After I left the Hoffman Estates Boys Club in 1979, Al and I kept in touch with each other for about three years and then I lost touch with him until 1988. He had left the Union League organization in 1982. And, for just over a year served as the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert in Yucca Valley, California.

That club’s doors opened for business on March 1, 1983.   The club applied for a Boys Club of America Charter and it was granted in September, 1983 and presented formally at our first annual dinner in January, 1984. In the fall of 1983 the club became a member of the Morongo Basin United Way. In the summer of 1984 Executive Director Al Mackin resigned to form a new kids club.  I’m not sure why Al left that club but it could well have been a mpasse between Al and his board on the direction for that organization. 

Al’s new club was in Joshua Tree (The Kid’s Club) where he became known to all the town as Mr. Turtle.  That club started operations in 1965.  Al, and his wife Rita, were very proud of their work there with those children.  The picture above says it best-

THIS ISLAND IS DEDICATED
IN MEMORY OF
AL MACKIN
KNOWN AS
“MR. TURTLE”
FOR MANY YEARS OF
LOYAL AND FAITHFUL
SERVICE TO YOUTH
1-1-29 TO 10-30-92.

I lost a good friend in 1992 who had helped me to transform my boys club in Hoffman Estates into a vibrant club by adding his ULBC Camp to our programs.  I count myself honored to have known Al.