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Goodbye and Thank You Ketchikan
By Richard S. Cropp


October 11, 2005
Tuesday PM

In about a week I will be leaving Ketchikan, my family will follow in mid-December. I am making every effort to say goodbye to the many people in Ketchikan that have made this one of the most rewarding periods of my life. In case I miss a few of you, please accept this writing as a fond farewell.

First, I want to thank my entire family at Clover Pass Christian Church including but of course not limited to Pastors Kevin Gould, Grant Smith, Mike Cooke, Ken Linder, and all your families. Clover Pass Church has been the center of our lives since our arrival in Ketchikan. A very special thanks to Becky English who for 3 years taught our daughter Brittany more than just academics. Also to our friends Virgil and Patsy English, Becky's parents.

Thank you and goodbye to the men and women of the Christian Pilot's Association. I am most confident of all that David and Amy Baxter will, with God's help, continue to grow and prosper this ministry. We will never be able to repay the kindness and generousity of Josh, Bubba, and Vance at Pacific Airways and to Clint Mclellan. Without these fine people N2580J would only be a dream.

To all my fellow coaches, players, and former players of the KAYHI Kings Football team, you have given me by far the most rewarding experience of my life. Thanks also to Rick Erdrich and Larry Ecklund for all your support for our team over the past 4 years. The team will one day become a "program" that we can all be proud of. A special thanks to the Ashcraft family for putting up with me on and off the football field. I am confident that with Coach Ashcraft and Coach Sean Simeral, the team will begin next season with it's highest expectations ever. To all coaches in every program, just keep your efforts focused on the kids, not yourselves. To all my boys, just remember its all about self-discipline. Your coaches cannot teach if you are not teachable. It is not your coaches job to get you to practice and do your school work, that is your job. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the coach of coaches, Rex Westergard, as well as his wonderful wife Sonja, who not only helped to !
build our team, but who invited me to be a part of it.

I know Ed Elliot has already moved on, but I know he also reads this from time to time. Thanks to you my friend for introducing me to half the town. See you in Oshkosh next year.

I know I missed many people, and I could list so many more, please suffice it to say that the past four years have been remarkable. This town is awesome only in part because of its location. It is special because of the men and women who work so hard every day to make it what it is. We certainly do not always agree, but we do get the job done. For those of you that have built your entire lives here, please do not let this town become owned by the tourist industry or manipulated by local politicians into believing that bridges and cruise ship docks, and jewelry stores are the future of this town.

If any of you end up in Southeast Georgia you will always have a warm bed and a place at my dinner table waiting for you.

May God Bless you all,

Richard S. Cropp
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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