Monday, February 01, 2016

They're from Sandpoint; We couldn't Be Any Prouder . . . .

Mark Perry, Kathie Brown-Welch, Darlene Brown-Wager and Pat Perry.  Not pictured and unable to attend the event in Richland are mom Carol Taylor and brother Mike Perry.  All are Sandpoint High graduates.

--------Caption from Facebook photo posted by Darlene Brown-Wager. . . . 

Had a great evening with family celebrating my brother Mark Perry's induction into the Washington State HS Football Coaches Hall of Fame last night! In great company of coach Steve Graff and his son Mac Graff being honored with a scholarship! Congratulations to all!  
                                                                                          ---Darlene Brown Wager

Mark Perry and his siblings are all exemplary Sandpoint natives.  

I knew them when they went through the high school and also met and appreciated his sisters, who were like big sisters to my then pre-school children, Willie and Annie, at Patti's Daycare.  

Patti is Mark's mother-in-law.  Darlene and Kathy's dad Wade served as Sandpoint's fire chief.

I'll refrain from giving too many details about the blue birthday cake Pat Perry and his buddy Gary Rench baked for me when they were sophomores in my English class.  I will tell that it was not my birthday, but the cake was delicious. 

Mark Perry, an outstanding athlete and student, graduated from SHS with my sister Laurie in 1979.  

A few years ago, the entire family was able to attend another special ceremony when Mark was also inducted into the Washington State High School Wrestling coaches' Hall of Fame. 

What wonderful and impressive honors for Mark, his family, Sandpoint High and the entire community.  

To Mark, "We're from Sandpoint, couldn't be any prouder!"  

Speaking of football and Sandpoint pride, it's Super Bowl week, but it's not just any Super Bowl week.  This coming Sunday marks the special 50th special anniversary for the extravaganza.  

And, there's a Sandpoint connection.

A Sandpoint High graduate played in the very first Super Bowl ever.  

In case, anyone doesn't know, that would be Jerry Kramer, No. 64, a right guard and a place kicker for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s. 

Kramer distinguished himself many times over as one of the early NFL greats, including the famous block he executed for quarterback Bart Starr's sneak to the end zone that won the 1967 NFL Championship game. 

He retired in 1968 and has since been an entrepreneur, a broadcaster, a successful author and a rancher, living in Southern Idaho. 

No doubt this past year leading up to this Sunday's golden anniversary of the Super Bowl has been one filled with phenomenal and touching nostalgia, especially the experience Kramer had during a visit to Sandpoint last fall when he presented a golden football to his alma mater. 

It's no secret that he and the community are disappointed that Kramer has not yet been selected for the NFL Hall of Fame.  In spite of that, he remains a hometown hero to countless fans who have read his New York Times bestselling book, watched him play or had the opportunity to meet him in person. 

One follower of Kramer sent me some information via Facebook yesterday.  I don't know if I've had my head buried in the sand, but I was fascinated to learn that Jerry Kramer's NFL memorabilia is going up for auction later this month. 

Fifty-seven items, including his Super Bowl championship ring (already $60,000 bid), his kicking shoe, letters from Vince Lombardi and Jackie Robinson, jerseys, signed programs, hand-written game plans, etc. are among the items on the auction bloc, via Heritage Auctions.

My Facebook friend also sent me a link to a You Tube overview of the auction, including an interview with Jerry Kramer, which explains why he plans to sell the collection. 

So, with a big Super week ahead, enjoy this film segment about one of the original stars of the big games who has that Sandpoint connection.  

And, to Jerry Kramer, "We're from Sandpoint, couldn't be any prouder." 

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