October 25, 2023
Long time BobLee reader “Fred” had a grim reminder of generational disassociation recently.
“Fred” is a retired FBI agent. “Fred” was one of “the good FBI guys”. His FBI-ing was between “J. Edgar’s days” and the current mis-use of “the bureau” as door-kicking gestapo for the Biden Regime.
Anyhooo … “Fred” teaches a class in criminal investigation at UNC-By The Sea to the 18-25 demographic. He recently created a scenario for his students involving interviewing eye witnesses.
In his scenario, one eye witness describes a perp as…
“He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five. Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip ….”
As Fred said that, he giggled to himself … expecting if not the entire class, surely one or two would reply …
“… and everyone knew ya didn’t give no lip … to Big John. Big Bad John …”
Crickets … not a peep out of Fred’s classroom full of “fuzzy cheeks”. Somewhere Jimmy Dean wept.
Fred suddenly felt very very old.
As he related this story, I was reminded of a factor I am constantly aware of as I compose these incredibly insightful commentaries. As I look through my monitor at “you people” … I simply assume you are pretty much the bunch I was with yesterday at Pink Hill Funeral Home.
Around 50-75 lifelong friends of “Brother Dwight” gathered to pay their respects to a dear friend. As we milled about in the lobby waiting to enter the chapel I could not help but notice – “Good Lord … Who ARE all these “old people”?
“These old people” were friends and high school classmates I’ve known pretty much my whole life. OUCH!
Had the minister described “Brother Dwight” as “… broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip…” the entire assemblage would have made “Fred” proud. With no coaxing whatsoever.
Hellfire … we mighta broken out in Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons” …. “another day older and deeper in debt.”
Now of course, I realize a significant % of “you people” are still a few years shy of “the rest of us” but so long as today’s title makes perfect sense to you without sub-title explanation … you qualify to stick around.
Maybe your retention of pop culture minutiae is not as razor sharp as mine – allowing you to fill your functioning brain with more relevant stuff. BUT I know how to get in touch with Paladin if I need to. And Beaver’s teacher was Miss Landers.
If I’m not sure of the age of someone I’m conversing with, I find dropping “Hoss Cartwright’s Hat” into the conversation and seeing either instant recognition or confusion helps categorize folks.
“Cliff Clavin” as an ideal synonym for pompous “board monkeys” clowns …. and who doesn’t know about “shooting Mo Green in the eye”?
When their momma is not around, I’m slowly indoctrinating the four “Richmond Rascals” into Granddaddy’s very strange vocabulary. Scout is “Princess SummerFallWinter Spring” … Ruthie is “Minnie Pearl” … Little Danny is “Prince Valiant” … and baby Mary June is “Tinker Belle”. … Works for me.
Heaven’s Locker Room Gains “A Character” …
I figure the first person “he” met last week as he passed through the Pearly Gates was Dr James Naismith. They reminisced about that day “he” held the ladder while Dr Naismith hung that peach basket in the Springfield YMCA gym. Dr. Naismith thought 9′ was high enough but “he” convinced him 10′ was better.
Coach Reed (“CNR”) passed away late last week at 93.
I had exchanged emails with his wife Judy two weeks ago so the update from his daughter yesterday was expected. A series of “old age” ailments the past five years simply wore “Coach” out.
His daughter’s comments how much my friendship had meant to her dad … that I had become part of his “inner circle” was humbling. Me and Pat Riley and Lord knows who else!
YOU GUYS meant a lot to him too. I know several of you interacted with “Coach” off-line in recent years.
I measure my life’s journey by the “characters” I’ve met along the way. “Coach Reed” was either my Tin Man or my Scarecrow.
Two Axe Murderers meet for Thansgiving ….
I forgot how “Coach” found Yea Olde Website 15+ years ago, but after a few exchanges, he invited me to Beaumont for Thanksgiving. A bit unusual but, hey, why not?
He met me at the Houston airport and we drove to San Antonio for a wonderful dinner with Ty Detmer’s family. Yes, Heisman Trophy Ty Detmer. … why not? Ty’s dad – Sonny – was a legendary Texas high school coach.
To Beaumont to meet Judy and the rest of the family for Thanksgiving … then on Friday to Baton Rouge for LSU v Arkansas. A wonderful weekend … many many stories and laughs.
As I was preparing to leave on Sunday … one of Coach’s daughters told me … “Ya know BobLee we were concerned that Dad was inviting “some strange guy on the internet” into his home. He could be an axe murderer or something …”.
I laughed … “My wife had the same concerns … “you’re going to Beaumont Texas to spend Thanksgiving with some crazy old guy who reads your columns… and talks to chickens. He could be an axe murderer or something….”
Did “Coach” really help Naismith hang that peach basket? Absolutely! Now did he teach Paul Brown the Wing-T … Was he the brains behind John Wooden’s success in the 70s … Did he teach Stan Musial his unusual batting stance … Had he not joined the Marines and been wounded at the Chosin Reservoir would he – not Phil Rizzuto – been the Yankees shortstop thru the 50s? … alls I’m sure of is the peach basket thing.
I am imagining my dear friend sitting around on an ethereal cloud with all the Legends of Sports. They are all asking him … “Come on Coach, did you REALLY know BobLee? Whats he like …. really?”
Say Good Night, Gracie!