Thursday, December 12, 2013
(Continued from page 2)
WELL DONE: Dick McGee, of Fairfield, former Colby College and Lawrence High School football coach, is largely credited with helping start up the Fairfield PAL leagues.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
“I wouldn’t be where I am if not for the PAL program,” Mike McGee said.
The highlight of the summer program was the free bus to the public swimming pool in Waterville. Kids with last names that began with the letters A through M went to the pool on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Kids whose last names began with N through Z took the bus on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Danny Bolduc was Danny Bolduc. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, he was Danny Zewinski. Bolduc’s childhood alias still rolls off his tongue.
“He did it so my brother and I could go to the pool. It was all with a wink and a nod,” Bolduc said.
Before taking over as PAL President, Buck ran the baseball program for 22 years. He’s served on the board for 30. Before that, Buck was a kid riding the bus to the pool, occasionally helping McGee pour water into the radiator to keep the bus from overheating before it could get to Waterville.
Even then, Buck realized the work McGee put in. That kind of effort inspires one to help. Before you know it, three decades have passed and you’re still lending a hand. Respect built from admiration lasts.
“Bruce, Rocky, they’re kind of turning into him,” Marcia McGee Goodhue, McGee’s daughter, said.
A place to play
If not for the respect McGee commanded in Fairfield, PAL may not have its wonderful athletic complex just off Fairfield’s Western Avenue. For years, PAL used fields where they could find them. In the mid-1990s, the board was looking for land with space enough for football, soccer, baseball and softball fields. McGee approached Doug Cutchin, who owned land that was perfect for PAL’s needs.
Had anybody but McGee approached Cutchin, the landowner may have hemmed and hawed, or simply said no.
“I wouldn’t have done it for anybody else. With Dick, there was no hesitation,” Cutchin said.
As he spoke, Cutchin searched for a baseball he was given to commemorate the new facility’s opening. The date is written on the ball, April 27, 1996.
“I am very fond of Dick. He’s done so much for this town,” Cutchin said.
In 2000, PAL named the fields in the facility after some of the people who helped build and shape the sports programs. The football field is Bill Donahue Field. The baseball field is George Taylor Field.
The complex is named after Dick McGee, the architect of it all.
“PAL is a source of great pride in this town,” Mike McGee said.
Added Buck: “I’ve been fortunate to know Dick. He’s affected a lot of lives in Fairfield.”
Sometimes, Perkins takes walks in the early evening. When she sees a child wearing a PAL t-shirt, a site she sees often, she sees her father’s influence.
“That always brings a smile to my face,” Perkins said.
Travis Lazarczyk – 861-9242