Archives For Legacy

On July 10th, my high school golf coach, Loren St. Lawrence passed away. He had valiantly fought cancer for the past eight years. As St. Lawrence put it, “I got cancer but cancer didn’t get me.”

It had been many years since I had last seen “Coach”. We stayed in touch primarily through writing. He was a regular encourager of me even years after he moved back to his home in Oregon and would almost always write back commenting on this blog.

He lived a “brilliant life”.

He was a devoted husband to his wife Barbara.

He was an acclaimed and adventurous race car driver.

He was a tenacious marketer.

He was a fine, honorable golfer.

He was a counselor and mentor to numerous high school students.

He was a successful high school golf coach, leading my high school team to State.

He was not a father per se but he adopted countless high school students through mentoring.

I am one of those students. To me, he was “Coach”, my mentor. 


John Marecek, Rick Ewing, and I with Coach at the 1996 State tournament with Coach.

John Marecek, Rick Ewing, and I with Coach at the 1996 State tournament with Coach.

The very first day I moved from Kansas City to St. Louis in 1993, he found me and brought me into his office. I felt little hope before that time as a lost, shy freshman. He immediately plugged me in with Rick Ewing and the golf team and the rest is history. The next four years, Coach invested in me and helped shape me into a confident leader, eventually captaining our team. I am writing this while Open Championship (The British Open) is being played, which is fitting. Coach called me “Radar” because I had the uncanny ability to find missing golf balls. It always makes me laugh because I have lousy eyesight and I just thought I was lucky.
My friend Rick Ewing hanging out with Coach in his office in-between classes.

My friend Rick Ewing hanging out with Coach in his office in-between classes.

Our high school was a public school and our golf team had to compete with the most elite private schools of the St. Louis area. We had a big chip on our shoulder because of this fact and were driven to win but we didn’t know how. Coach recognized this and when he took over as coach he was committed to making our program as elite or better than the private schools. He was impeccably organized to ensure we trained well to compete. He tracked details of how we scored in our rounds including fairways hit, greens in regulation, and tracking putts. These details were usually only captured by college coaches. He even made us look good with better uniforms, bags and club covers. Coach organized spring break trips (with the great help of parents) to go to Florida to play when it was snowing back home. This helped us to keep our game sharp before the heat to the Spring season and were prepared to win. We won our conference tournament four years in a row, sent team members to state every year, and eventually sent our whole team there our senior year. Our senior year he began a new tournament that would serve as a mid-season NIT and we invited all of the top teams in St. Louis to compete. We won that tournament and it prepared us to beat those teams again in the District championship thus taking us to the State tournament.
After four hard-working years, the 1997 Webster Groves High School Golf team wins the District title (the best team in St. Louis)

After four hard-working years, the 1997 Webster Groves High School Golf team wins the District title (the best team in St. Louis)

To young men who played under Coach may not have recognized how blessed they were at the time but as they reflected on their experience later in life, I am sure they recognized how well they had it under Coach’s leadership.
There is not a day I do not go back to my days on the golf course with him or his office talking about life and golf or the random fun of the day. Although I do not play much golf anymore since my family takes up my time, I still cherish those years in the golf course with Coach. I think he would appreciate that and make sure I knew that golf is a game that I will be able to play until the day I die. After all, Coach had played all the way up until the past few years.
Coach’s wisdom and encouragement stay and have fueled me to live life with honor, humility and great adventure on and off the golf course..
Thank you, Coach for believing in me and all of us. Thank you for living well. See you on the links in heaven.
Coach's Obituary that appeared in Salem, Oregon.

Coach’s Obituary that appeared in Salem, Oregon.

My Funeral Music Mix

August 2, 2010 — 33 Comments

I’m not dying so don’t worry.

I apologize for the morbid post but I love music and I always find it fascinating to think through life’s ending in its dramatic way.

A great friend and mentor, Terri Adams, reminded me that these blogs will be read by my little girls one day and they can perhaps learn a thing or two about me.  No pressure, huh?

I started to think about my favorite music and the type that inspires me more than anything.  When Brooke and I got married, we put together a music mix that we gave out to those attending the wedding.  It was so much fun compiling the music that most inspired us as a newly married couple.

Why not a funeral music mix?

Sorry but The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” didn’t make the list but have fun with me.

I Will Not Take These Things For Granted-Toad the Wet Sprocket. My sister Sarah introduced me to them when she went off to college in 1992.  This song provides such a beautiful way to live life with no regrets and to embrace every experience and relationship.  Thank you Sarah!

The Bud Light Commercials, especially “Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor.”  I’m from St.Louis so the tie in works. How can you not bust out laughing?  You need a laugh after a funeral.

Heartland by U2. There is something about this song that says “home” to me.  Beautiful and underrated song from U2 during the Rattle & Hum age.

Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House: The title says it all.  Plus, I just love this band as they continue to evolve from the 1980s.

Remember the Mountain Bed by Wilco.  This song, written originally by Woody Guthrie and made popular by Wilco in their Mermaid Avenue albums.  It reminds me of falling in love with my wife up on the mountain in Sewanee, Tennessee.

A Sort of Homecoming by U2. This makes me think of a place in my heart coming home whether it be a physical place like Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, or Scotland where I have lived.  But, it’s also a powerful song about the struggle to move forward in Ireland despite its violent past 100 years.

Into The Mystic by Van Morrison.  Yes, both U2 and Van Morrison get multiple songs here.  This song is played on repeat during long driving trips. Listen to it and you’ll understand.

The Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine. When I first heard this, I felt it was much too long but looking through the lyrics it is quite authentic and just a beautiful piece to inspire by Sam Beam.  The lyrics are questionable in meaning to me but his voice and tempo of the song makes me smile, always.

In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty.  I remember hearing this first at church and one of our Young Life kids played violin to it.  I was in tears then and everytime it hits Brooke and I hear it we look at each other and the tears come back.  The lyrics best capture my faith.  Read the story of the song here.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm…

Jungle Love by Steve Miller Band.  Yes, why this song?  Oh…it was just the hippie theme song at Castaway, the Young Life camp I attended in 1994 when I became a Christian.  How could I forget this song?  It makes me want to dance everytime.

God of Wonders (Caedmon’s Call version).  This song always gets me pumped up for church or the start of a week and reminded me of the endless possibilities God provides.  Never doubt him, dream with him.

Count Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Sufjan Stevens version).  I used to hate this song in church.  When I heard Sufjan Stevens’ version, it came alive to me and the lyrics blew me away.  It reminds me of how much God blesses me in life by friends, family, shelter, and each moment in-between.

Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.  I didn’t discover this song until I heard it at the Opening Ceremony at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  How great is that?  The song is almost 40 years old now and people still discover it.  What a lovely song to help reflect on an honest life of hope while acknowleding some regrets.  By the way, I can only think of one regret, quitting Boy Scouts.  Funny, huh?  But, in the end I know that it all was for a purpose.

Take It Back by Pink Floyd.  This song just makes me want to fly.

Wild Mountain Thyme by The Silencers. I fell in love with this song when I lived in Scotland.  It reminds me again that I need to bring my wife back to Scotland.  Oh, my second home.

And we’ll all go together
To pick wild mountain thyme
All around the purple heather
Will you go?
Will you go?
Lassie will you go?

These Are The Days by Van Morrison. I love Van Morrison, I mean there are not many white people who understand how to incorporate “soul” into their music.  The Irish get it.  Van “the man” Morrison does that and this song in particular. Most don’t know much about his faith but you get the feel from these lyrics. They will carry me home one day.

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one great magician
Turned water into wine

These are the days now that we must savour
And we must enjoy as we can
These are the days that will last forever
and you’ve got to hold them, in your heart

Dance on and live well everyone.

I’m pretty sure this mix will evolve throughout life as new music moves me but it was challenging to put  this together and I hope you enjoyed.

For my daughters, I hope you learned more about me in the process and make your own mix tape of life.

What do you see as your top song you’d like played at your funeral?


Is there a story behind that song to you?

—— additional song added September 18th, 2012 ——

Learn Me Right by Mumford and Sons with Birdy. Such a beautiful song featured in the movie Brave (2012). It makes me want to fly back and run through the hills and mountains of Scotland. It shouts out freedom and dreams. Mumford and Sons also recorded a wonderful sister song version on their 2012 album, Babel.

On July 26th, my mother, Barrett Martin Schroeder turns 65.  She may or may not want me mentioning this milestone in a blog but I am proud of her and thankful for those many years she has been in my life and impacted it.  She represents a living legacy to both my sister Sarah and I.  We are readers because of her.  We try to be forgiving to others because she is of us.  We have traveled so much because of her leading the way.  We are educated because of her (and Dad).  We are a close family because of her example.  Yep, we even look a lot like her too.  Both my sister and I have kids now so we feel that it’s our responsibility to continue on a living legacy and always tell her story.  We love you mom and have a Happy Birthday.  Here’s to many more ahead.

And yes, I’m sorry I threw a plastic chair at you when I was 5.

Me, Mom, Sarah, and Dad

Last year when my father turned 65, he sent out this letter to everyone and I hope you will enjoy it.  He is the definition of “nostalgic” and loves looking back to figure out what “today” means.  It’s no shock about why I love history as do they do too. I hope you enjoy as it is quite humorous.  He is the “real” Dave Schroeder.

Some Thoughts on Turning 65

Sunday I celebrated my 65th birthday in Chicago with Barrett and our daughter Sarah.  While I did not say anything to them, I kept on thinking “What was it like in 1944 and how can I explain it to my children and grandchildren?”

For the first 14 months of my existence, I live with my mother in the second floor apartment in South St. Louis.  The apartment had a kitchen, bedroom and living room.  The total square footage was about as big as most people’s family rooms today.  We had a radio and a phone for communications.  The phone was a “Party Line” which meant we shared the line with two or three other households.  Today if you said Party Line your probably meant 1-800-GOT-SEXX.

We did not have a television for almost seven more years and that was a big box with a round black and white screen.  No HI DEF.  There was no Internet (I am a few years older than Al Gore), nor e-mail, Twitter or Facebook.  We communicated by writing letters.  I still have the one from my dad when he found out I was born.  The reason he was not in my life for those 14 months was that he was in England waiting to be shipped to the Ardennes in Belgium to fight in the Battle of the Bulge that December where he was wounded just a month later.  I recently asked a young man checking me out at an office supply store if he had heard of the Battle?  He replied, “No, but I am going to study it next semester as I am taking “Ancient and Medieval History.”

I finally met my father in January of 1946.  Instead of flying home from Europe in six or eight hours, he came home on a “Troop Ship” which took six to eight days and then had to take a train from New York to St. Louis which took another couple of days.  Legend has it that I leaked all over his uniform.  Those old diapers just don’t measure up to today’s Pampers.

When dad got home, we did not have a car and it took another year or two before they were available because of rationing.  My Grandfather Moberg had a car.  I figured he was rich.  Dad took something called a trolley to work or we walked to shop at the neighborhood store right around the corner or took the trolley to Tower Grove Park.

We finally got a house in Webster in 1951.  Three bedrooms, all brick for the whopping price of $15,000.  We had to build on a garage a few years later with the help of my parent’s friends.  It is amazing what you can get for a few cases of beer.  But life was good and we were happy.

I was not happy when I had to repeat 1st grade.  Since I started in the city school at midterm, when we moved to the county, I was a semester behind and could not read.  Best thing that ever happened to me!  I went form being the youngest kid in the class to the oldest and I learned how the read, write and do math.  Little did we know at that time that our principal, Mr. Rose, was doing the dirty deed with Miss Bright my third grade teacher.  It was a big scandal years later.

No need to cover the high school or college years or the forty-one years since then.  Today I am married to my college sweetheart, Barrett, and we have been blessed with two wonderful and productive children, Sarah and David.  They have continued blessing us with two grandchildren and another one on the way.  Yesterday, we actually saw a Sonogram of the soon to come grandchild.  Did we have those in 1944? (since then, she was born and doing well)

And to top things off, our children and their spouses gave me a Garman GPS for my birthday.  Without it, I never could have found my way back from Chicago.

God bless all our relatives and many friends.  It is amazing how fast 65 years can fly by.  But I feel like I did thirty years ago other than a few aches and pains.  I can live with that, as I have been blessed.

Age 65 is a lifetime away for Sarah and I but a lifetime of memories to build and share.  We are already started.

Where do you see yourself at 65?

What do you see yourself doing?

Who is with you?

What do you see as your living legacy?