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The death of Ernie Allmendinger on May 7 removed a giant from our midst. His passing was a shock despite his age. He had been with us so long he seemed immortal. He had become a legend in his own lifetime, a gridiron hero of the bright era -- now fading into myth - that Historian Howard Peckham has called "the Golden Age at Michigan." His strength, his cheer, his zest for life, had been learned early through hard work on his grandmother's farm and rough play on Ann Arbor's vacant lots.