Being a sports fan and a life-long North Carolinian, my induction into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was a true “life-time high-light”. My picture is next to Micahel Jordan. I keep waiting for someone to ask me “…who is that guy next to you in the Hall of Fame? Anyway it is cut, I am proud to be among these familiar legends, some I happen to know. One support that aided my selection was revealed later to me. Senator Sandy Sands and his wife, Jenny, became FRIENDS as “tennis parents”. Our son, Dan Parham, and Andy Sands, were in the same age group. And among the best players. They played often. Senator Sands, as a member of the NC Sports Hall of Fame selection committee, told that group this, about of one of their matches. Andy twisted his ankle pretty badly. I had taped a zillion ankles, so we took some time out while I taped my son’s opponent. I asked Dan recently if he remembered the match, or who won, as I, frankly, had forgotten it. Dan, too, had forgotten. Thanks, Senator. Those were fun days with your family.
Here are some of the legends I grew up admiring: “Choo Choo” Justice, Dickie Hemric, “Bones” McKinney, “Peahead” Walker, Jim Beatty, Dave Sime, “Meadowlark” Lemon, Arnold Palmer, Richard Petty, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Leon Brogden, David T. and MJ. Sam Jones, Jerry Richardson, and other greats.
And some I was fortunate to know: Alan White, Jerry Steele, Dave Odom, Jack Jensen, Dean Smith, Charlie Adams, Mary Garber, Jack McKeon, Jim Mills, “Big House” Gaines, Walt Rabb, Dr. Leroy Walker, Lou Pucillo, Terry Holland, Herb Appenzeller, Woody Durham, Danny Talbot… . Some Wilson, N.C. BROTHERS: This year—the Godfather–Lee Gliarmis, and Carlester Crumpler, Bill Brooks, Tom and Bill Davis, Coach Harvey Reid.
Marshall Happer is to be inducted in May. Great Choice. Allen Morris, “BO” Roddey, Whit Cobb, and North Carolina’s TENNIS MATRIARCH, Mildred Southern, represent N.C. tennis’ great history.
Not everybody, but a gym full of the best.
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in Raleigh, N.C. museum of sports treasure. Visit it. AND SUPPORT IT.