Thank you to Bill Nazarkewich for contributing this image. Vic Wilde, credited as the Journal photographer, was a friend of mine when he was selling new homes for the Lovell Brothers "Palm Springs Estates" development west of 12th Avenue between W. 53rd and 59th Streets in the early 60's. He later became a long-time Hialeah Councilman and a park in West Hialeah is named after him.
To repeat the names, for Google search purposes, the kids are:
Front row: Kenny Nash, Rene Dibul Jr., Frank Piccolo, Bill Nazarkewich, Garry Moore, Mike Hammerschmidt, Jimmy Williams, Dean Haddox and Ronnie Pause.
Second row: Richard Martin, Mike Pause, Jim Delara, Mike Sladky, Tommy Cross, Robert Johnson, Robert Nash, Curt Hadley and Bruce Whitten.
Third row: Joe Gillian, Don Thompson, Tommy Meyer, James Fuentes, Bob Placa, John Cravey, Bobby Mason, John Benson and John Hill.
Coaches from left: John McGriff, Randy Simmons and George Moore.
The Saturday, August 23rd Miami Herald news story on the death of Mike Hammerschmidt (above):
MICHAEL HAMMERSCHMIDT, 58
Police chief given a tearful goodbye
Family, friends and hundreds of fellow officers paid tribute Friday to Coral Gables' police chief at a memorial service with a full honor guard and a police helicopter flyover.
BY ELAINE DE VALLE, edevalle@MiamiHerald.com
A downtown Miami concert hall became a sea of black and tan uniforms Friday morning, speckled with silver badges.
There was a poignant theme to the colors; they represented the two departments where Coral Gables Police Chief Michael Hammerschmidt had dedicated his life's work.
Hammerschmidt died Tuesday at age 58 after a grueling series of radiation treatments for lung cancer landed him in Doctor's Hospital.
The shine from the badges -- chiefs and officers came from more than a dozen different South Florida police agencies -- was muted by black tape as friends and loved ones honored a man many said was bigger than life.
The University of Miami alumnus and diehard Hurricane fan left behind a wife of four years, a mother, two sisters, two sons, three grandchildren -- and a legacy for hundreds of law enforcement officers who knew him as a colleague, boss and friend. They said goodbye to Hammerschmidt in a service held in the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
"He is the epitome of professionalism and a gentleman," said Robert Parker, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, where Hammerschmidt worked for 32 years and rose to the rank of major before being named chief of the Gables department in 2004.
Coral Gables City Manager David Brown told the mourners he knew Hammerschmidt was the right man for the job after the first interview.
"From the first moment I met Mike, I knew he was family," Brown said. "The men and women of our force needed someone like Mike to take the department to the next level, to be the best that they could be."
Hammerschmidt's sons spoke of their father's dedication to law enforcement and family.
"Dad loved being a cop. But he loved being a dad and a husband more," said U.S. Army Capt. David Hammerschmidt, who was deployed to Afghanistan last year and rushed home from Ranger training at Fort Bragg when his father became seriously ill.
"And he worked hard to make sure both sides understood," the son said, adding that his father taught him many life lessons about sacrifice, commitment and love.
Hammerschmidt's sister, Rusty Nyborg, got more laughs -- and quite a few tears -- as she read a poem written by her brother's wife, Wisty, and recounted her own memories.
"What tribute can I give to you that will make you proud and not piss you off? You do not do morose well," said Nyborg, whose brother encouraged her to leave a job in corrections for a federal post with the Transportation Security Administration at Miami International Airport.
"Mike, you've always been my hero. You have been the family patriarch since 1989 when Dad died, and you have done a fine job, even knocking me in the head when I needed it. You are the one who always pushed me to make my dreams come true."
Nyborg had to be helped off the stage and couldn't stop crying as the coffin was carried out, flanked by officers four and five deep on each side, in a final salute as Amazing Grace played on bagpipes.
Before the coffin was lifted into a white hearse on Northeast 14th Street, the crowd grew silent as seven police helicopters flew overhead toward the sea. Hammerschmidt's remains were then escorted back to the funeral home by dozens of police motorcycles, lights and sirens blaring.
Former Miami-Dade Police Director Fred Taylor would not tell the mourners where Hammerschmidt -- who planned his own exit as meticulously as he planned his Christmas wish lists, complete with catalog names, page numbers, color and size of items -- had asked to have his ashes spread.
"But it's not going to be on a sand trap," joked Taylor, who often traveled with Hammerschmidt to play golf, including a trip to Ireland shortly after he joined the Gables department.
"Mike hated sand traps," said Taylor, who ended his speech saying he would think of Hammerschmidt every time he swings a golf club. "And I can smile, and I think that's how Mike would want it -- for us to smile when we think of him. He was a hell of a man."