Happy Birthday to my good friend Pedie McDonald. It’s hard to believe he’s going to be 60 years young! It seems like only yesterday I shared his 50th birthday with him.
I have had a special relationship with Pedie and his parents, Peyton and Peachy, over the years. It began when I was a young Lancer playing basketball for CI, Coach Insinger, and football for Coach Ken Robbins. Pedie was always around as a team manager and assistant coach.
Pedie is just flat out a great person, full of life and energy. Always so positive no matter the situation, always there for the team no matter the outcome of the game. I especially enjoyed the dinner his Mother Peachy would prepare for the basketball team each year. The McDonalds would have us over to their house to share friendship, fun, and a great spaghetti dinner. Thank you, Peachy.
My love for my brother Pedie continued after I graduated from Loyalsock. Anytime I would see him at a sporting event or just run into him somewhere, he was just so happy to see me, and we would catch up on everything. Next up were some of my favorite times shared with Pedie. My sons Jimmy and Hunter have known him from the time they began wearing cleats and basketball sneakers to enjoying those dinners with Pedie at his home while in high school.
We had so much fun during those Little League days. Pedie was always nearby, and very complimentary of my teams. He loved it when we played Crouse’s coached by Paul Roman. That was the big rivalry. Tip of my Loyalsock Little League cap to Paul because he got the best of my teams almost every time. These great games were a special time in Jimmy and Hunter’s Little League experience. Pedie would usually start out on my side of the field and would end up with Paul’s team celebrating another championship. And rightfully so, both were Loyalsock teams, and Pedie was the ambassador of Loyalsock Little League.
I often included Pedie like he was one of my players or coaches after games. One of my favorite memories is when my team went to Rivals after a game. It just happened to be karaoke night. Of course, many of my players participated, and even a couple of coaches. But the star of that karaoke night was Pedie McDonald when he belted out Sweet Home Alabama. Best karaoke performance ever!
We were fortunate to share many championships from Little League right on through high school with Pedie. He is definitely Loyalsock’s number one sports fan and would be in attendance at every game. Whether it is a District Championship Little League baseball game, District Championship Lancer basketball game, or State Championship Lancer baseball final, Pedie always kicks it up a notch when there’s a title on the line. He has won more District Championship medals than any player or coach in the history of Loyalsock Township Athletics. If you ask Pedie what the best one was? He would answer the next one!
Pedie’s cheer during a Lancer basketball game of, “Never, never make it, shoes untied!” is legendary. You wouldn’t believe how many conversations have been struck up during my travels, beginning with “How is Pedie?” Everybody around the state and beyond knows him! Did I mention that any time I need to know about a player, current statistics, or what the league standings were, I always ask Pedie. He has it covered from high school to college to the professional level. He’s got a brilliant mind and loves athletic competition.
Pedie is a special person that can talk to anyone at any time and make their day better — this while being completely honest. That’s hard to do when you’re around as many athletic teams and coaches as he is. I remember after losing a tough baseball game, Pedie’s words to me were, “Tough game, tough game, buddy. Should have changed pitchers. You have anyone else that could pitch?” Yes, I did, and he was absolutely right. His timing might not have been the best, but how in the heck do you get upset with Pedie McDonald? Besides, he does the same thing to CI, who has won 1,000 games. By the way, what an amazing thing CI did bringing Pedie on board with the Lancer basketball team years ago.
Pedie is an example of a person giving love and kindness to his fellow man and all that is good in humanity, giving it right back. He exemplifies the phrases “everyone is special in their own way” and “make the most of every day,” along with “his motor just doesn’t stop running.” This is true even as he’s turning 60!
We can learn a lot from the Pedie McDonald story. It begins with Peyton and Peachy’s love of their amazing child. This love then being shared every day within the community they call home. As the years pass, this love extends out, touching more people than imaginable.
So make sure you wish Pedie a Happy Birthday! His journey is one that he continues to share with so many folks. A heartfelt thank you to everyone for all the caring, friendship, and love that you have shared right back with Pedie and his family over the years.
God Bless America.