Son Says George Allen 'Honed His Skills' at Lake Shore
George Allen, the former U.S. Senator from Virginia and the son of the Pro Football Hall of Famer, will attend a ceremony honoring his father Tuesday at the high school in St. Clair Shores.
George Allen Jr. has never visited his father's hometown of St. Clair Shores, but the city where George Allen grew up and matriculated at Lake Shore High School was never far from his heart.
Allen, the former U.S. Senator from Virginia, spoke with Patch and recalled that his father's mood would be determined by "how the Tigers were doing" and he would "always hear about" St. Clair Shores.
It was also in St. Clair Shores that the elder Allen first showed his perseverance, commitment to excellence and work ethic. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, Allen didn't miss a day of school while attending Lake Shore and lettered in football, basketball, and track before graduating in 1937. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy in World War II, and graduate from the University of Michigan.
"It was there at Lake Shore High School he honed his skills and motivation," said the younger Allen, who has been successful in his own career in politics, serving as governor of Virginia.
As a pro football coach with the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins, the elder Allen never had a losing season and his teams embodied the Detroit-work ethic, his son said.
"When you think of Detroit, you think of a hard work ethic. His teams had that," Allen said. "No one worked harder than him."
Allen's hard work and success as a coach was recognized in 2002 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tuesday, the Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance will bring the Hometown Hall of Famers program to St. Clair Shores.
"It is a great honor," said Allen Jr., who also played football at the University of Virginia. "I am thrilled to represent my father and my family."
The ceremony Tuesday will be held at Lake Shore High School. It will include a presentation of a plaque and two commemorative Hall of Famer road signs for St. Clair Shores.
Prior to the ceremony, Allen will be visiting the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House where his father's father was a driver for the family and lived on the estate.
"I do want to see where a driver would live," said Allen. "If I can see that, I can get a sense of where he came from."