Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Man at the Scorebook

Yesterday I received a call that stopped me in my tracks.  After years and years of service to the Belmond and then the Belmond-Klemme School system, Doug Dana has passed away. 

If any of you are familiar at all with BK athletics and activities, you know Doug.  He's been a staple of our family long before I joined in.  Doug's attributes are many, and this isn't the place to list or discuss all of those wonderful qualities.  It is my hope, however, to express what a positive impression he has made on me in a very short time.  In doing so, please note that Doug was the first person that I really remember meeting from Belmond-Klemme.

During the 2009-2010 school year, I had the opportunity to instruct a handful of young men in the sport of basketball.  One of the trips that we made was to Belmond, Iowa and the Belmond-Klemme Jr/Sr High School Gym.  To my belief, this was the first time I had been to this complex and specifically the gym.  As the girls team prepared to take the court, some of the boys players and I roamed the student center, bought a few treats and "supper" from the concession stand, and happened to gather near the trophy displays.  As we discussed the photos and awards in the case, we tried to determine the year that the Belmond and Klemme  schools officially joined into one school, or at least one team.  While we pointed and asked each other questions, an individual shuffled up behind us and joined the conversation.  Not only did he identify the answers to our questions, he proceeded to point to teams and individuals in the pictures and relay their team and individual statistics.  In all honesty, it was my initial belief that he was making up numbers and statistics on the fly, but then he actually repeated a few of them in the list he was giving us, and I realized that he really did have all of this information in his head.  It was probably close to 15 minutes that we talked, the athletes and myself standing in awe of the statistical capability we were seeing displayed.  Then with a simple, "Well, I better get going - got a job to do," the man quietly walked away with our thanks and basic best wishes. 

A few minutes later, the team and I went in to support our girls' team, and the starting lineups began.  With a clarity and confidence, the teams were introduced and I noticed that the person doing so was the same person from the hallway.  I now knew the job he was going to do when he left us by the trophy case.  What really hit me was after the National Anthem was sung, I wholeheartedly expected to see him leave the position he had taken to introduce the teams.  Instead, I realized that this same man was also keeping the scorebook.  I'll tell you that the boys' game came down to a final shot and that it was a tornado of activity from the beginning, meaning an intense time at the scorer's table.  I didn't talk to him after the game, but I did see him pack up and leave the gym - now knowing that in all likeliness he was heading to the office to call in scores and finalize stats for the coaches.

Is there anything flat out "amazing" in all of what he did on this evening?  Outside of the impressive statistical mind and memory, probably not.  But at the time I was impressed.  Now later I am even more impressed as I think about how he did this day in day out, night after night, activity after activity, year after year.  In just one night, I personally experienced a helpful ambassador, an announcer, a statistician, and a scorekeeper that did what was needed to make that particular evening work.  More than that, to me, he made it a memorable one, and I appreciate that very much.  I've always enjoyed experiencing someone doing a job well, whatever that job may be, and Doug Dana did just that.  I'll smile when remembering a lot about Doug, and he'll always be the "Man at the Scorebook" to me.

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2 comments:

Marshall said...

Funeral services for Doug Dana will be held on October 28th at 4 o'clock pm in the Belmond-Klemme Junior/Senior High School Gym.

Anonymous said...

Life well lived is a reward in itself. Celebrate Doug's life on October 28th and continue to live life well in his honor.

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