Upon Jim Morgan's death, my mind and heart flooded back to my memories of growing up in Chattanooga. I thought I would share my fond memories of such a great man.
A few thoughts for one of the sweetest and finest men I ever knew:
I remember Jim Morgan "Coach" not just as one of his wrestlers, but as a close family friend, teacher and neighbor. While Coach was my chemistry teacher and wrestling coach he also lived nearby. Sometimes before big tournament weekends my mother would cook and I would walk dinner down to him and his lovely wife Sis. Beef stew, meatloaf, chicken soup or his favorite...fruit pizza. He loved when Mom cooked and Dad would grill out.
A walk down to their house often turned into an evening.
Coach and Sis regarded me as family. Looking back and thinking of him walking his dogs through the neighborhood while reading the newspaper at the same time are fond memories for me. I smile with a tear in my eye thinking about him. I could have been out jogging or coming out of the woods from a long hike and there he would be walking his two dogs, Samson and Maggie, through the golf course or on the roads past the rustic houses of Old Town where we lived.
He never missed the headlnes or his favorite....the word jumble. Countless times I would stop and join him on his walks. Often times, if there was a jumble he couldn't figure out he would save it for me to complete the next morning in his classroom before chemistry started.
The Lord has blessed me with so many good people in my life and none more than Jim Morgan who in my mind was practically a third grandfather to me. I know many wrestlers and students who would agree and I probably speak for hundreds. I will always hold Coach in my fondest memories in my heart. He impacted thousands of lives and I being one. I am so proud to be one of his wrestlers. And I look forward to one day perhaps being able to walk with him again.
My challenge to myself and others of the Baylor and Chattanooga community touched by souls like Jim is to pass it on. It's our turn now to make a positive impact. Young people in this world and these times need the Jim Morgans of the world very much. Maybe now more than ever.