McAdoo Clan

This McAdoo genealogy blog has been created to share family information. It will be used to record genealogy data as well as to communicate family news.

My Photo
Location: Metuchen, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sports Parents-Jimmy's Approach

I read an interesting, but disturbing article in The York Times sports section today. Bill Pennington describes a recent incident at a private all-girls Catholic high school in Connecticut where a father upset that his daughter had been suspended for three softball games because she missed a game to attend a prom, clubbed the coach six times with an aluminum bat. He goes on to say that “youth sports experts are well aware of the trend toward a new category of confrontations-those between parents and coaches.” These experts point to one overriding factor as the cause-pursuit for college athletic scholarships.

While this may be true, I suspect it is really a more complex issue. Why we are as involved as spectators in our children’s or grandchildren’s sports activities? Is it to show support? Is it because we enjoy watching kids play or could it be we want our children to become who we were or were not in our youth? Maybe we can learn something from the way my dad approached my development as a swimmer.

When I was a young kid swimming competitively at the Germantown Y, I wondered why my dad never came to my meets as did so many other parents. He never attended my high school dual meets or college meets, until the Temple meet during my sophomore year. Most of you have heard me tell that story. He did attend the two most important meets of my career. They were the two times Central High School competed for the city championship.

It took me many years to begin to understand what he was teaching me. 1) You’re just a kid, have fun, you don’t need any more pressure from your father than what you get at home. 2) Go as far as you can on your own. 3) I’ll be there to support you at the really critical times.

Jimmy was such a competitive person and great coach that he could easily have made me a much better swimmer and probably have dominated my career, but he chose a different approach and I learned a valuable lesson.

I welcome your comments.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

McAdoo Irish Roots

I recently conducted a surname search using the research capability of the Irish Times, To access information about where McAdoo families lived in the 1850s, click on this link, then type McAdoo in the Surname Search box and click Go.

The data is relevant to my search for the birthplace of my great great grandfather, William McAdoo. He was born in Northern Ireland between 1830 and 1835. He immigrated to Philadelphia between 1848 and 1853.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Memories of Jimmy

While I continue researching information on the McAdoo, Smith, and Peel families, I have shifted my focus back to my dad during the past few weeks. I have started contacting Jimmy's former swimmers at Swarthmore College and asking them to recall some of their memories of him. I would like to share a portion of the notes I received from Bill Ehrhart and Don Cassidy.

Bill wrote, "I’m very glad to hear from you. There’s hardly a week goes by that I don’t have occasion to think of your dad, even after all these years. You may not know this about me—there’s no reason you should—but I arrived at Swarthmore only after three years in the U.S. Marine Corps including a combat tour in Vietnam. I was wrestling with demons my peers and classmates could not even begin to imagine. Indeed, even the adults around me, professors and whatnot, didn’t seem to have a clue; they never let on that John Milton and the Third Crusade and the anthropology of Nepalese village life weren’t the most important things in the world. My years at Swarthmore were lonely and difficult. Jimmy was one of only three people who understood that I was not like the other students. Jimmy was one of only three people at Swarthmore that I could ever feel comfortable with or talk to about things that mattered. I loved him then and love him still."

Don wrote, "During my lifetime, I have collected mentors to guide me through various stages in my journey from childhood to adulthood: my father, several teachers, several friends, supervisors in various work settings, and a variety of coaches were all such mentors. At the age of 51, I count Jimmy McAdoo among the most important mentors in my life. From fall, 1971 through spring, 1972, Jimmy was a gentle giant in my life. His unique leadership blended humor, work, and a deep respect for each of his swimmers for more than three decades. He told us stories. He told us that Swarthmore was an "ivy" school, and if we doubted it, we could look up to the ceiling of the ancient Hall Gym pool (where the men's and women's teams still practiced and competed before the new pool was built), and if we looked closely, we could see ivy growing through the cracks between the walls and the ceiling."