In Memory

Jock Brand - Class Of 1975

Jock Brand died in a boating accident on the Allegheny River on May 9, 1989 with Tom Flaherty.  Their boat went over the Highland Park Dam in the early morning just after dawn, neither survived.

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08/30/16 06:26 PM #1    

Jamey O'Hanlon

I recently lost a friend I'd known for a number of years. During the memorial service, a childhood friend of his recounted a story that took me back to high school days, and made me think of Jock. It also makes me embarrassed that It's taken me all these years to write this about Jock. 

Jock was tall, muscular, athletic, intelligent, and popular. In other words, everything I wasn't. As juniors and seniors we were both on the varsity football team. He as a starting lineman, I as a medical trainer/manager. We traveled to Freeport for a preseason scrimmage, the player across from him, although smaller, was not allowing Jock to get to the ball carrier. Coach "Hoot" obviously was not pleased. He came to the sideline and was speaking out loud to himself about the situation. I walked over to him and suggested that he alter his stance. He looked at me, with my decidedly unathletic body, and inquired where I had gained my wealth of football knowledge. I told him that I had recently viewed a TV movie entitled "Portrait in Granite" about Vince Lombardi, and that subject was covered. And here's where Jock was different. He could have told this little nobody to kiss off, but he thanked me. HE thanked ME. For the next two seasons he asked me (quietly) to watch him in practice. We spoke every practice and every game day. Now, this doesn't mean that we were pals or hung around together. But during those two football seasons we were friendly conversationalists, and on two occasions he trusted me as a confidant. I never had a great deal of self confidence during those years, but whether he meant to or not, Jock made me feel important. 

As a post script to this story, a few years after graduation I was home from Green Bay and went up to school to visit Mr. Sadler. On my way back, I stopped at the stadium to watch practice. Before I knew it, I was getting a bear hug from behind. It was "Coach" Jock, who had come down from the old press box. We greeted each other warmly and spoke for several minutes before saying our good byes. That was the last time I saw him. 

A belated, but sincere thank you Jock. 

08/31/16 07:48 AM #2    

John Dolansky


Very well said! Jock was a class act! I still remember your articles on school sporting events in the Hamptonian! I will always think fondly of an article you wrote about me concerning a basketball game against Richland. I hope all is well and thank you for bringing back some great memories of Jock!

09/01/16 07:30 PM #3    

Kip Sieger

Very nice story Jamey, it sure brings back loads of memories from HHS days gone by. Hope you're doing well.

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