From My Perspective
Mr. Green Genes

Playing In "The Big House"

I was out in my garden this morning and noticed that it was just a little less bright than it was the last time I was out there. The cause is likely that our community lost a valued and wonderful person this week and a person I was proud to call a friend. At 92 years of age Dr. William Nettleman left his earthly friends and moved on to his next mission. In 1972 after receiving my under graduate and graduate degrees from Michigan State University, I move back to my home town of Coldwater and soon became acquainted with an impressive doctor who had received his doctorial education from The University of Michigan. From then on throughout the years the two of us sparred over who had the better educational experience and which university was the better institution. I know for a fact that Dr Nettleman fired the first volley in this never ending battle. My youngest son was 6 and eager to play Little League baseball. Physicals were at that time conducted in the gym at one of the schools. My son made that mistake of getting in the line that lead to an examination by Dr Nettleman. While I am certain my son received a thorough examination, he also suffered what I am sure was one of the most traumatizing and degrading experiences of his early childhood. He arrived back home and to my utter surprise I found that this young boys innocence had been totally shattered as Dr Nettleman had placed, in permanent magic marker, just below the belt-line on his stomach a large block “M”. And so the battle began. At least once each spring the good doctor and his wife Sally would stop out to our greenhouse to buy some plants for his garden and for an opportunity to poke another jab at this true green Spartan loyalist. He would quip that it would be better to flunk out of U of M than to graduate from MSU. I noted that I had read that the football team would not have ice water at their home football games this season because the player with the recipe had graduated and took it with him. I tried for years to preach the gospel of the Red Cedar according to Sparty, but to no avail. Finally one spring day “Doc” showed up and sheepishly admitted that one of his close family members had accepted a position as a director at the MSU School of Medicine and he had not yet written them out of his will. To make such a revelation he had to bite his tongue, which bled true blue but there was also a sincere sense of pride shining in his eyes. This fall he called and wanted to know if I would place a bet with him on the outcome of the MSU – UofM football game. We wagered the total amount of a nickel. With reluctance he paid up after the Spartans “Crushed” the Wolverines. Thank you “Doc” for being a friend to this die-hard Spartan and to this community. Thanks for all you did to make this a better world for Wolverines and Spartans alike and to those who wander hopelessly following a school of different colors . You truly are one of ‘The Victors”. Enjoy your 50 yard line seats in “The Big House”. Go Green – Go Blue. I for one, will miss you.