I had just recently returned from the second of two thoroughly enjoyable family weekend events to find out the extremely bad news that Deets Winslow, a Sonoma Valley High School wrestling legend as both an athlete and longtime successful coach, was killed in a boating accident at Lake Berryessa, and, suddenly, life was put into perspective.
The fragility of life was exposed by the reality that every moment's precious, and I had to put my good feelings on hold so I could buoy myself for a tragedy.
As I wrote in last Friday's, Aug. 15, I-T front page story on Deets, his death was shocking news to the highest order to so many people who knew him and worked with him in the Valley, and especially the Sonoma Dragons wrestling program, which he made one of the best at the prep level in the North Bay and throughout Northern California.
It hadn't been long since Deets' took over the established and multi-title-winning Sonoma wrestling program from his father and name-sake, Roger Winslow, when I started as the I-T sports editor in 1991, and, being a life-long athlete, as well as a coach and a sports writer and columnist, I quickly connected with his dedication, drive and, especially, passion for his sport.
Up until his death I was still communicating with him about wrestling and covering his youngest son's youth grappling success – he coached his older son all the way to state – under his coaching and, though he had retired in 2010, his competitive, compassionate and unwavering heart for the boys and girls who wrestled for him still had a strong beat.