.... I was at pre-game football practice on the game field at Atascadero High School as starting senior center on this date in 1988. This was after school and before the team was to drive down to Orange County to play Trabuco Hills High School in a CIF Southern Section semi-final game. I was interrupted mid-practice by mom showing up to tell me Granpda McGee had just died (at age 84) at his senior convalescent facility on Heather Court in Templeton, CA. I ended practice at that moment and went home with mom. She and my brother and I drove down to southern California and spent the night in a motel. My team spent a boisterous and distracted night in a motel even closer to the school. I participated in the game the next afternoon into evening. We got blown out something like 42-7 much like the Los Angeles Times sports section had predicted.
My head was only partially in the game for obvious reasons. I had just lost the second most significant male in my life following losing my dad three years earlier during my freshman year of high school. By this point I was already circling the drain mental health-wise as I slid further into chronic and crippling anxiety attacks and depression which I worked hard to suppress from those around me and this would only get worse. I'm still trying to rebuild my life to this very day 28 years later. However, rebuilding I am, and God is good to have me still be here and have rebuilt as much as I have with so much still to go.