Donald J. "Ace" Coyle  
Thursday, October 9, 2003



Patenaude/ Webster
THURSDAY, OCT. 9 TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
So I've Heard Column


"Ace" is one of those appealing little terms that describes an expert in some activity.
Donald J. Coyle developed as an "ace" basketball and baseball player at the former St. Louis High School in Webster during the late 1940s and he carried the accolade through life with humor, humility and, most often, with a friendly smile.
Mr. Coyle, who died Oct. 2, was a sports missionary, leading semi-pro teams as a player and business sponsor, and through decades of one on one discussions.
"Ace" Coyle was a devoted husband and father, the guy that never stopped playing basketball, a hard working businessman, and probably the greatest athlete that ever came off Webster's May Street Playground.
Donald J. Coyle will be remembered by different people in different ways. While my recollections are from the panorama to his life, with all of his athletic accomplishments, they dilute to the deep and abiding faith that sustained "Ace" Coyle through his time on earth.
-oOo-
The new Webster Lake signs on Routes 12 and 193 are a visual improvement on the ones they replaced but, ouch, they're an "o" and a "h" heavy and a "u" and an "n" short.
Several people commented about the signs since they went up a few weeks ago, but Barry Thompson was the first to report the misspelling. Mr. Thompson is one of those rare persons that can take a blank sheet of paper and write the lake's 45 letter name-- Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg--in seconds.
He did it for me twice last week. Once as generally accepted, and then with "o" displacing "u" at the 20th letter and "h" instead of "n" at 38 on the count. Mr. Thompsom examined the Route 12 sign only but a visual check of the "Welcome to Webster" marker on 193 also projects the misspelling.
Well, the numbers are correct. The last time Webster Lake sign painters flunked Native American spelling, they added a "chog," pushing the lake letter count to an unprecedented 49.
-oOo-
The last I heard of Nancy Paradis, she was with a program that paired nursing and music. It had something to do with tempo therapy.
Her musical component was a success but Ms. Paradis left instrumental tones to others, her mother, F. Myrtle Burns-Paradis, said last week. "She's now an LPN at an AIDS medical clinic in Jersey City."
A New Jersey medical association sent a group of volunteers, including Ms. Paradis, to Africa recently to introduce the latest in clinical AIDS services, according to Mrs. Paradis. "They were there for three weeks. Nancy was in Uganda." She added, "I'm so proud of this."
-oOo-
Arthur "Chick" Pappas, long time owner of the former Big Apple fruits store, was in a town supermarket the other day, selecting plums, peaches, and nectarines.
I watched, searching for hints. Mr. Pappas made his selections by eye, finally balancing each part to his purchase. He noticed my interest: "Heft to size is what's important." Smiling, he added, "That's weight in case you don't know fruit talk."
Mr. Pappas' long time fruits store on Lake Street is now the site of a Golden Greek Restaurant.
-oOo-
A state building inspector visited Webster's School Street School in the fall of 1960, about a year before the building was closed.
School standards were marginal but patch and match was allowed because a school replacement project on Park Avenue was on schedule. Still, there was a problem that couldn't be overlooked. The front stairs had to replaced.
The school administration wanted to renew the decaying treads with similar ones. It was a matter of code or something, but the new stairs had to be substantial, and the inspector insisted on state standards. So the old school, vacated in September 1961, got some neat concrete steps.
The wood-frame school was torn down but the steps remained for decades, standing out of the ground until t
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