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The following human interest story is about the struggles and hopes of Danny McCaleb. I had Danny in school at RBS High School during the late 70s and into 1980. He was a joy to be around, and that hasn’t changed. Danny grew up, like most of us, in the 50s and 60s, without many material goods, but he never stopped reaching for the stars.
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During Danny’s senior year, when the annual senior trip to Washington and New York was drawing near, and he was without the necessary money to go on the trip, the principal, Charles Biles, who was one of the most compassionate educators towards students I have ever known, said to me, “Jimmy, go down to Macon Bank and Trust and borrow $400 for Danny to make the senior trip.” Then he added, “We’ll both sign the note, and will have Danny to sign it too.” I did. And Danny didn’t disappoint us, for he paid back every penny, a little at a time.
Following his graduation in the spring of 1980, Danny was employed in September by the RBS principal as a custodian, where he has worked for the past 30 years. His work has been complimented countless times. His dedication has been unequaled. Danny works in the high school portions of the building, taking great pride in how the building looks.
When the fourth and fifth grades needed a basketball coach, Danny filled the need. He has often helped with the RBS High football team. Whatever the need, he was there.
Danny and his wife, Connie, wanted their two sons to go to college, which they did. Both Danny and Connie did odd jobs, saved empty drink cans from the school, all to help Derek and Chris in college following High School.
Little did Danny know that troubles beyond anything he had ever experienced would soon invade his life. His kidneys failed and the result has seen dialysis for several months. He gets up at 3 a.m., three times a week, drives to Gallatin for his 4:30 a.m. dialysis, then back to school to work. Just when life seemed so hopeless, Danny’s oldest son, Derek, a special education teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, came forward expressing his desire to give his father one of his kidneys. The match is perfect and a tentative date of June 17 at Vanderbilt Hospital has been set for the transplant. What a brave and unselfish son! And what a fortunate father!
Needless to say, Danny will miss several paychecks. An account has been set up at both banks in RBS; All who can, please give and help Danny. He has meant a lot to the school that many of us love and he loves. Let’s show our appreciation to him by giving to help lighten his burdens.
Thanks Danny for being a loyal supporter of RBS High.