Letter: Memories of Ralph Silva
To the Editor:
John Bly’s letter was a representative sample of what might be written by a great number of Connecticut River Valley people who had similar experiences while being in Ralph Silva’s sphere of influence. At the last Charlestown High basketball game in 1966, a letter was read that expressed that no other man had been a teacher, coach, father and friend to the members of our team. A few years ago, Ralph quietly said that the letter was in his scrapbook, along with so many other mementos of the events that were his life. In addition to teaching all of the gym classes at Charlestown High, he taught sophomore biology, coached all three seasons, and developed a gymnastics program that was top-notch.
If Ralph saw me walking to school on a cold winter day, he would stop and offer me a ride in his Rambler station wagon. Nobody would dare to do that today! With his large family, Ralph worked every summer as a house painter to provide for their needs. While baseball was his love, his efforts were evident in everything he attempted. After painting all day, off he would go to coach Babe Ruth, Little League or Legion baseball. His family was far reaching, and kept expanding throughout his life. He knew profound loss and even more profound love. Though not perfect, he inspired and expected perfection. Ralph was satisfied with giving his best, and we who knew him were blessed.
Charles L. Child
Charlestown High Class of 1966