Vin's People: Southeast head coach devoted 40 years to school, students

November 8, 2013 

One of our town's coaching legends will spend his final Friday night roaming the home sidelines when the Southeast Seminoles play host to the Palmetto Tigers.

Paul Maechtle is retiring and will be honored at Kiker Memorial Stadium, where he spent an incredible 40 years, including 32 as head coach.

A postgame gathering of Paul's peers and proteges will be at Gecko's, 310 State Road 64 E., Bradenton.

• Please remember Jane Evers in your prayers.

• Cortez author Joe Crawford signs his new book, "Arianna and the Spanish Sardines," Saturday at the Boatyard Bash at the Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St. W.

As in his previous book, "Nathan and the Stone Crabs," Crawford keeps it here, writing about Arianna visiting her grandfather in the fishing village of DeSoto on Perico Island. Arianna learns about bait fishing by hauling up Spanish sardines and finds out about local history and local landmarks.

"These are fun books with several more coming along until I run out of grandchildren -- and fishing crafts to write about," Crawford said.

• That's 44 years of wedded bliss for Robert and Barbara Howard. Cheers from children Ron, Cherie, Shane and Nate.

• A salute to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Ingraham, promoted on Oct. 1 at Forward Operating Base Tagab in Afghanistan. Ingraham is a squad leader with the 10th Mountain Division.

• Darlene Stewart, the "Belle of North Baltimore, is 77 years young. Cheers from husband Jack and daughter Brenda Smith.

• Good to see Billy Rice at Taste of Manatee. The longtime Manatee County musician is recovering from neck surgery.

• Big ups to Michael Ohlman, the 2013 Topps/MiLB Carolina League Player of the Year. The Frederick Keys catcher won the league batting crown (.313), took first with a club record slugging percentage (.524) and was third in on-base percentage (.410). Over 100 games the ex-Lakewood Ranch Mustang had 29 doubles, 13 homers, 53 RBIs and a .934 OPS.

• Esther Parker is 39. Again. Cheers from Jim, Sue, Kristin, Isaiah, Al

yssa, Cody and Camden.

• Who says you can't go home again? Not Pinebrook/Ironwood resident Toni Swanson, who took a trip back in time.

Accompanied by husband Myke, Toni was guest of honor for homecoming at Christopher High School, Christopher, Ill., where she was homecoming queen more than 60 years ago.

It was a two-day celebration beginning with Toni serving as grand marshal at the Main Street homecoming parade Friday and then at the half-time parade that night.

She was also honored at the homecoming dance.

Toni was 88 going on 18 that weekend.

Vin's People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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