I wasn’t going to write about this, because I viewed it as a wonderful personal gesture made out of friendship and decency, not something done for any kind of publicity. However, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal has written about it, so I thought I’d add my two cents’ worth.
On Saturday, we had a celebration service for Aunt Bebe. To our surprise and delight, former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was there. He had established a correspondents’ relationship with Aunt Bebe, as Ridenour describes, and he also visited Aunt Bebe in her final days. He wanted to pay his respects and share some thoughts about her.
What’s more, Coach Tressel was there even though he was squeezing his visit between an important morning meeting for the University of Akron, where he currently works, and an equally significant impending family obligation. Many people — even those who aren’t famous — would have begged off without a second thought. Not Coach Tressel!
It was a kind and classy gesture by a kind and classy man. We in Aunt Bebe’s family appreciated it, not only because it help to celebrate a loved one’s life but also because it showed there are still good people in the world. It helps to be reminded of that from time to time.
Jim Tressel is one of those good people. Thank you, Coach Tressel, for your thoughtfulness and kind gesture!