Feature on the McMackins

About his wife Heather, Mack said:
“She’s the only woman I’ve ever loved. No doubt about that.” (HA)

HA Note: “Theirs is truly a Love Story. Sweethearts since high school, when he was a senior and she was a sophomore, they have never had an argument.”

About why she and Mack don’t argue, Heather said:
“It’s because we have mutual respect for each other, and, of course, love.” (HA)

About how he took jobs based on what is best for his family, Mack said:
“There have been jobs that were better professionally. Every decision, we make together. She’s the best coach’s wife. There’s a lot of pressure to win and be successful. I remember Heather’s mom, 14 years after we were married, wondering if I was going to get a real job. They don’t understand. Heather knows how tough it is.” (HA)

About being raised in Springfield, Oregon, a mill town across the river from Eugene, Mack said:
“It’s the tough town in that area. You usually have something to do with green chains and lumber and hard work. It’s a hard-working, family town where people have a lot of respect for each other.” (HA)

About not having an allowance and earning the money for any extra activities, Heather said:
“If we wanted to participate in after-school activities, we had to earn the money.” (HA)

HA Note: “Heather, like most kids in the area, worked in the green-bean fields during the summer. She would ride her bike there early, then pick furiously until about noon. The beans would be put into big sacks, then taken to the end of the road, where they would be weighed. Each worker would receive a ticket that could be redeemed for cash. The goal was 300 pounds. At five cents a pound, that helped pay for activities and clothes.”

About trying to earn enough money for school clothes, Heather said:
“The big goal was to have enough clothes to not repeat an outfit during the week. It was easy to keep your room clean because we didn’t have many things.” (HA)

HA Note: “Greg also worked when he wasn’t playing sports. He inherited the relentless gene from his father, who worked two jobs. When Greg was in the seventh grade, his father lost two fingers in a mill accident. His recovery was during the holiday season.”

About earning money over the Holidays, Mack said:
“We had a walnut tree out in the back yard. To have Christmas, we cracked the walnuts that were in our back yard, and took them to a walnut factory. We sold them for money to go get presents for the family. It was always creative.” (HA)

HA Note: “The McMackins’ introduction also was unique. The seating chart in math class was in alphabetical order. Heather Forge was in the front row. Some of Greg’s football teammate were in the back.”

About the class she had with Mack when she was a shy sophomore and he was a senior, Heather said:
“I was a quintessentially, painfully shy person. He was Mr. Everything.” (HA)

About how Mack’s football friends knew he was attracted to Heather and passed her notes with pictures of Mack in his football uniform, Heather said:
“I was humiliated. I thought all of the cool guys were making fun of me.” (HA)

About the notes, Heather said:
“that’s what opened the door.” (HA)

HA Note: “When Greg found out, he approached her, offering an apology. He then asked her out.”

About how she’s never dated anyone but Mack, Heather said:
“We started dating February of my sophomore year. I never dated anyone else.” (HA)

About how they stayed together when Mack went to Southern Oregon College, a 2-hour drive from Springfield, Heather said:
“I was 16 when he went away to college.” (HA)

About having a long-distance relationship when long-distance phone calls were expensive, Heather said:
“It’s not like today, when you could text each other. We sacrificed and earned the right to be together.” (HA)

About how they had planned to marry after he graduated from college, Mack said:
“But we got married the spring term of my senior year of college. We’ve been together all of our life, and sort of raised each other.” (HA)

About how their honeymoon was in a hotel on their way to Medford, Oregon, where he had his first teaching job, Mack said:
“A hotel was a big deal to us in those days. That was living. There was a swimming pool.” (HA)

About moving into their one-bedroom apartment ($100/month rent) after their honeymoon, Heather said:
“We couldn’t wait to get to our first home.” (HA)

HA Note: “Greg’s next job led to a move into an apartment in a complex known as Silver Bell Foothill Estates. It was quite different from the Medford apartment. “You don’t have to worry about crime,” a neighbor told them. “Your neighbors go to the good side of town.” And that became their life, achieving football success and then moving to a better coaching opportunity.”

About how they have moved together was a family, Mack said:
“We’ve always traveled like the Mack Pack. I’ve always tried to be there for my daughter and my grandkids. My family is the most important thing in both of our lives. That’s why we’re all here, because of how our family feels.” (HA)

HA Note: “Heather, who successfully hosted a football clinic for women last week, hopes to resume her volunteer work. She helped coordinate a program aimed at vision testing for children. Many serious vision problems are correctable if detected before the age of 6.”

About how Hawaii feels like home to them, Mack said:
“Coming from Oregon, true Oregonians are very similar to the people of Hawai’i. “Families are really important to them. They’re brought up with respect, God, and they’re hard-working people, family people. That’s why I like it so much here. Honestly, to be here is a blessing. Heather and I have worked hard, and we’re fortunate to live in the greatest place.” (HA)


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