THE GIST OF THE STORY
This is not a story about a movie star, a famous politician, or a corporate billionaire. It’s a narrative of the lives of two “normal” kids in a small town and how they fell in love and then overcame overwhelming odds to be an example for all of us of what true love and commitment to each other look like.
After graduating from Illinois with a degree in physical education, my first teaching job was in the Dixon school system. I was also the new basketball coach. The school was in the northwest corner of Illinois, not far from the Wisconsin border. Some people in the area knew of my being with the Milwaukee Braves (a very short stint in the summer of 1958), which led to invitations to speak at some high school athletic banquets in the area. It was very surprising that after some of those speaking engagements, someone would tell me, “Coach, you ought to be a minister.” I never thought much of that comment the first or second time I heard it. But it kept happening. After the fourth time, I told my roommate, who happened to also be a new teacher at Amboy and an assistant football coach. He said, “I feel the same way. You ought to be a minister. You would be a damn good one, too.” This past June, I completed my sixtieth year in the ministry as a pastor in the United Methodist Church.