Lawrence Eyre (right) receives the United States Professional Tennis Association’s Tennis Coach of the Year award from USPTA president Tom Daglis. The award ceremony took place at the USPTA world conference, Thursday, September 24, 2009, Marco Island, Florida.
The Maharishi School boys’ tennis team won both the district championship and regional championship this year led by coach Lawrence Eyre. This allowed the team to qualify for the Iowa state team tournament for the 12th time in 22 seasons under coach Eyre. The team finished second in the state team tournament and had an impressive record of 9-2 for the season.
My family lived in poverty for several years when I was growing up. With Dad unable to work, our Mom struggled to keep all four of us kids under one roof and that roof over our heads. Government surplus food--big cans of peanut butter, corn meal for bread, margarine, chalky powdered milk--kept us going.
We loved our Mom then, and love her even more now, for sewing for people, baking pies, working part-time in a printer's shop to try to make ends meet. I'm grateful to my friends at John Deere Junior High for sliding me their federally subsidized bread, butter and cheese when they realized I couldn't buy lunches; to my Moline High School tennis coach Joe Ruberg, who supplemented team meal allowances with his own money to make sure I got enough to eat; to our neighbor Mrs. Kasenberg, who gave us the biggest treat of all those years: two weeks of real milk. (God bless you, Mrs. Kasenberg. We know you wanted your gift to be anonymous, but the milk man accidentally blurted out your name.)
I'm grateful to the many high school classmates who knew, but were kind enough not to say, that gift clothes I wore after Christmases back then actually came from the yearly Share Joys campaign for needy families; I'm thankful for their good parents, who taught my friends not to humiliate someone who is living through hard times. I'm also grateful for the Sunday school teachers, ministers and priests in Moline who did their best to help our family remember that while we may have been "the least of these" financially, we were still no less than children of God.
|Lawrence and Lane posed on the same throne chairs |
at the 45th reunion,
with a little help from Photoshop.
GJ - I asked permission to publish this Facebook post, and Lawrence agreed. All of his friends were completely unaware of this, because we all knew him as being unusually gifted in many areas:
The tennis racquet gift led to a career teaching the sport and many honors.