I am saddened to learn of the passing of “Coach Firpo” a/k/a “Flash”. Bill was my J.V. coach in 1963 and as such I have many stories of my relationship with “Coach Firp”.
One incident that is a special memory to me occurred when I was playing J.V. football at Washington High School. Coach had called for a special practice to occur on a Saturday. This event conflicted with my weekend trip to visit my girlfriend in Marin County, but being the self-anointed star running back, there was no need to attend that certain practice in my young mind. During the next week’s practice, Coach never said a word about my absence. At game time on Thursday, as we walked from the locker room onto the field, Coach turned to me and stated “Son, turn your Jersey inside out, you are not playing today.” Then proceded to say“In fact Son, if we lose today, you will not ever play football again at Washington.” Holy shit, I became the best cheerleader in the history of that school. I gave new meaning to the term cheerleading! I used this personality changing maneuver with certain players in my coaching career, always with very entertaining results. This was just one lesson I learned from Coach.
I had a long history with the Firpo family. I was shocked to hear of Randy’s death and now Billie’s death as well. I have fond memories of the Firpo family. Phaidra, I knew your mom well; she was a special person to me. In fact, as I recall, I was at your mom’s apartment when they brought you home from the hospital. I sincerely hope your life is going well. Your grandfather was one of a kind, I will keep the memories close.