BLISS(395)

By now, it was clear. I would quarterback Madison High under Coach Raymond Cure, go on to Wake Forest College, about to move to Winston Salem from Wake County in 1956. Later I attended the ground breaking at the new Wake Campus. Dr. Tribble was the university president, U.S. President Harry S. Truman was the speaker. Bob Bartholomew was an All-American tackle.

I’d already assigned our positions. Each waking Saturday sent me through the

neighborhood collecting them.
I already had a blackened front tooth, suffered in a pre-school, 2nd grade “tackle

the man with the ball, or “smear the queer” drill.
The highlight came at age 10. I had played catch with some of the high school

players who were in our church. “Foot” Reynolds, Leon Tucker, Lee Anglin were gods to me. And Raymond Cure was the coach, a position higher than God in my mind. Coach Cure coached everything. He wore his football pants and a tee shirt everywhere.

I was watching the high school team practice one day, when there was a rare lull in practice. Leon Tucker, with Foot and Lee watching, called Coach Cure over to watch me “go deep”. Leon hit me with a perfect pass with the big ball and I held on. It knocked me down but I held it. Cure watched me return the ball (I couldn’t hold it) to Leon, and left saying…”I’ll make him a quarterback. I couldn’t have been happier.

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