Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jack McFadyen’

Jack McFadyen with his children, Jason and Aleshia. (All photos courtesy McFadyen family)

He was a decent man.

In a world where so many are not, I can think of no better way to describe Jack McFadyen.

The Navy brought him to Whidbey Island, along with wife Carmen, the spice to his sugar, and the couple spent decades helping make Coupeville a better place.

I arrived on The Rock in ’89 and first came to know of the duo during my early newspaper freelance days.

Later, in the fall of ’94, I walked into Videoville, and vowed to never leave my movie cocoon again.

Well, made it to 2006, which is a good run.

During those 12 years, my appreciation for the McFadyen family and the man who stood at the center of things, grew by leaps and bounds.

Pops with the grandkids a few years back.

Jack was a frequent visitor, with family and alone, sometimes to get movies, and sometimes just to hang out and class the joint up.

He was a rarity, a man who could softly needle you, then, with a huge smile, make the person he was talking to know he loved them.

And I mean that last part.

Some people are friendly, are easy-going, brighten the day of everyone they meet.

Jack went beyond that.

When he left the store, there would be a moment when you realized he really, truly loved others.

His family meant everything to him, but friend or stranger, Jack welcomed all with an embrace, whether physical or in words, which elevated all who were touched by it.

You had to be a pretty big ass for Jack to not like you.

Thankfully, as far as I know, I always stayed on his good side — even if he hated a movie I recommended — and, for that, I am grateful.

In the time between the days when he cheered his kids, Aleshia and Jason, as they wore the red and black of CHS, to my entrance into video store life, Jack was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.

That meant he lost his larynx and used a “voice box” to speak.

It can’t have been easy, but Jack, every time I saw him, used that as a positive.

He thought it was hilarious to come up behind people at the video store counter, especially young children, and then speak with his “robot voice.”

The kids would have to be scraped off the ceiling, and then, after a great bout of chuckling, Jack would use the opportunity to tell the whippersnappers why they shouldn’t follow his path as a smoker.

His words, given with love, had a measurable impact.

The eyes of the children widened (and more than a few parents suddenly discovered someone in the store was chopping onions) and you knew this was a lesson few would forget.

Now, no one is perfect, and Jack was a deeply-committed Husky football fan, when we know Cougars rule, and the U-Dub drools.

But we’ll overlook that fact.

He was a kind and loving man, one concerned with the lives and well-being of all around him.

He served his country with great honor and distinction.

He was, and always will be, a treasured part of my Videoville memories.

Today, he joins the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, inducted as a Contributor, remembered for his enduring passion as a Wolf fan and supporter, and as an integral part of our community.

After this, when you wander past the Legends tab at the top of the blog, you’ll find him hanging out, along with son Jason and a whole lot of people who would agree with the final sentence of this story.

Love you, Jack.

Carmen and Jack.

Read Full Post »