The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 24, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Garrett's Papa would be proud

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — The young man, a barrell-chested 10-year-old wearing a suit, looks up to me in tear-filled eyes.

“Thank you for writing those stories about my Papa,” he says. “Thank you.”

Garrett Demshar was on hand last night at Gateway Church for the calling hours for his grandfather, Paul Demshar, who died May 15.

As I knelt down and took Garrett’s hand, you could see his Papa in his face, especially the dynamic cheeks.

“Your Papa was one of the best people I’ve ever known,” Garrett,” I said. “I’m sure he’s looking down on you from heaven right now and he’s so very proud of you.”

Garrett Demshar was there in the beautiful, softly lit church last night because his Papa gave his life to save him from a rip current in the Atlantic Ocean off Jacksonville last Wednesday. Both had gotten caught in the current and the final act of Paul’s 62 years was pushing his grandson toward shore.

After I told Garrett how proud his Papa is of him for being so strong, he replied by looking down at his feet and softly said, “thank you.”

Before I left the line — which included Paul’s beautiful wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Rebekah and her husband, Joe Zelenka, son Matt and his lovely wife, Lisa — and headed toward Paul’s casket, I shared another minute or so with Garrett.

“Know how you can make your Papa the most proud?” I said. “Do what he did. Spend your life being good to people.

“That’s the best way for him to live on... through you.”

Not wanting to overwhelm the young man, I moved on. His father, Matt, Paul’s son, looked toward me, tears streaming down his face, and mouthed, “thank you.”

And the thought immediately struck me — Matt has it backward.

Text Only
Sports
  • Complete performance

    It has taken a while for the Grand Valley Mustangs to put it all together on the softball diamond this season. Wednesday afternoon, the Mustangs did just that, combining a superb pitching effort by Katie Paskey with a tight defense and opportune offense to smother the Maplewood Rockets, 8-1, in Northeastern Athletic Conference action.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pirates sail past Eagles

    The seniors on the Perry softball team wanted to talk with coach Frank Rico. They had some ideas for how their coach could help the Pirates. Rico was receptive of the players’ thoughts. It didn’t hurt that the Pirates were right on the mark in their assessments.

    April 24, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Years of wonder, indeed...

    The recent effort that appeared in this space last week about things yours truly did while growing up that prompted several replies, which were also published as a followup, brought one more into my inbox the other day.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thompson breaks own vaulting mark

    Geneva pole vaulter Ally Thompson is competing mostly with herself in the early going. She claimed a major victory in that category in toppling her own Ashtabula County record in the Eagles’ victories over Lakeside and Harvey at Spire on Wednesday.

    April 24, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    SOFTBALL
    NAC
    Grand Valley 8, Maplewood 1
    at Grand Valley

    April 24, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 24
    Baseball

    Ledgemont at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Campbell at Edgewood (5)
    Lordstown at PV (4:30)
    Riverside at Perry (7:30)
    Champion at Jefferson (5)

    April 24, 2014

  • Tribe bests Royals

    The top of the Cleveland lineup has been starting to hit. If that continues, it will bode very well for the team.

    April 24, 2014

  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video