I just returned from a vacation with my family to the Caribbean. Living in Minneapolis, we had two flights to arrive at our final destination in St. Maarten, and all bets were off when traveling with a five and two-year-old. The alarm clock went off at 2:30am, and as any parent knows, when we finally sat down on the plane, Allison and I both looked at each other with a mutual feeling of accomplishment.
Of course, we'd both been on flights when one or both kids melted down for a good part of the ride. About 45 minutes in, however, I looked over, and all 3 (including mom) were out, with mouths wide open.
My gut feeling was that I, too, should join them in Slumberland, but then I thought, "it's rare that I get uninterrupted time like this."
I pulled out a book called, By the Grace of the Game by Dan Grunfeld. Dan attended Nicolet High School in suburban Milwaukee, a few hours from where I grew up. While I had heard Dan's name coming up on the prep basketball circuit, I certainly didn't "know him." Even a sliver of a connection, though, is often reason enough to pick up a book.
Over the course of the flight, our layover, and our final flight to St. Maarten, I read the whole thing. Throughout our vacation week, I had the opportunity to reflect and felt so strongly about it, that I reached out to Dan.
Dan wrote an incredible book. I talk a lot about "stories that matter." While not every story is easy to tell, Dan's courage to revisit his family's past, talk about the Holocaust, and pay homage to the incredible journeys of his grandfather, Apu, his grandmother, Anyu, his uncle, Lutzi, and his father, Ernie was both admirable and inspiring. This was a story that needed to be told, and frankly, it's a story that demands your time.
Please enjoy this special feature with Dan Grunfeld, who was kind to share his time, inspiration for writing the book, and why this was such an important story to tell.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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