Tag: 滁州楼凤

first_imgThe morning Bryant assignment was mentioned because the vivid contrast in people and events could not be greater. “That’s trivial to me,” Anzack Sr. said. He spoke without malice, not seeking pity, careful to avoid offending anyone. “I don’t go there,” he said. “It’s not in my book.” We get worked up about Bryant, about what he wants. Or doesn’t want. We get worked up about how he acts and reacts. Or how he should or should not act and react. That’s how it is in our little sports world. That’s why Red Smith, the legendary New York sportswriter, labeled it the toy department. It’s our passion. Our release. Our escape. Joe Anzack’s mind is somewhere else. Understandably. His son will be honored in the Sportswalk class with Amanda Augustus, George Brett, Walt Hazzard, Jim Obradovich, Scrappy Rhea and Reggie Smith. Augustus, from Peninsula High, was a four-time tennis All-American at Cal. Brett, from El Segundo High, is in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Hazzard led UCLA to the first of John Wooden’s 10 NCAA basketball championships. Obradovich, another former El Segundo star, was an All-American tight end at USC. Rhea coached Harbor College’s most accomplished football team. Smith was a star with the Dodgers, among other teams. They are in select company with Anzack, a former 195-pound nose guard on the South Torrance High football team. “What a good kid I had,” Anzack said. He spoke softly. The memories are beautiful. They also are hard. How does he deal with the pride and sorrow, the flood of raw emotions? “One step at a time,” he said. “I’m here to deal with my son’s memory. “This is nothing. I owe him that.” Anzack was wearing a dark green South High “SPARTANS” T-shirt. He turned around. On the back: “Anzack 52.” We sat at a picnic table at Torrance Park. Next to the baseball field, where the Torrance High baseball team was finishing a workout. Near the railroad tracks. A train rolled past. Three young ladies, students, walked home from school. A woman sat on a bench not far away. The trees. The flowers. So quiet and peaceful. Fer made it a threesome. He’s on the Sportswalk selection committee. He also is a Tillman Award winner who was a distance runner at San Pedro High, USC and the Air Force Academy. A pilot, he was a Vietnam POW. If anyone can relate to Joe Jr., he can. “What you are doing for Joe is (appreciated),” Joe Sr. said to him. “He was an average guy who was born in Torrance.” Father knows fate made his son a hero. He knows and feels deep in his bones his son was the best of the best, a comrade in arms with Tillman, and at the same time serves as representative of so many who put “their boots to the ground.” Fer looked Anzack in the eye and said of his son, “We’re lifting him up as a role model.” This is not about a President you may or may not like. It is not about a war you may or may not like. It is about a man who served his country. It is about men and women who serve their country. “You don’t want to be in war,” Anzack said. “Nobody in his right mind wants to be there. You’d rather be at the beach on a boogie board.” This does not hobble pride in a lost son. We get caught up in the Lakers, the Dodgers, the Angels and so on. We go on about how the city feels about teams. At moments like this, it is clear such thoughts are shallow at best. Anzack thinks of his son as a boy playing with slot cars, as an undersized but oh-so-determined defensive lineman who more than held his own against much larger opposing players, who earned the nickname “Psycho” from his teammates for his all-out play, who would have been proud when his dad bought the ranch where he plans to spend his “golden” years. He thinks of Joe’s sister, Casey, 16, who resisted when they moved. “She did not want to leave because of the memories,” he said. He sobbed softly without shame during the conversation. “My relationship with my daughter is more important than it ever was,” he said. Is it fair to take a father down this road of pain yet another time? “This is my duty,” he said without hesitation. “This is my honor. My Joseph. My son. My hero.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The afternoon was spent in serious, heartfelt conversation with Joe Anzack Sr. and John Fer. There was no joking. Joe Anzack Jr., formally Joseph J. Anzack Jr., will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Courage during the Sportswalk to the Waterfront induction Monday in San Pedro. It will be a posthumous presentation. Pfc. Anzack was killed in Iraq. He was 20. It was impossible not to see and think about the differences. The morning was spent tracking the latest installment of the endless Kobe Bryant soap opera. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Luke Walton joked. You know if it involves Bryant it is likely to start with frivolous and self-centered, and spiral downward from there. last_img read more

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