November 4, 2013

Letters to the editor: Football great meets today's players

Willie Greenlaw was invited to join the Portland High football team on Oct. 17 for their weekly Thursday night team dinner at the Portland Eagles Club at the request of the team members who wanted to meet the legendary running back.

click image to enlarge

Willie Greenlaw, who played at Portland High School and the University of Nebraska in the 1950s, will be among the inaugural inductees into the Portland High School Football Hall of Fame.

1999 file photo by Jack Milton

Greenlaw starred in football at Portland High in 1950,’51, and ’52. He went on to the University of Nebraska and played football for four years. In 1960, Willie joined the semi-pro Portland Sea Hawks football team, where he was an outstanding ball carrier for five years.

Willie spoke briefly to the PHS team.He urged them to go on to college and play college football. He congratulated them on their outstanding season this year, and told the backs to always thank their linemen who do not get enough credit. He answered the players’ questions with grace and dignity. He gave them a lesson in history. He told them that when his University of Nebraska team traveled to Southern states in the late 1950s for football games, his African-American teammates were not allowed to stay at the same hotel or eat their meals at the same table with their white teammates. He was opposed to those discriminatory laws and felt really bad for the way some members of his team were treated.

I played against Willie in high school as a center at Deering High School. I played with him as the Portland Sea Hawks center in 1960, ’61, and ’63. In my opinion, Willie Greenlaw is the best football player in the state of Maine in my lifetime.

Willie and six others will be the inaugural inductees at the 2013 PHS Football Hall of Fame banquet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.

It will be a proud moment for Portland High School football.

Gerald M. Davis

PHS Football Hall of Fame Committee

PHS retired history teacher (37 years)

Former PHS assistant football coach

Falmouth

More objectivity needed in discussion of insurance

M.D. Harmon’s column titled “Government steals from the young to give to the elderly” (Oct.25) begs for a response. Purchasing a product from an insurance company is not theft even if you are young and think yourself invincible. Insurance in all cases requires the more fortunate paying for the misfortunes of other subscribers. Would Mr. Harmon please submit an explanation of how health insurance is any different from life, auto or homeowner’s insurance? Would anyone describe auto insurance claims as thievery? Mr. Harmon’s assertion of “stealing” is absurd on its face and only serves to emotionalize yet another issue and deceive an already too divided citizenry. A person who claims to be a journalist (retired) should turn off the radio, attempt to be objective and report the truth.

John Graham

Woolwich

Does LePage place retirees in his ‘47 percent’ group?

Gov. LePage has complained that 47 percent of able-bodied Mainers do not work but he has yet to come up with documentation for this figure. I would point out that Maine is second only to Florida as a state favored for retirement. I am wondering if Maine’s retirees are counted among the unemployed. Most of us are still able-bodied and many contribute countless volunteer hours to our communities and those in need even though we are no longer considered employed.

Diane Schetky, M.D.

Topsham

Deluge of complaints on Obamacare premature

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