings attached, that is, no teaching responsibilities. Another member of the physical education department, the women's basketball and softball coach, had an issue with that and wasn't afraid to voice disapproval. To say the least it was a prickly beginning. Nevertheless, John and Dawn Bunting married four years later. It was the union of two linebackers. In her pre-college days Dawn had played with the San Diego Lobos in the Women’s Professional Football League.

Regarding this Glassboro experience, John said, “We took a program that was really broken and made it into a good one. We won conference championships two years in a row (and all the while) Dawn’s teams were highly successful as well.” 

By the early nineties it was back to the NFL. Carl Peterson had called yet again. Bunting joined the Kansas City Chiefs and remained for four years as linebacker coach.

“I was having a great time. And there was only one guy in the world who could pull me away, the one guy who most impacted my life, my friend and mentor Dick Vermeil. Now associated with the St. Louis Rams, Vermeil needed a co-defensive coordinator as he tried to build up a program that was weak both offensively and defensively. 

United once again with Vermeil, and faced with a huge challenge Bunting and a “great staff” went to work incorporating the core beliefs that has stood the test of time since his teen years: Solid “common sense” training, smart recruiting, discipline, developing that deep dedication toward accomplishing something important and doing it as a team. 

“It’s called passion,” Bunting repeated. A word he used frequently. 

And, indeed it all came together. By the 1999 season the Rams were winning, right into Super Bowl 34. The final play of that January 2000 game would be one of the most memorable in history.

As die-hard fans remember, the NFC St. Louis Rams were up against the AFC Tennessee Titans. The first half was mostly a defensive battle. By the end of the fourth quarter St. Louis held a 23 -16 lead. The ball was on the Rams 10-yard line with just 6 seconds left in the game. The Titans had used their final timeout. In the play, Rams linebacker Mike Jones was to be lured away from Titan receiver Kevin Dyson, but as the pass went to Dyson, Jones quickly changed direction and in what became known as simply The Tackle Jones wrapped his arms around Dyson's legs. The two went into a rolling motion with Dyson's outstretched arms reaching for the goal line, coming up short by just inches.
As he watched the play, Bunting crossed his arms over the front of his chest... and stopped breathing. Then, they waited for the call.

The game official stepped forward and turned on his mic. The crowd fell quiet. He announced,The receiver is short of the goal line. The game is over."

"Those were the greatest words I ever heard in my life," said Bunting. It was the greatest pinnacle of a 40 year career.

After the parades and accolades back in St. Louis, Bunting was fired. How could that be? We asked. How could it be when it was your defenseman who clinched a Super Bowl victory?

"It's a long and complicated story," said Bunting. “Let's just say it was about front office alliances and broken promises. It happened. Time to move on."

The next move was back to his future, an opportunity to return to where it all started, his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where for six years he would "coach out" his football days until retirement.

“We won a significant number of games, but just as important these guys knew how to play together with dignity, discipline, and yes, passion."

Now retired, Bunting insists he's not finished. His current mission is mentoring NFL draftees and other young players, in addition to speaking engagements. "It's time to give back."

We quizzed Bunting about certain issues that dominate sports news in 2016. This John Bunting...

On the 2016 NFL season:
“The Patriots will be successful regardless of whether Brady misses the first four games. They have tradition and a smart coach. I think Jacksonville will be better. I expect Indianapolis to improve due to defensive changes."

On Tom Brady and Deflategate:
"It's a poor joke and a black eye on the NFL. Ownership around the league has it in for the Patriots. I think they're jealous and they've pressured the commissioner (Roger Goodell) to penalize New England for past issues. How sad that there's been less suspension time for players involved in domestic violence than with Brady and his freakin' ball."

On head trauma and concussions:
“It’s safer than it's ever been considering new protocol and the way they practice. They've got people watching on the sidelines and in the boxes. For high school and youth sports I'd want certified trainers right there."

On Colin Kaepernick and the emergence of politics in sports:
Disturbing on several levels. This is team sport. To win, to be successful, it's hard when your mind is someplace else.

On the benefit youth participation in sports:
“It promotes general overall well being. Building relationships and overcoming adversity. It's just a game, but if one can apply some of the lessons learned to other things in your life you can become a stronger person and a better citizen."

We end our conversation and attention turns once again to the lake. Dawn comments,There's something so tranquil about water- you feel at peace."
John nods in agreement and picks up a metal chair. “You live in a cage when you're a coach. It's wonderful here. Clears your head."

Later he will take the chair 3 feet into the pond to sit in chest high water.My body is broken and beaten up," he said, referring to the multiple injuries ranging from broken fingers to ACL reconstruction on a knee, sustained over more than 10 years of professional play.
The water will feel good but he won't stay there long. Because, as he said, he's still not finished.