June 9, 2013

Steve Solloway: Wonderful time for wonderful man

(Continued from page 1)

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Marty Macisso, who has done it all for the Portland High softball team for 20 years, had it all done for him Friday night with a surprise party following the team's annual end-of-season dinner.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Marty Macisso was the state's poster boy for cerebral palsy in the mid-1950s, meeting with Gov. Edmund Muskie.

Courtesy photo

One night Marty missed the last bus from Boston. He ended up in the lobby of the Parker Omni House. "We got him a (credit card) after that," said his mom, Joan. "That's where he stays now. They know him by his first name."

Ferrante met Marty for the first time in grade school. "I was picking on him. I went up to him and asked why he talked so funny. He punched me in the mouth. I thought a guy who would stick up for himself like that would make a good friend." They have, for almost 50 years.

The Portland girls with Ferrante as coach won the state championship in 2004. Marty got his championship ring. Ferrante got a letter from Marty he can recite from memory. "He wrote about where we started and how we climbed the mountain together to the very top.

"That was Marty. I'd get frustrated by a loss and take it hard and Marty was right there, telling me about tomorrow and how everything will be all right."

Macisso did the same this year with a Portland team that didn't make the playoffs. "It's so gratifying being around Marty," said Libby, in his second year coaching the Bulldogs. "He's saying the things that need to be said. For the girls to hear his perspective on winning and losing helps all of us."

In holiday cards, Macisso typically writes this: "I'm doing fine, with no complaints!"

If only we all could say that.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveSolloway

 

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