Dear Raymond Abbott,
We were just two individuals who shared a passion for hockey and art. It was almost sacrilegious of us to form a close bond; my roots are deeply embedded in the streets of Long Island, the grit and grind of the common man, the underdog’s mentality-while you on the other hand are the gold standard for excellence, the Canadian dream, a winner in every sense of the word. But the1993 conference finals don’t mirror real life, and we so much more than our hockey teams. The greatest lesson you ever taught me was; why stand on a mountain of a thousand men, when you can share the top with each one.
I vividly remember walking into your classroom for the first time; how my eyes were drawn to the “miracle on ice” poster that hung in the back of the room, and the little collectables that decorated your old wooden desk. It was the epitome of what a man cave should look and feel like. Throughout my three years at Holy Cross you taught me social studies, and art, however, as every good teacher knows, it’s not always about teaching the curriculum, but rather sharing real life experiences so that a newer generation can be prepared for the outside world. Your stories never ceased to inspire me, it was truly something to special to behold.
Being halfway through my first year of university, I can’t help to reflect on my time as a Holy Cross Crusader. We weren’t the biggest school, but we had heart, we weren’t in the most modern environment, but we had some amazing people inhabit it. You sir, were the catylist of our success, and one of-if not the main reason so many students tolerated school. You took a 13 year-old boy, and you humbled him, you showed him to love everyone, no matter their social status, ethnic background, or intelligence level, and for that I am beyond grateful. How poetic is it that my last memory of Holy Cross was a group hug that involved me, you, Mr. Tizzard, Mr. Colombe, and Mr. Sharpe. It was definitely a swan song to remember, a Kodak moment that will forever be etched in history.