During the summers for 1973 and 1974 my parents sent me to Pioneer Ranch near Tionesta, Pa., for football camp. There I learned from Penn State assistant coaches.
I yearned to be the best high school linebacker in my area (Corry, Pa.) so I worked closely with an up-and-coming Penn State linebacker coach named ... Jerry Sandusky. He was nothing but an inspirational figure to us young guys trying to prove our meddle. He was a great teacher of the position, had a wonderful sense of humor and a sparkling personality, an example of authentic manhood, or so it seemed.
Nothing happened at the camp that I know of or heard of regarding inappropriate behavior by Jerry or any of the other coaches.
But what has happened at Penn State, if it proves true, is sickening and disgusting. If the allegations are correct, Mr. Sandusky should not see the light of day outside a prison cell for the rest of his life.
Let us all be on guard constantly for the predators who are in our midst seeking to prey upon the most vulnerable in our society.
Don't fool yourself. They are indeed out there. No one should be trusted. Everyone should be checked out. Everyone should be supervised. Even "authorized adults" should not work alone with youth, but have another adult present. There should be no opportunities for these terrible things to happen. Lives are shattered when we are not vigilant.
The Rev. Dr. Rob Joy, pastor
Grace Church of Columbiana