Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Mike Grier Remembrance

You may recall that just before the Thanksgiving holiday I wrote, HERE, about the plan to unveil a plaque for my neighbor, Mike Grier, at Newport Harbor High School.  That ceremony took place on Thursday, November 20th, on the pool deck at the school.  You can read Matt Szabo's excellent account of that event from the Daily Pilot, HERE.  I wrote about Mike's passing HERE.

Before a small gathering of family, friends, neighbors and team mates, Newport Harbor Athletic Director Mike Zimmerman unveiled the plaque honoring the memory of Michael Stanley Grier for his outstanding accomplishments as a water polo player, not only for Newport Harbor High School, but for his accomplishments in college at Pepperdine University and on the world scene.  A similar plaque will also be mounted inside Heritage Hall, and a scholarship will be created in Mike's name.
Mike Grier was a neighbor of mine.  In fact, he was the very first person I saw the day we moved into our Eastside Costa Mesa neighborhood over 41 years ago.  I looked down the street as I was hauling stuff into the house from my car and saw this strapping young fellow in shorts and a t-shirt - a nice looking kid.  As it turns out, that was just about the time he began swimming and playing water polo.

Mike's father, Stan Grier, spoke to us briefly about his son and his life beyond water polo.  His daughter, Emma, shared her memories of her father.

 "THE BELL"...
Team mate John Layman told us about his recollections of Mike and shared with us the story of the bell he brought with him.  It was to be rung once each time a member of their championship team passed.  Layman pulled the cord and rang the bell in honor of Mike.

Among those who attended was family friend Marian Bergeson, whose son, James, was a team mate and Mike Grier's best friend.  She is shown here with Mike's mother, Jane.
Also attending were John Dobrott, James Bergeson, and legendary coach Bill Barnett - all shown here with Layman.  As I looked at the signs around the pool deck displaying the names of so many great swimmers and water polo players I had to smile. 

Mike Grier was a terrific athlete, a loving husband and father, devoted son and brother and a great friend.  He was a young man who reached the pinnacle of success as an athlete, was a successful businessman and a loyal friend.  He left us at age 51 - much too soon.  I'm proud to have known him and will miss him.

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Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

This afternoon I received this communication from a friend and former teammate of Mike Grier who had just heard of his passing. He asked that I post it on this blog entry.

hi. Mike was a great friend and team mate. he was a fellow newport beach life guard. I just learned that he passed in 2013. this is what you should know about mike. please read this with my condolences and a heavy heart.

Mike you were a great friend and an incredible water polo player. I just found out as I have my own 8 + year health battle going on and have no memory of the last 2+ years. Mike, my daughter a swimmer from UC Santa Cruz and a state lifeguard, Jena met you when she was 2. she's now a swim coach at Newport Aquatics and she let me know about your plaque and you had passed away. I'm devasted and remembering all the great times we had together and the tough training we went through to win CIF. Above all you were a great friend and a tremondous person. Thanks for all!!

I'm so sorry to you Angela and Emma as well as Stan and Jane and your sister, you'll all be in my deepest thoughts and prayers

May God Bless and be with you all

Drew Cree '79

6/14/2015 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Angela G. said...

Drew, thank you for your kind words, thoughts and memories about Michael. They will be added to the book that I am creating for our daughter, Emma. Because of her young age when Michael passed - stories such as yours will help her to know who her dad was as she get older. I thank you. Angela

4/04/2016 01:05:00 AM  

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