Saturday, March 19, 2011

Remembering Ted Stonebridge

I can't remember precisely how I met Ted Stonebridge, although I know it was in 2003. I think he called me to tell me about his memories of the Alpine football team. He ended up donating some photographs of the team, which he managed starting in 1933, until at least 1941. He also decided that he should take me out to lunch.

Ted was such a gentleman. I was charmed when he insisted on holding doors for me, and handed me into the passenger seat of his car. I'm sixty years younger and a good eight inches taller than Ted; if necessary, I probably could have carried him to the car. But I enjoyed the rare treat, enjoying social niceties that had all but disappeared by my early adulthood. 

Ted was the son of George Stonebridge, who worked as a foreman in the coal mines. Ted joined the Coast Guard and would have been just the right age to serve in World War II -- but Minnie Wilson Schomber, who was on the draft board, insisted that he be exempt because he was the only fuel dealer in town at that time, and was needed more in Issaquah. He owned a Chevrolet dealership in downtown Issaquah for 25years (and was still driving a Chevy at the time I met him).

In 2010, the Greater Northwest Football Associated inducted Ted into their Hall of Fame, for his role as manager of the Alpines during their powerhouse years. Last week, on March 11, Ted passed away at the age of 98. I consider it a privilege to have met him.

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