By MARLENE SAND
Times-Union Feature Writer
"Silence is golden" is the age-old advice given by Mrs. George Fisher to today's wives of athletic coaches just starting their careers.
Mrs. Fisher is well-qualified to speak on the subject. For 19 years of her married life, her husband coached Warsaw high school teams. During those years, experience taught her many lessons.
The Fishers live on a farm northeast of Leesburg. They have two children 17-year-old Duke, a senior this year at Warsaw high school, and 15-year-old Becky, a sophomore. The former Miriam DeFries, Mrs. Fisher is a native of Kosciusko county, spent her childhood in Milford.
As she reminisced, it was apparent that to Mrs. Fisher those years her husband coached young boys meant a great deal to her. The decision that was the hardest for her husband to make was that of resigning.
As the wife of a coach, Mrs. Fisher had to face unpleasant as well as pleasant situations. Many times fans during the excitement of a close game heckled and criticized. After several such experiences, she realized that she must learn to deafen her ears. Remarks were make during the heat of the contest that would not be make under any other circumstances.
What she prefers to remember are those times her husband's team won there were many of them. Of great satisfaction to the Fishers are those boys who have continued to keep in contact with them. Many still visit the coach, write to him asking for advice. Such incidents are of never-ending pleasure.
During the war, many letters were received from serviceman thanking Coach Fisher for the part he had played in building character. Discipline is listed foremost among his training rules. Each young man found that training in later life to be invaluable. Mrs. Fisher agrees with her husband, says "I believe it (meaning training in discipline) gives children a stronger sense of security."
Mrs. Fisher says she often thinks of their home as "Fisher's Hotel" because of the crowds of young people who assemble in her kitchen for a snack. In tense moments before a game during those years Mr. Fisher coached, the household was silent. No one seemed to feel like talking. Once the game was over, she knew whether her husband wanted to talk, acted accordingly.
Seeing her husband work with a boy, who in the beginning seemed to have no qualifications of an athlete, help him to become an accomplished and confident sportsman was perhaps the most rewarding result of being a coach's wife. She still gets a thrill when former students stop her on the street and ask, "How's Coach?"
Mrs. Fisher first met her husband through her sister who is married to his brother in Muncie. At this time he had been coaching at Warsaw high school eight years. "I was scared to death" was her comment on her first meeting him, an East star, Coach Fisher was a popular figure in any circle of society. One thing that drew them together was their mutual love of sports. She married him when she was 19.
For 15 years Mr. Fisher coached three sports, football, basketball and track. He had little time to spend with his family. Mrs. Fisher feel that today's coaches' wives are fortunate in as much as they supervise but one activity.
Football is her favorite sport, Mrs. Fisher said, "because I knew my husband enjoyed it the most." Naming the high school athletic field "Fisher Field" was a great honor, the proudest moment in her life. She said she and her husband were most grateful to the people of Warsaw, that she knew of no other place that had given so much honor and recognition to a coach. "We will always feel especially close to those who have done so much for us."
Mrs. Fisher is a beautiful and gracious person who has learned the value of patience, tolerance and self control, qualities that all might strive for as their own.