CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As a 25-year veteran of the press box, I have met more parents than I care to mention.
Trust me, when I tell you that I don't seek them out.
I'm never sure what to expect from a mom or dad who isn't happy Johnny's error was mentioned, or his batting average was not.
Then, there are those who are never confrontational, but merely want to get to know you and hope it helps the cause of their "superstar" child.
John Huxley was none of those.
During his son's baseball career, which I followed closely while covering Charleston Catholic, Patrick Huxley's father was never somebody to complain.
He was one of those dads I didn't meet until after Patrick graduated in 2010, and that's unfortunate.
You see, John passed away on Wednesday night from a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.
My experience with John came when I was scheduling classes and preparing to student teach while receiving my master's degree at Marshall.
He was situated on the second floor of the Marshall Graduate College in South Charleston while serving one of his many duties - this one was as the director of the regional center for distance education and professional development.
Even when I didn't have a reason to see John, I would stop in his office and talk for an hour or two about baseball, sports ... everything except the attention that Patrick received - or didn't receive - as a high school athlete.
I would tell him what classes I was taking and John would tell me what to expect. Does this professor grade tough? If John had the answer, he would tell me. Is this professor boring? John would fill me in.
John didn't want me to spend money on books. His shelves were lined with educational manuals that he insisted I borrow.
After so many negative experiences with parents, you tend to become defensive when it isn't warranted. I walked into his office to talk about my education. It would evolve into everything but.
John battled a tougher competitor than Patrick ever faced. During Patrick's career under Catholic Coach Bill Mehle, John spent much of his free time helping the program and being a positive influence.