Small college teachers often have colleagues’ children in their classes. They are often the brightest is the class or’ “the others”. Love for colleagues, or the realization that one of your own may be one of “the others” breeds special attention to the “not yets”.
Recently I talked to John Sanford, son of legendary “Doc” Sanford, our baseball coach and my department chairperson. Doc and I changed schools. He came from Elon to Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, and later I moved to Elon. One day at Elon Doc called saying he was bringing 12 year old son, John, to visit Elon. I made preparations.
Doc came to Atlantic Christian because of a bitter turf battle with the Elon basketball coach, the irascible Bill Miller. Vying over services of Richard Such, future baseball Hall of Famer caused the tift.
Elon’s gym housed a hosting room, the Huey Room, where they displayed Elon’s athletic greats, or Hall of Fame members. Large pictures of members were hung on the wall in no order. Before Doc’s impending tour I crept into the Huey Room and rearranged the pictures, putting Doc right beside Coach Miller.
After greeting Doc and John I escorted them down to the the shrine, all the way extolling the athletic prowess of his father to young John. As we entered and squared away at the pictures I interrupted my praise.: “Oh my god , Doc! They’ve got you up there by Miller!”
Doc said: “… yeah- move me down there by” Peahead” Walker!”
I asked John if he remembered that visit some thirty years ago? “Like it was yesterday”. he added, “..Coach, thanks for helping all us faculty kids.”