One of the great things about being an announcer is all the people you meet. Be around long enough, and you’ll wind up announcing for professional athletes. Announce youth or high school sports, it’s possible you will announce for a politician’s or hall of fame athlete’s child, or future actor. For me, I got to
One of the great things about being an announcer is all the people you meet. Be around long enough, and you’ll wind up announcing for professional athletes. Announce youth or high school sports, it’s possible you will announce for a politician’s or hall of fame athlete’s child, or future actor. For me, I got to work with a former Executive Chef at the White House.
Walter Scheib was the tournament director for the National Capital Hockey Tournament, the Purple Puck, for a couple of years in 2005 and 2006. He was always around the rink, helping out. He loved to help out. There were times we’d need someone to do the scoresheet, or run a penalty box, and Walter was there. When it was time to give out the awards, Walter was there. When a team didn’t behave, Walt was the one to give them one more chance. If they took advantage of Walter, sorry, you’re not coming back.
Walter’s son, also Walter, played for the Gonzaga Eagles. In his time playing local hockey Walter helped with his son’s club teams, acting as manager and being at as many games as he could. All while holding recipes and ideas for dishes to serve the Clinton’s and Bush’s, along with their guests, some of the most powerful people in the world.
One of my favorite stories of Walter is when I found out what he did. He never strutted around like he was someone on the inside of politics. He was down to earth and a very straight forward person. One day, during a Purple Puck game, Walter was in the scorer’s box with me and I asked the question I ask pretty much everyone that works with me during the tournament.
“What do you do?” I ask.
“I used to be the executive chef at the White House,” Walter responded.
I remember being amazed that this guy next to me, in the penalty box of an ice rink, used to prepare the food for the President. A position he held for 11 years.
As the years would go on, Walter’s son would graduate and he would move on to bigger and better things. Whether it was Iron Chef, speaking tours, appearing on reality TV, writing cookbooks, or starting The American Chef, he was still Walter, the former Purple Puck director to me.
On June 13, 2015, Walter would go out on a hike near his new home in New Mexico and not be seen or heard again, until eight days later, Fathers Day, when his body was found near a hiking trail in Taos. It’s one of those things you simply don’t forget where you are. To a lot of people he was an amazing chef, to me, he was an awesome person who supported his son.
I found out about it by watching the news. It’s surreal that someone I know, someone I’ve announced for, and someone who knows my name, would be so well known that his death makes the news and travels across the internet.
One of the things I learned from Walt was to not hold back, tell it like it is. People won’t learn from you, unless you tell them what they need to know. And if they need to know they’re bad, tell them, but then help build them back up. That’s something I’ve done with my businesses over the last few years and it’s helped to make me a success.
Walt will be missed, and Gonzaga hockey has lost another shining light in less than a year.