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Johnny, we're glad we knew ye

March 22, 2012 - Rob Weaver
I was working a desk slot Tuesday evening (why we name jobs after furniture in this business, I don't know), so I was proof reading obituaries and death notices when I came across one that made me pause.

John J. Jacobs, 60, of Fostoria, died Monday.

The emotion I felt was one of sorrow, certainly, but it was tinged with a sense of innocence lost. There is a void left in this world that used to be occupied by Johnny.

I had met Johnny the same way many otherwise grown men had met him over the years -- at the softball fields in Fostoria's Meadowlark Park, while trying to revive or at least relive the days of our youth.

I passed the word to John Montgomery when he arrived in the newsroom; he and Dan Rinaman, a press operator, and I are the only members left at The A-T from the seasons of playing men's softball. Fond memories, to be sure, but the best moments were when Johnny was there to offer good-natured (and much deserved) heckling during our games.

I still can hear his voice. "C'mon, Green Machine! Quit throwing the ball around out there!" My favorite memory stems from a short spell when, to save money, the scoreboards at the field were inoperable. And there was Johnny, standing near the idle equipment, signaling the count, score and outs.

I cherish those evenings spent playing ball (lousy though we were) at the park, and they were made brighter by Johnny's presence. I feel blessed to have experienced them.

And I count Johnny as a blessing.


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