THONGS ( )

Early beach fashion seems to suggest thongs are to be more prevalent this season. Even with the virus rules and cool March weather a lot have been “popping out”.
However something has to be done. We go to the shore quite often. My grandson and I like to throw stale bread to the seagulls. With none is sight, a throng of fowls will somehow gather instantly.
Today the weather is really nice. A group of young girls descended locally.
Much like the seagulls, a group young men appeared almost instantly. There was blatant violation of the social distance requlations.
Plus they blocked the view.

YOUNG GUNS ( )

Let’s Make American Tennis Great Again
(Dan Parham)

Introduction
– 5 minute overview, 10 minutes questions after my overview
– Today I will focus on a proposed solution … if anyone would like to talk more about how we ended up in this position, I’m happy to answer those questions over a beer after my allotted time today.

Why
Over the past 35 years, the number of top ranked US players has declined drastically. For example, right now there are zero top 10 ranked men in the ATP, and two in the WTA. By comparison, in 1970, there were x men and x women in the top 10. Additionally, we’re giving approximately 7,000 scholarships a year (~$200m/year) to international players. In comparison, the USTA spends $18m/year on player development.

Vision
What if we invested these resources into American tennis players? Would we see a dramatic increase in top ranked players in the next 10 years? Either way, we will have allocated tens of thousands of scholarships to young Americans, investing over $250m in educational resources into the US economy. Let’s build a coalition of supporters of American tennis to test this theory. Our goal is the adoption of a new policy by the NCAA that requires 70% of men’s and women’s scholarships to be allocated to US citizens over the next 10 years.

Measuring success
We expect to see a 300% increase in Americans in the top ten men’s and women’s worldwide rankings by 2027 (ten years).

Accomplishing our goal
Today we are all here as leaders in the American college tennis community. We have the potential to build a grassroots coalition of likeminded supporters of American tennis. Once we determine our strategy, we can leverage our collective relationships to determine the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of our campaign. We’ll start by privately approaching Tim Russell, CEO of the ITA privately, and understand the ITA Board’s concerns with our proposal. Once we have their support (or opposition), we will reach out to the ITA coaches to help us demonstrate their support for our proposal. We’ll state the potential benefits and consequences of this policy shift, and petition the NCAA to make the changes. If they refuse to consider our proposal, we’ll explore a legal approach.

Risks
The first question is, is it legally possible to reserve a percentage of scholarships for US citizens? We may need to hire a legal expert to determine the complexity of our proposal if necessary. We need to understand the incentives of the ITA Board, the ITA members, NCAA, or USTA have an incentive to incur the cost of fighting this proposal. We should address any negative consequences in our proposal. For example, we understand that we would eliminate some great international players (and scholars) from our institutions. It is also probable that the overall quality of competition would decrease in the near term, and that this could put some smaller college programs at risk. Finally, there would be a decrease in the “diversity” of students in our higher education institutions. We are willing to take these risks.

Next Steps
Determine the right legal and financial structure to support this campaign. Is there an existing non-profit that we could leverage as a fiscal sponsor to move more quickly?
Start a coalition of supporters to staff and fund this campaign. Establish a working leadership council with clear roles and responsibilities, and a decision making process.
Identify an internal or external program manager with campaign experience and strong relationships in the ITA to plan, manage, and execute our campaign.
If we face resistance from the ITA or NCAA, we will need to hire a legal team experienced in NCAA policy and laws to litigate this proposed change.
Identify the ideal leader for the campaign coach.

ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION ( )

Years back my wife wanted to white water raft “the Gauley” in West Virginia. I watched.
Afterwards we decided to ride down in the valley. We came upon a trailer park which we rode through. Gotta say there were some rough looking abodes. Near the end one stood out as the absolute worst. A sign nailed on a tree explained: GROUND UNDER REPAIR.
I am working on rearranging these blogs. Hopefully they will be organized in a better order. Could take a while.

PS? Remember Jesco, “The Dancing Outlaw”. Summer home?
Keep Boone County Clean.

SHOOTOUT (408)

The Browns were famous in Robbins. Frank, Cotton, Bobby, Charlie, and of course, the youngest Leon, were pretty damned formidable in 1952. There was another uncle and cousin I never met. They had then been gunned down earlier on the main street of Robbins. My future brother-in-law, Harold Ritter, gave me a firsthand eyewitness account of the event, having been in the general store where it occurred at the time.
Harold recounted the fact that the town policeman, a man named Moxley, tried to arrest the father-son combination within the store. They gunned Moxley down, and he fell behind the counter. As they drew a breath and relaxed, Moxley rose with two bullets in him, and put one each of his own in each Brown. The Browns never moved, one hit between the eyes. Moxley died in the street on the way to the doctor. The building later became the town’s water plant office. The front windowpane, shattered by one of their stray bullets, was bound and boarded and bolted back together. You were thus reminded of town lore as you walked past the water plant and Frye’s Store, one of the town hubs. Frye’s Store, at that time, was a simple shot-gun general store and shoe store. It endeared itself to me first for its outside sign: “Frye’s Shoes. Boys, we got’em.”

HEAT STROKE (409)

The Ritters were the real deal for a boy. Their garage housed possums, shot guns, dead squirrels, a “telephone” for electrifying scale-less river critters, and boundless fire crackers (near dynamite).
And they were adventuresome. Both Harold and Paul joined the Marines and served in Korea. Pete and Otis were Navy.
Amazing all survived although Paul, later died of Agent Orange.
Wednesday night was a big night later at the Ritters. Gillette’s Calascade of Sports (Boxing on TV). Remember the big parrot carrying the round numbers?
Walt, the old man was a big burly, funny guy. And sober he was a treat. Sober didn’t happen with a lot of mill workers, but on Wednesday night we watched the fights. Walt pulled for whoever the white guy was. For me, Kid Gavilan, Jersey Joe Walcott, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano, were the gods.
Once the boys built a tree house nailing wooden refrigerator boxes stacked on one another, nailed only to the pine tree with a 10-penny nail or two.
To test the safety of the ascent, Otis, at 70 lbs. and 10 years, was comman- deered to climb the boxes. Things went well til the sixth and highest box, where the angle of Otis’ weight, such as it was, caved in the architecture.
The gash in Otis’ head caused concern only because Ruth was due in soon, and Mother Ruth was tough. Harold, who had always been able to fix anything, was nearly through sewing up the wound with Ruth’s needle and thread when she walked in on everyone’s observation of Harold’s needlework.
Hell to pay. Otis didn’t really care.
There was safely in being a Ritter boy. Plus I got first access to all the stories about Walt and his brother, Uncle Harvey.
Walt and Harvey bought some Moore County farmland and called their spread he “Ponderosa”.
The Ponderosa provided a weekend respite from the grind of mill work. White liquor was the catalyst for brotherly love.
Once Harold and Paul were dispatched to retrieve Walt and Uncle Harvey. It was Tuesday and they’d “laid out” of work for two days. Enough Ruth decided. Go get ‘em.
It was a hot sand hills day in northern Moore County. No Yankees at the end of the county. As the sons rounded the dirt road to the Ponderosa gate Uncle
Harvey was seen driving the John Deere tractor calmly dragging Walt, who was unconscious and tied to the tractor by a ten foot chain.
“Uncle Harvey, what are you doing to Dad?”
“Well boys, he’s been so drunk I couldn’t move him out of the sun, and damn, it’s hot. I was afraid he might have a heat stroke, so I’m moving him over into the shade.”
There were periods of sobriety. But there were times when one simply needed a drink. Once, Walt, the needy, arranged a deal with Uncle Harvey who was “on the wagon”.
Harvey needed a difficult bull loaded on to “Old Dodgey” his pick up truck. The deal was Walt would use an electric prod on the bull’s rear end as Harvey backed “Old Dodgey” to the bull. For his part Walt would be driven to the booze store and given a pint of WRL (Walk, Run and Lay Down) liquor. Otherwise, known as cheap stuff. Walt, already considerably tight, miscalculated and prodded the bull’s testicles. The bull leaped over the bed of the truck on to the top of the cab, crushing it down. Old Dodgey on Harvey.
The bull fell back into the bed, winning the argument for Walt over Harvey, contending the bull was in the truck, and that was the deal.
The boys recall seeing the bull tied in the back of Old Dodgey, both 300 pound Harvey and Walt squatted low in the crushed cab, on the way to deliver the bull with a brief stop at the ABC store.

BACK ROW BAPTISTS (412)

There was another church character that demanded attention. Fremont Yow was a retarded man who looked like “Crazy Guggenhiem” from the Red Skelton Show. He was harmless but quite dirty and tough to understand. Fremont rarely missed church and sat on the front row, which pushed the Baptists even further back in the pews. Often unsuspecting newcomers would locate near him. He would soon get their attention by groaning, making unrelated audible comments, or rolling and flipping a booger across several aisles. Again I lived for these moments.
My dad would drive him home after church. In 1957 my dad, for some unknown reason bought a ’57 Chevy, the classic aquamarine and white one. Gorgeous. And it had two four barrel carburetors. Why he selected this creature for our family who knows, but I was the envy of the neighborhood NASCAR wannabees. Stock car racing was growing and we were twenty miles from Randleman, Level Cross, and the Petty family. Once I could drive that beast Dad was fairly free with it. He began to ask me to drive Fremont home. Here’s the scene; after church mom sat shotgun by me, I’d drop them at the parsonage, and drive Fremont – seated in the back – to his home.
Once out of sight, and on and the “straight” to the crossroads, Fremont and I would roll the windows down and I’d floor it. I can see him now; hand on his cruddy man’s hat, laughing toothlessly as we roared upwards of 100 MPH.
When I’d Blues Brothers the newfound jet into his dirt yard, he’d giggle and waddle up to the front porch, where from behind a screen door his mom in flour sack dress peered suspiciously at me.
I never went in.

OLD DODGEY (411)

There were periods of sobriety. But there were times when one simply needed a drink. Once, Walt, the needy, arranged a deal with Uncle Harvey who was “on the wagon”.
Harvey needed a difficult bull loaded on to “Old Dodgey” his pick up truck. The deal was Walt would use an electric prod on the bull’s rear end as Harvey backed “Old Dodgey” to the bull. For his part Walt would be driven to the booze store and given a pint of WRL (Walk, Run and Lay Down) liquor. Otherwise, known as cheap stuff. Walt, already considerably tight, miscalculated and prodded the bull’s testicles. The bull leaped over the bed of the truck on to the top of the cab, crushing it down. Old Dodgey on Harvey.
The bull fell back into the bed, winning the argument for Walt over Harvey, contending the bull was in the truck, and that was the deal.
The boys recall seeing the bull tied in the back of Old Dodgey, both 300 pound Harvey and Walt squatted low in the crushed cab, on the way to deliver the bull with a brief stop at the ABC store.