Cal Declines Offer by Washington Redskins, Alberta Rossi
I remember distinctly the dinner Adela (Rogers St. Johns) arranged to have Cal meet George Marshall, owner and president of the Washington Redskins, after the Redskins drafted Cal. I was there as was Mr. Marshall’s wife, Corrine Griffith, a former movie star and Adela’s close friend. Mr. Marshall was amazed when Cal said “No thank you, Mr. Marshall.” Cal told him he intended to go to school until he received a teaching credential and hoped to coach football on the high school level.
Way back, when Cal and I were seniors in high school, as friends we talked of our futures, never realizing they would be entwined. I asked, “What do you want to do after the war and college?” His response was “I want to be constructive toward helping people.” At that time, he did not mention helping through teaching. I think I fell in love that day!
Cal’s Decision to Coach in Visalia, Alberta Rossi
About Cal’s choice to apply for the Visalia position. Cal must have checked openings in the state for teaching-coaching positions. He did tell me he wanted a small town, maybe something similar to Santa Barbara. When he told me where Visalia was located, I told him that since his mother’s family was from the Bakersfield area and he was familiar with the area to go ahead and apply. Driving through town before his meeting at the high school, he said, “I like what I see.” And so did I. Cal’s meeting with Mr. Bell (sup’t. of schools) and Mr. Beiden (asst. coach) made his decision come quickly–this was the place to start his career!
Cal had a friend who had a vacation house at Three Rivers and had told Cal that it was a nice area in the state. Little did we know at that time Three Rivers would be our vacation spot to take our children camping. Camping became our life style for vacations when our children were growing up and Three Rivers was our choice. There was an area where the children could get on a rock and slide into the river, and they always looked forward to that spot. We, also, rented a cabin at Sequoia a number of times.
My best friend from high school lived in Reedley, and I did not know where Reedley was located at that time. Jean saw the article in the paper about Cal getting the coaching job at Visalia High School–she called the school to leave a message and her phone number for me. One phone call to Jean and we were back to seeing each other as often as we could–that is called serendipity!
I must say that if I had not become pregnant, we would have stayed in Visalia longer. Our neighbors were great and we loved the town and everyone at the high school. But, we did not lose contact with some special students! Our year in Visalia has always been special in our hearts and minds and the continuing friendships a plus in our life.