The reason I knew Bill Strong was because his daughter Nellie was best-friends with Natalie at Sewickley Elementary School. I didn’t have any sisters, so essentially had no clue how best to interact with Natalie. Bill solved that by setting us up as the Mohawk Tribe of the Indian Princesses program at the Sewickley YMCA:
The Mohawk Tribe: Bill/Nellie 2nd from left, Doug/Natalie at far right.
The tribe around the fireplace at Camp Kon-O-Kwee.
But that was just the start: Bill signed me up to coach our girls’ soccer team, with Bill and Clark Luster as co-coaches! On top of that, the girls joined a choral group and performed periodically in concert! Suddenly, I was a Super-Dad having a great time with the girls, and with the other “Captains of Industry”.
Oh, and Bill did occasionally give us free tickets to Penguins games! Did I mention that our last year in Sewickley, we lived less than a mile from Mario Lemieux, who was a superstar then, and who now owns the team franchise!
Mario in 2005, his last season as a player.
Health Update: I’m not making much progress at increasing my food intake via mouth: It’s just too painful to eat or drink very much. However, I’m getting fed via the J-Tube 20 or more hours a day, and that seems to be having the desired effect. I’ve put on at least two pounds, but am still down more than 20 pounds from my pre-treatment weight.
Natalie & Rick Update: Natalie has been here more than two weeks now. We’re trying to find an apartment for her for a few months, but all the rental agents want to lock people in for a year. We’re looking at sub-letting, but haven’t found a good match yet. She is working madly on writing a group of books about the four months she just spent in St. Thomas! Rick is scheduled for double hip-replacement surgery in June, so will be laid-up for some time.
Brian & Angela Update: They are still spending as much time as they can whipping their 1915 Miner’s shack into shape! Brian is rooting-big for the Pittsburgh Penguins. We lived in Pittsburgh when the Pens won the Stanley Cup in ’91-’92. Natalie, Brian and I each got to hoist the Stanley Cup, compliments of my fellow girls’ soccer team coach Bill Strong, who was the Executive Producer of the Penguins at the time!
Me hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1991!