We have lost a lot of our older people in the last years. Not just in Kingston, but the entire Cheatham County. Last Thursday we lost another. Most of you that haven’t been around as long, probably have no idea who he is. His name is Ralph Spangler, but most, well, they just know him as Coach.
You know, there are people in your life that make an impression and in many ways, a difference. I know that Coach never knew how much I thought of him. I have a feeling he never really knew what he means, and meant, to so many, many students, and probably even co-workers and others that were privileged to cross paths over the years. This genuine human being, never made a “big deal” over who he was. Heck, maybe he didn’t even realize who he “was” to so many. I was one of “the lucky ones” that he would sometimes get to work on something in the gym before a game or if something was needing done. I know my brother, Dale, was one of the guys he was always getting to work on the baseball field. I am equally as sure, there are many more. And I don’t know about the others, as I only speak for me, but I never minded. After all, you got to help Coach. One of my fellow classmates reminded us that when we lost our principal and his wife in a horrible accident in our Sophomore year, Coach took the position as acting principal for a while. Coach, along with some of our other teachers, helped us get through such a difficult, and hard, time. That was Coach, always there.
Dale and another fellow member of one of Coach’s baseball teams from the high school, Randy Bugg, have been able to visit with Coach. I know they were so happy as he still knew who they were. That’s the way Coach was. He knew you and when he actually called your name, it was almost an honor. Coach was one of the good guys. Coach will always be one of the good guys. I hope, that somewhere in his heart, he knew how special he was to so many.
Sometimes, in this old world, I think we are running out of “the good guys”. We have lost another. But this good guy’s legacy lives on in the many, many kids he had helped, and the many lives he has touched. Here’s to Coach……
Karen J. Baker