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Remembering Mac

He shared his passion for archery

Mr. Mac had many talents. His musical abilities made him well-known, and brought him into contact with many people throughout his life. Unfortunately, I left Peterborough after graduating from ConVal in 1972, so my time with Mr. Mac was limited, and didn’t involve music. My first memories of Mr. Mac don’t relate to music, but to one of his other talents: archery.

In the fall of 1967, when I was in eighth grade, I started taking archery lessons from Mr. Mac right beside the old elementary wing. I had had toy bows and arrows, but Mr. Mac showed me what archery was really about. I learned form and techniques from him that I have never forgotten. One day, after watching me shoot, Mr. Mac came up to me and told me that I was holding my anchor point too long. But then he paused and said, “On the other hand, if you can shoot that well doing it that way — never mind!”

Behind his house in Dublin, Mr. Mac had set up an amazing archery course. As you’d expect from Mr. Mac, he welcomed his archery students, like me, to come and use it. In 1974, while attending college in Florida, I participated in the Southeastern Regional Archery Tournament. In all my years, I’ve won exactly one trophy. I got a third place trophy that day using the archery skills I’d first learned from Mr. Mac.

During the last year of Peterborough High School (’69-70), Mr. Mac was my sophomore homeroom teacher. Mr. Mac was a legend, and a small few of us had the privilege of calling his drafting classroom our homeroom. It didn’t get much better than that! Like anyone who went to PHS back then, I have memories of Mr. Mac’s voice booming across the old cafeteria. When he wanted your attention, you gave it! If you didn’t want to be humiliated, you didn’t give him any attitude. And yet, everyone respected and loved him, because we knew that he wanted the best for us, he cared for us, and that he loved us.

The tremendous outpouring of affection for Mr. Mac on Facebook makes it clear that few of us will ever touch as many lives as he did. I hadn’t seen Mr. Mac in decades. Yet when I heard that he was gone, I was deeply saddened. Thank you, Mr. Mac, for touching my life.

Loring Prest currently lives in California, Pa.

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