Good to watch kids grow
Monday mornings were always hectic when we were in the newspaper business. It was a long day that was crammed full of work. Certainly it was not a day to be shorthanded. My partner and key employee was missing on April 23, 1990, but I wasn’t concerned because I knew that our lives were soon to change.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the newspaper office, I got a special call — the joyous news that my second grandson, Zachary Scott Holder, entered the world at the Bethany Medical Center. It was a wonderful moment and the start of years of fun watching Zach, who never went by Zachary, and his older brother Andrew grow up. Looking back, I really don’t know where the years have gone.
But reality set in on Sunday when Zach graduated from Kansas University. It seems like only yesterday that Zach was sitting on my lap listening to a story or trying to learn to play catch. The happy years of childhood just seemed to melt away. Now little Zach is an adult and ready to face life. Yes, this is the first of two graduations for us this year — Andrew will graduate from Washburn Law School in the spring.
Being a Monday, things were busy as usual, but I took time out to go to the hospital before covering a meeting. I was kidding with those visiting that night that we had another Royals fan. Little did I know that being a sports fan was in his DNA. I think from the earliest months of his life, he was interested in sports. Now maybe there was a reason for his love of sports — he has an extended family made up of members who are all sports nuts.
I think that Zach was 2 years old when I took him to his first Royals game. I know over the years we have gone to dozens of games at Kauffman Stadium.
It wasn’t just baseball that he enjoyed. He was a Chiefs fan, too. In fact, when he was working on his Eagle Scout rank, I had purchased two Chiefs tickets at a charity auction and told him if he was finished with his Eagle Scout requirements, he could accompany me to the game. Yes, he met the deadline.
He attended a lot of basketball games with me when I was covering Bonner Springs sports. And his interest grew over the years as he was an avid reader of sports pages and magazines. We have a saying around the family: “Don’t play sports trivia games against Zach.”
I have had tremendous fun watching Zach and Andrew grow up, just as I am with my five other grandchildren. Attending their sporting events and ball games is a big part of my life. In Zach’s case, I tromped over cross country courses and sat in the stands at swim meets watching competition.
I had the privilege of coaching his Kerry Roberts basketball team for three years, and it is hard to believe that Zach and the other kids are grown up now and two of the eight are married. I still remember them as sixth graders, winning a division title. I had a tremendous amount of fun being their coach and got to know some really outstanding young people.
Zach’s love of sports landed him his first job. He was an original Kansas City T-Bones bat boy. He was a bat boy until he became too old, and then he worked as an usher. Zach also had an internship with the T-Bones and, earlier, with the Wizards, now known as Sporting Kansas City.
Like all other new graduates, Zach and Andrew are moving into a very challenging world. But if you think about it, the world has always been a tough place for young people. They have to find a niche in a career and work hard to be successful. While times are tougher now, I really believe that young people will be able to meet and solve many of today’s woes. I have great faith in the young people of our nation. They have more knowledge and skill than any generation before them.
On another note, I expect that lots of parents and students are happy tuition bills won’t arrive in the future. So, congratulations to all of the mid-term graduates . I sincerely hope you all find a great career that you enjoy and have a wonderful life.