UNCLE LOUIE (380)

“Seventy may be the new sixty, but 80 is still 80!”  (Gary McMahan).

I did it again.  Used some bad language at the wrong time.   My Dad was a minister and I only heard him use smut once.  We were washing the parsonage windows, he was outside, I was inside.  I had somewhere to be fairly soon that I alone deemed more important than the Baptist windows.  The third time I barked “what time is it?”  came the stunning answer:  “Half passed the crack of my ass, fifteen minutes till farting time!”

At age 14 I already added profanity as a second language, but this coming from E.T. Parham shocks me in my 80th year.

My mentor in dirty language and impure thoughts began early.  Billy Fulton.   I think his source was Uncle Louie.  My lately arrived at theory that an offshoot of WW11 was that dirty jokes, limericks, poems, etc. got spread at an exponential  rate.  I wrote this about Uncle Louie . (from PLAY IS WHERE LIFE IS):

“Billy had moved in with Opal and Woody into a nicer home, albeit further away. He also got us closer to “Uncle Louie”. Uncle Louie was a World War II Vet. It seemed like he was always under the hood of his car. Later in life I’ve decided World War II was the vehicle that spread various types of humor throughout the country. Uncle Louie was our source. He knew every dirty joke, limerick, ditty, titty, or whatever. (See page 24 Archibald Bearasshole).  And I loved it.

Names of farts: Fiz, Fazz, Fizzle, Fazzle, poot, anti-poot, rip ass, and roar.

Sizes of brassieres: 32A, 34B, Hubba-Hubba, Oh Hot Damn, Here Comes the Showboat, and the F.O.B. Detroit.

“I saw her butt ……she didn’t see me. I saw her ass she crossed the street.”

I was becoming addicted to funny people and they were often “smutty”. Billy was an encyclopedia of vice. He had a “pornographic memory”.

 

 

 

 

 

I AM CHANGING MY NAME (379)

A few years back there was a TV show called COACH.  Burt Reynolds played “Coach”.  Hal Holbrook was his father-in -law.  In every episode there would be a situation from the past that Burt would innocently mention, eliciting the constant response from Holbrook:  “yeah-but that was before you married my daughter and ruined my life.”

Football staffs just call each other Coach.  Lots of turnover.  I coached 40 plus years and hung around a lot of coaches who couldn’t remember, or pronounce my name confidently.  I didn’t mind being called Coach.  I always wanted to be a coach and was proud some people thought I was one.

When you retire people ask,  “what do you do all day?”  Bum Phillips said “…I don’t  do nothing and I don’ start till noon”.  I only have one appointment booked weekly (Wed. 3pm til 8pm at VFW Post 6690).   And I have helped with a local high school tennis team.

I had been doing projects and you have to have projects to make the winter tolerable.  Now, nearly 80 years old,  I’m cutting back .  My grandson in Raleigh calls me POP.  I think I’ll be Pop for a while now.

 

GET BACK (378)

Having played six man high school football I love watching “you tube” clips of Texas six man.  One of the few places it is still played.  Crowell High School seems to be among the best teams.

I spent twenty-one years at a college that didn’t field football. I was out of the loop when Elon College hired me.  It was 1985 and Elon had won two NAIA football titles in 1980 and 1981.  The then “Fightin’ Christians were ranked #1 the NAIA when I arrived.  As part of my job was administration and football was  very important, I tried to learn all  I could to be helpful.  My main source of information was Clay.   Clay Hassard was a former ALL AMERICAN, and though 6’5” and about 275 lbs, he was kind till uniformed. Clay was on the football staff that included Larry McClain and shared an office with another oversized nice guy.   They indulged my interest and helped in a lot of ways.  Clay had a year ahead of Larry and thus laughed when staff appointments revealed Larry was now the “get back coach”!

The  what I asked?  Clay explained there were some crap jobs all staffs have to cover.  Every team has to have a “get back coach”, because the non playing teammates get excited and edge up too close to the side lines.  While dangerous, which seemed to matter little, your team can be penalized!  Next game watch for this coach, pushing and shoving and yelling “get back! get back! get back!”

(For your information the worst assignment is monitoring the “mess-up” list.  You have to meet the screwups at 5:30 am at the stadium to supervise  early runs.)

Like all athletic departments we had an awards banquet. Every year.  We also had an annual Hall of Fame banquet.  And a couple of others at which outsiders spoke.  We became astute at getting these done in about two hours.  It requires some effort.

Tennis fans watching Wimbledon will soon recognize a guy dressed in black with a black straw hat sitting in the same box seat annually.  That is the players box and 75 year old, David Starling is the “steward” of the box.  Sort of a host/guardian task.

Maybe a steward is a good idea for speaking events.  You have to be discreet, up to a point.  I watched the Gong Show with Chuck Burris back in the day.  Can’t gong ’em.  Maybe you rent David and the black suit.   Out of sight and unobtrusive until “that guy” violates the time limits or decent behavior,  the Get Down coach simply stands.  And we mean it.

We worked hard  to protect our events.  It pays off.  Find yourselves a GET DOWN coach.  Below is a reprint of some guidelines we hammered out that worked:

SPEAKING AT AWARDS BANQUETS (#14)

1. While this is a special time for you, your time is limited.

2. Rehearse your speech and try to finish  under your allotted time.   Brevity is the soul of wit.

3.  Respect your audience.

4.  If you speak for too long, you infringe upon the other speaker’s time, and create the potential for audience discomfort.

5.  Many speakers “get in and can’t get out” — it’s okay to just stop telling a story and move on.   Practice it.

6.  Some speakers are surprised by their emotions.    Talking about parents, family, team mates, coaches and schools can trigger deep and powerful and surprising emotions.

7.  The monitor runs the show.   It’s essential that the moderator make the ground rules for speakers clear in the rehearsal.   If you should exceed your time limit, the monitor  GET DOWN COACH will rise.   This is the signal to wrap it up quickly.

 

 

 

THE GYM (378)

THE GYM 1960-1985

 

I doubt if Ed Cloyd or Milton Adams or anyone else at Atlantic Christian College had any idea that the gym they had pushed to reality would house so many different happenings and changes about to be become reality in the 60’s, 7o’s and even the 80’s. ‘Uncle Milty”was the beloved and trusted business manager who delivered the money to fulfill Mr. Cloyd’s vision.

Ed Cloyd was the Chairman of the Physical Education Department and the Athletics Department. A World War 11 veteran who survived the Saipan invasion, Mr. Cloyd was a true idealist and professional. He was also a self effacing , skilled athlete. For years He was the best tennis player in town and able to shoot par equally.

The design of the new gym bore his stamp. One characteristic was the multitude of different lines in the gym. The main blue lines were for varsity basketball and wider. Red lines marked two cross-courts for free play and class instruction, Yellow lines were boundaries for six badminton courts. White for two volleyball.   This insured training areas for future teachers, not like many gyms designed only for Men’s varsity basketball. While coaches howled, the lines stayed and never reportedly tripped anyone.

In fact Cloyd saw athletics being only a part of the gym, staff, and departments duties. Steadfastly he built a strong overall program, with first priority for the average student. As for former teacher/coach majors their sacred trust was to consider all students and their health and physical well being.

The gym housed classes, games, intramurals, free play, indoor soccer, baseball practice, aerobics and the 12 minute run, concerts, class registrations, the Danish gymnastics team, and others too many to recall. Once a year the North Carolina symphony played for the public schools children in the gym. All day bus loads of fifth graders.   When the crowd after lunch settled in I swear you could smell what was served that day in school cafeterias. The gym schedule was tight. Everyone claimed ownership and governance was tough. .   One grown neighborhood man told me “…if you ask me to leave, I will. But I’ll be back tomorrow. The only thing in life for me is basketball.”

The gym housed concerts people still talk about. Fleetwood Mac, Ray Charles . I had a new pair of tennis shorts in my unlocked locker that the Tams used to shine their shoes.

Ken Cooper, founder of Aerobics spoke to the entire student body. Better still, Tom Cureton led the volunteer students in a skipping/exercise in circular fashion around   the gym floor. One by one they gave out and dropped out until only the 70 year old Cureton danced around in a circle. Later we heard that the same thing happened that afternoon at ECTC (now East Carolina university).

Here are some others gym memories:

There were “club sports” and hosted tournaments for volleyball and badminton enthusiasts. Military clubs and ACC level clubs from “big schools” came to Wilson.

Class registration was held in the gym.

There were indoor soccer tournaments.

Winter nights would fill the gym with intramural games many among the fraternity and sorority teams and fans.

Once we decided to have the heavyweight intramural wrestling championship in the gym.   Raymond Boykin vs Gid Alston. It packed the whole building.

For several years we held indoor professional tennis matches in the gym, World class players on a borrowed mat. These were town sponsored events and never has there been better “town-gown” cooperation.

Once we hosted the Danish Gymnastics team for a performance. They stayed several days and used the gym as home. Lots of male students hung around the gym those three days.

Those who took freshman physical education in the Aerobics requirement period never worked harder , or were in better shape. Laps in the gym. The 12 minutes run. Tough.

The basketball world was shocked about the same time our gym was opened. Henry Logan of Western Carolina was the first black player to play in our league and he kicked the door open. Mid 60’s, before major colleges, our league featured Dwight Durante of Catawba, then Gene Littles of High Point.   Soon after ACC recruited Cliff Black and James Jones of nearby Conetoe,NC. Both were gentlemen as well as fine players. Cliff held several records, many still unbroken.

Carole McKeel saw the light and recruited our first black woman, Lorraine Riley. Like the men, success followed with players like Cathy Wall, and soon our first Women’s All American, Tyra Boyd.

In 1972 the college hired David Adkins as the Athletics Director. He also was to coach the newly added soccer team.   David was a quiet leader and a hard worker.   Still he took his licks too, early on.   His first two teams were 1-22.   Team three, however, was 7-5 , featuring a corner turning coach, and some players who had paid their dues.   Adkins teams became the powerhouse of the conference and our district of the NAIA.   Adkins and his players were influential ambassadors for soccer’s development in Wilson and eastern North Carolina.

There was a “bell cow” effect.   Coach Carole Mckeel’s   women’s basketball team won it first conference. title.   Women’s volley ball team became a “tough out” in league play. The colorful Jack “Doc” Sanford finished his career coaching baseball, his first love.   A delightful leader in his seventieth year, Doc led a special group of youngsters to another formerly rare conference title. During this period Men’s tennis won 11conference titles and two NAIA team tennis championships (1979 and 1984). The first in North Carolina history.   “This proves to our students we can compete with anybody.”

Indeed a new culture was born in the 70’s ,   No more clear-cut evidence was there than the Hawn trophy finishes. For twenty years our total program’s finish was always dead last. Eighth of eight.    Coach Adkins’ years featured a steady climb in the final standings, While Adkins later entered the private business world, the year after he resigned the college job, the Bulldogs finished a historical #2 Hawn finish.. The year after that they won the outright claim to top sports program in this highly competitive conference.   Subsequently there was a three years stretch of Hawn winners.

*

 

 

 

And there are more I remember
And more I could mention
Than words I could write in a song
But I feel them watching
And I see them laughing
And I hear them singing along

 

Lyle Lovett—FAMILY RESERVE

 

As you get older memories are about it.   I left the gym in 1985. And I am sure the next years provided many similar and different memories. Gyms are good places. The athletes gave us great games and performances to savor.:   The Dawgs thumping #1 ranked nationally Guilford, featuring Lloyd “World B “Free.   That was a special team” Carraway, Jones, Stallsmith, Gilmore, and Covington. And an injured Coach who chased a referee while confined to a wheel chair.

Our women, valiantly won their rights to the gym, basketball and volleyball.   And gave us great performances.

But there was more than the games. Every birthday my young boys had featured a request to bring their buddies to the gym to play floor hockey. We snuck in on Sundays, or late at night. Talk about a “perk”. Yes, and walking into the hollow gym at 8am hearing Johnson Moore, jr. or a rather large Russell Rawlings, firing away at the rim. “2 for 22!” Johnson said he was HOT!

They changed the name of the college to Barton College. But it’s the same gym. Only it is fifty plus years old and needs a major facelift. The college committed to a total renovation and the whole main floor is now gutted. New floor, bleachers, lighting, scoreboards, computerization, and—AIR CONDITIONING to come.

I appreciate the school’s commitment to my old friend, the gym.

 

 

 

AIN’T IT FUNNY HOW TIME JUST DRIFTS AWAY (377)

“ain’t it funny how time just drifts away.”

 

Once Barton agreed to renovate the gym properly (see enclosures) I agreed to fulfill a pledge to them, that I would help them raise money for the project.   I have been gone from Wilson for 35 years. Its soon dawned on me that the people who supported us (Atlantic Christian) back in the day, weren’t around any more. But I haven’t lost that much memory, or been unconcerned about old friends, or been that far away. And I’ve learned the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Looking for support “several years back” these are some I’d call: Buddy Bedgood, George Flowers, Zeke Cozart, T. Forbes, Milton Adams, Doug Hackney, Lee Gliarmis, Ralph El Ramey, Robert Lee Dunn,Sr., Herbert lashley, Jimmy Dempsey,

Turner Bunn, Vince Lowe, Russell Thompson, Mosely Hussey, Johnson

Moore,sr., Gordon Sauls, Tyson and Peggy Jennette, Jim Hemby, Matthew

Boykin, Bobby Sharpe, Bobby Kirkland, Ned Ligon, Harry Helmer, Dave Oettinger, Pete Grine, Bob Pope, Huitt Mattox. Herb Jeffries,

 

And there are more I remember
And more I could mention
Than words I could write in a song
But I feel them watching
And I see them laughing
And I hear them singing along

 

Lyle Lovett—Family Reserve

********************************

Who can get this plea to the offspring?

 

**************************************

ODE TO THE GYM (BLOG 364)

 

“We could beat anybody in a gym” Doc Sanford (1984). *

Doctor Jack Sanford was standing at the entrance to the gym watching his baseball team practicing indoors, after a week of rain. I asked him how his team was going to be this year? *See quote above.

 

Wilson/Alumni gym was named after its two sources of funding, the town and the college. It was built in 1965/66, my second year as a teacher at Atlantic Christian College.   My first year my office was located in the bowels of the “old gym”. The physical education department chair, Ed Cloyd, would come by my office almost daily and suggest we go to the new construction site. He had designed the building and knew where every brick should go.

One day I walked to the new site alone, and met Mr. Cloyd coming back toward me. He had tears in his eyes. I asked what was wrong? “They took the wall hung urinals out of the bathrooms.! You can’t clean the floor if the urinals are floor mounted”!

The new gym was his baby.

I never saw a gym that wouldn’t fill up if the door was open.   One grown neighborhood man told me “…if you ask me to leave, I will. But I’ll be back tomorrow. The only thing in life for me is basketball.”

The gym housed classes, games, intramurals, free play, indoor soccer, baseball practice, aerobics and the 12 minute run, concerts, class registrations, the Danish gymnastics team, and others too many to recall. Once a year the North Carolina symphony played for the public schools children in the gym. All day bus loads of fifth graders.   When the crowd after lunch settled in I swear you could smell what was served that day in school cafeterias.

One characteristic was the multitude of different lines in the gym. The main blue lines were for varsity basketball and wider. Red lines marked two cross-courts for free play and class instruction, Yellow lines were boundaries for six badminton courts. White for two volleyball.

I taught eight DIFFERENT classes my first semester. Intramural director and tennis coach tacked on. One class was first aid. Twenty years at 8 am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.   I have been told about 15 times by former first aid students that they saved someone’s life, or helped with a major injury or drowning. One student swore they saved their beloved mule with CPR.

Three days a week then, I was one of the first in the gym. The first was M“r. B”. Mister Bowen had one eye, managed the equipment room and loved Ed Cloyd. He had eleven children, all girls. “We threw the boys away”.   He rode his bike four miles a day to open the gym at 5am. Did that at 85 years of age.

At about seven thirty a.m.(mwf) I’d enter the back door: “Mawnin Mr Tom”. Morning Mr B.”   The next sound came from the gym floor. The ball would hit the floor, then a diminishing sound of 4 or 5 bounces.   I’d guess to myself whether it was Johnson Moore, or Russell Rawlings (the large one).

I’d say Hey ,Russell. Hey coach. Or Hey Johnson, and he’d say “watch this one coach.” And there would go that two hander. How you hitting em , Johnson? I’m 2 for 22. I’m hot!

The gym housed concerts people still talk about. Fleetwood Mac, Ray Charles . I had a new pair of tennis shorts in my unlocked locker that the Tams used to shine their shoes.

Ken Cooper, founder of Aerobics spoke to the entire student body. Better still, Tom Cureton led the volunteer students in a skipping/exercise in circular fashion around   the gym floor. One by one they gave out and dropped out until only the 70 year old Cureton danced around in a circle. Later we heard that the same thing happened that afternoon at ECTC (now East Carolina university).

As you get older memories are about it.   I left the gym in 1985. And I am sure the next years provided many similar and different memories. Gyms are good places.

They changed the name of the college to Barton College. But it’s the same gym. Only it is fifty plus years old and needs a major facelift. The college committed to a total renovation and the whole main floor is now gutted. New floor, bleachers, lighting, scoreboards, computerization, and—AIR CONDITIONING to come.

I appreciate the school’s commitment to my old friend, the gym.

 

 

 

 

GYM RATS (376)

 

September 16, 2019

Dear Friends,

 

Since 1966, Wilson Gymnasium has served our student-athletes, athletic teams, and the campus and community faithfully by providing a central hub for competitiveness, learning, engagement, and fellowship. 

 

It is home to the 2007 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Champions, 2017 and 2018 Conference Carolinas Women’s Volleyball back to back champions, and has recently welcomed Harvard and Princeton to face-off against our nationally ranked Men’s Volleyball team. Through the years, Wilson Gym has also served as a community hub for the cultural arts. Events such as Barton College’s annual Love the Symphony call it home, and it has even attracted performances from musical greats with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Ray Charles, and KC and the Sunshine Band taking center stage. 

 

From championship play to symphonic performances, the gymnasium has provided the background for some of the most memorable moments for both Barton College and the Wilson community. To keep up with growth, demand and continual use, the College began renovations to the facility in May. The transformation will provide coaches and student-athletes with the resources and facilities to support championship play by upgrading to a bio-cushion floor with new floor graphics, updating the sound system, installing retractable bench-back seating, adding new paint and interior enhancements, purchasing a new scoreboard and creating a higher quality fan experience through the addition of a new HVAC system. 

***When I arrived in 1959,   the real talk was about flag football and most of the  scuttle was who could stop Bob Wemberly? . While I saw him only one year I gotta say he was impressive  Think freight train. But for my all time MVP for intramurals none comes close to Johnny Dollar. Any sport winner we had , individual and team , usually featured Johnny Dollar.  And for his total stay. Herb Van Roekel did win the turkey day race all his four years.

 

And there are more I remember

And more I could mention

Than words I could write in a song

But I feel them watching

And I see them laughing

And I hear them singing along

 

Lyle Lovett—Family Reserve

 

Fellow Bulldogs, I have agreed to support this major reconstruction personally, as well as volunteering to identify people from the years 1960 – 1985 who I hope may have a similar desire to lend help to the College and the project. Now is the moment to participate. Thanks so much for your time and consideration. 

 

 

Go Bulldogs! 

 

Tom Parham/Gym Rat

Class of 1963

 

MY DEAL WITH THE BIG COACH (375).

THE NEXT SEVERAL BLOGS  RELATE TO MY EFFORTS TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE RENOVATION OF THE GYMNASIUM AT ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN COLLEGE/NOW BARTON COLLEGE (MY ALMA MATER).

September 16, 2019

 

Dear Friends,

 

Since 1966, Wilson Gymnasium has served our student-athletes, athletic teams, and the campus and community faithfully by providing a central hub for competitiveness, learning, engagement, and fellowship. 

 

It is home to the 2007 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Champions, 2017 and 2018 Conference Carolinas Women’s Volleyball back to back champions, and has recently welcomed Harvard and Princeton to face-off against our nationally ranked Men’s Volleyball team. Through the years, Wilson Gym has also served as a community hub for the cultural arts. Events such as Barton College’s annual Love the Symphony call it home, and it has even attracted performances from musical greats with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Ray Charles, and KC and the Sunshine Band taking center stage. 

 

From championship play to symphonic performances, the gymnasium has provided the background for some of the most memorable moments for both Barton College and the Wilson community. To keep up with growth, demand and continual use, the College began renovations to the facility in May. The transformation will provide coaches and student-athletes with the resources and facilities to support championship play by upgrading to a bio-cushion floor with new floor graphics, updating the sound system, installing retractable bench-back seating, adding new paint and interior enhancements, purchasing a new scoreboard and creating a higher quality fan experience through the addition of a new HVAC system. 

 

Fellow Bulldogs, I have agreed to support this major reconstruction personally, as well as volunteering to identify people from the years 1960 – 1985 who I hope may have a similar desire to lend help to the College and the project. Now is the moment to participate. Thanks so much for your time and consideration. 

 

Go Bulldogs! 

 

Tom Parham

Class of 1963