Vic Tafur page 1 the Chron has a puff piece on former Hayward High great Jack Del Rio, 51, the new Raiders head coach. I distinctly recall asking my former The Dartmouth colleague Lisa M. Sndyer, a Hayward ’83 about Jack, back in the day. I first heard of Jack Del Rio because he was on an all-star team, real or journalistic, with my teammate Kent Lockhart.
I actually rang Lisa Snyder, now an attorney in Boston, to try to get her reminiscences about Jack. Or just to hear myself talk on her voice mail play-back. I may have seen Lisa at the 200th anniversary of student press at Dartmouth, circa 1997 or the reunion of “The D” staffers in New York circa 1998, or at one of the two reunions I went to that include my and her classes, more or less.
Someone once said journalism or writing is sitting down, taking out a razor and letting yourself (metaphorically, not literally) bleed; that plus a certain amount of sussing around the internet and free long distance cell phone calling, well I get a kick out of this.
I wish I could say I thought of Lisa Snyder while watching Kathleen Turner portray Molly Ivans at Berkeley Rep but that might be what Mark Twain would call “a stretcher”.
edit to add: here are links to the article and also to a law firm page connected to Lisa. I hope she at least does not object to me writing about her, even so indirectly. The best would be if, despite her busy schedule, she wants to call me back —
and1, or the heart of the matter: I did hear back from Lisa Snyder, managing partner of her law firm, married for 20 years to our schoolmate Jeff Foster (not Jeff Hoover and not Foster the musician in Shaggy and the Hackers) who shared, for 20 minutes (costing her firm about $300 or more dollars, I’m sure) warm and vivid memories of overlapping even for two years, Jack Del Rio at Hayward High. She is not a sports fan, but said her uncle mentioned to her Jack’s big news. She knew him not, as surmised, via the student newspaper — Tafur reports that in addition to 3 sports Del Rio was sports editor — but Spanish class.
“He wrote in my yearbook, ‘Gracias, Isabella’ — that’s my name in Spanish — ‘for helping me get thru Spanish!'” Snyder says, 34 years later. I made a joke about Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect, positing that if not for that there might be no USC scholarship, no Saints, Chiefs, Cowboys, Vikings and Jaquars and Jack Del Rio might be merely a popular P.E. Teacher at his Alma Mater. (Actually, what I did not get to, but it flashed thru my mind — and although we quickly glossed our colleagues Scott Rafshoon, Ellen Glaser, Esther Schrader, Keith Boykin, Stevie Losee, Ben Clements, Mike Pinneault, — and it is a bit of a red herring, even by Plastic Alto standards, but The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine reports that Brad Ausmus, Dartmouth ’91, that is to say, not overlapping with Lisa or I, now a Major League Baseball manager, was called by Professor Roger Masters one of the ten most memorable students, that even though he was a jock — and signed to the bigs, and did not play for Dartmouth — I am talking Brad Ausmus not Jack Del Rio, if you excuse me, and Del Rio did catch Randy Johnson, of Livermore, at USC baseball — Ausmus was very scholarly, and definitely fit to manage athletes and sport as a business.
I am sure that Jack Del Rio has a lot of those same qualities, of Lisa, the law firm manager, and Ausmus the former A-cite govy student, and wish him all the best. I may actually take in a game, first time since Alex Cheng, Jim Gonzales and I took in Raider-Broncos circa 1988. My dad took me to about 20 Raiders games between 1974 and 1978, and I have an autograph book to prove that.
I suggest Lisa Snyder hit up Jack Del Rio for seats to the next Raiders-Pats game in Foxboro — even if she’s not a fan, it could in theory generate business for her firm. Or more immediately hit him up when you come back to visit family here in the Bay Area and your firm’s Manion Gaynor Manning’s SF office. That how we roll, sister.