Thunder Mountain High School senior Chase Darbonne wins the Division I boys long jump during the Region V Track & Field Championships, Saturday, at TMHS. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School senior Chase Darbonne wins the Division I boys long jump during the Region V Track & Field Championships, Saturday, at TMHS. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Pure Sole: To his father

You sir have a fine young man.

I don’t know much about you.

But I know a lot about your son by my interactions with him.

I know he is the athlete teams need to be of highest character. I know this by conversations with his coaches.

I know this by conversations with teachers and administrators.

I know he can draw a crowd together. I know this by watching a wild set of drum sticks move an entire gymnasium to musical euphoria.

I know he has discipline, is steadfast, a captain, a leader, is funny, is quiet, is thoughtful and loving and so much more. I know this because coaches, teammates, teachers, peers and family said so.

I know he misses you. I know this because when you passed suddenly last week, with so much of his life still eager to be shared with you, he walked among his peers and mentors and fans and shouldered emotions and accepted comfort… he faced adversity and loss… he faced opponents… on a weekend where you, in a perfect world, would be cheering his every jump or sprint, where you would watch him move a tassel aside and toss his cover into the sky… he was doing for you what you had done so long for him.

You appreciated him, now he was appreciating you.

I know this because he said, “I am doing this for him.”

And his eyes showed a first step, a first word, a catch, a fish, a laugh, a fall, a hug…

I know he misses you.

I wish I had known you and could have told you so.

“Pure Sole” is a column written by longtime reporter Klas Stolpe. Contact him at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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