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John Grimek Master of the Dance – Iron Game History – April, 1999

The death of no other athlete-hero from my youth has touched me as deeply as the death of John Grimek. Sitting here at my Smith Corona a few hours after the word of John’s death echoed-back to me across the intervening miles, I can’t help thinking that the echo is really across years, rather than miles, and that the sadness I feel is almost as much for myself as it is for John: sadness for my lost youth and the evergreenness of a little boy’s infinite capacity for hope, for all that the magnificent Grimek embodied of even that puniest of boy’s capacity for wonder. Needless to say, this isn’t an unusual or original feeling. I’ve heard it confessed as often as I’ve talked to survivors who’re attempting to comprehend the seemingly disproportionate impact upon the young boy still alive in them (the young boy grown old and bald) on the occasion of a hero’s death.