Ted Sillanpaa gone at 60. Sometimes Droll, always entertaining.
Witty, Sarcastic, Shrewd and in his own way, Brilliant. I met Ted at Eureka High when he was editor of the Eureka High School Redwood Bark paper. I was a junior writer and I thought the guy was arrogant. I noticed girls in class were gaga over him and he seemed aloof to their calls for attention. To really put a great impression on me, he assigned me to do a Eureka High golf story with Mr. Darling and I knew nothing about hitting a ball with sticks into holes. He was dating Amy Waldsmith at the time, so I did give him kudos for that. Truth be known, I was kind of jealous of Ted. He seemed so confident and focused.
Little did I know until letter in life that he suffered his demons like the rest of us. He was actually shy and not at all overconfident. Some of his writing for the Time Standard seemed to take "Scorch and Burn" attitude on some local issues. He was not afraid to share his feeling and points of view. I got to hear from plenty from the public locally and it seemed that Ted was persecuted for his coaching techniques in youth baseball, football and basketball as well as for his writing. I had to hear people talk about his favoritism with his sons Trent and Tyren, when in reality they were very talented and approachable young men. My son Jacob played basketball for Ted and I witnessed no favoritism and he was beyond fair.
I played Recreation ball with Ted and he was always very retrospective of the players playing and good at taking in the moment. I am sure he thought I took things way to serious.
Anyways, this is a poignant time to reflect a good man who loved his family, was a great coach, fantastic writer and master observer of people. He loved his children and was so proud of Trent, Tyren, Kyndall and Kellen with all his heart.