To All Who Will Listen

by Chuck Klausing

            I am very concerned about the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco by kids.  I have 12 grandkids and 3 great grandchildren.  I hope to get this message to them.

            I failed with the greatest football player I ever coached.  He played for me in high school and I predicted he would be a great pro player someday.  He led us to three (3) undefeated seasons.  People told me he reminded them of Jim Brown the great Cleveland back.

            No player was more coachable and he believed in me and would always listen.  Maybe, because of two experiences where I helped him:

1.      Once as a sophomore linebacker he bumped heads with a teammate and dislocated his jaw.  The joint was up around his ear.  No doctor was around so I used my first aid training and relocated it.  The pain was terrible, but afterwards, he remarked, “Thanks Coach, I will always listen to you.”

2.      We would go to pre-season camp and had no place to shower; so, we bathed in a small river.  He wondered out too far and went under.  I swam out and brought him to shore.  He remarked, “Thanks Coach, I will always listen.”

With his success, he played in the Big 33 game and was awarded the Most Valuable Player.  In college he was the most outstanding sophomore in the Big 10.  At 21 years of age, he died of an overdose of drugs.

I went to his funeral and I prayed at his coffin.  His parents told me it was my fault he died.   They said he would have listened to me.  He never smoked tobacco or used liquor because of my rules of no tobacco or alcohol.  I never mentioned drugs.  In the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, I knew nothing about drugs.  They are certainly with us today.

What can you do to save our children?


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