Cynthia J. Coan
I first met Carmen in the 4th grade. As I recall, she was a bit of a tomboy. When it came to sports, she had a level of skill I could only envy. However, one thing that happened to her (I think possibly in middle school) I did not envy. I was in a track and field practice one day after school when someone asked where Carmen was. It turned out her parents had pulled her from the track team on the grounds that track was "not for girls." At the time I thought it was horribly unfair that anyone -- especially such a skilled athlete -- could be kept out of sports just for being a girl. Some time later, possibly in high school, I found out that she had managed to land a spot on a girls' softball team. I was relieved that at least she hadn't been barred from all sports.
The years passed. I must admit I didn't keep very closely in touch with Carmen after middle school. From time to time, I've wondered whatever happened to her. Recently I decided to do some online research and see what information I could dig up on the one-time tomboy and softball player. It was in the course of my searching that I learned she had passed away, just a couple months short of what would have been her 60th birthday. Although it's too late to communicate with her, I hope whoever is in charge up in heaven is letting her play all the sports she wants.