“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
People literally went to the movie GONE WITH THE WIND to hear the “damn” word spoken on film.
Similar words exist today. The worst is the N word. Won’t type it. “F”ing” has become a current dodge. Two current books with “F**K in the title were on the Pearl Street book store shelf in Boulder recently.
In an earlier blog I stated the noble sage, Coach Morningstar, said sex was undefeated. Several caught me and reminded me that “Pussy is undefeated” is the quotable assertion. The late Robin Williams stated his favorite word was pussy. Pussy Galore made a Bond film. Tis a different day when the President says, “…I just grab’em by the pussy!”
What has this got to do with the current version of WHERE ARE WE NOW AND HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The Morningstar dictum comes into play often in the political arena. Think Bill Clinton, John Edwards, JFK, FDR,etc. Republicans equally. Wilbur Mills was a classic. Spike Lee calls Trump, “Agent Orange”; certainly a barrier-breaker in the world of civility.
I would have fired Bill Clinton for his disrespectful variation of the above opine. Yet revisiting the “W” days and the following, when an unjust war, written off the books, and deregulation (costing the American public 17 trillion dollars), it seems that blow jobs and balanced budgets may be preferable to what happened 2000 to 2008. Not to mention the 18 years of growing debt, bloodshed, and despair from that dishonest war decision.
It is hard to remember unity, but just prior to the 2008 election the large majority of democrats and republicans agreed, that no matter who was elected it would take a long, long time to right the ship. Literally within months after his election, Obama was being blamed for the whole mess, and chastised for not having it all forgotten. By the same token “I don’t care about anything else, Trump is a BUSINESS MAN” has been trumpeted by the loonies. And he credits himself for a nine year financial upswing. This bravado began within almost weeks of his swearing in, yet the beginning of the steady upswing goes back to 2009, OBAMA, YEAR 1-FIRST TERM.
I hope we can unify, our only chance to make America great again. It will take a long time. Whether we can return to greatness (and hopefully civility) will demand effort by all citizens, not by self proclamation.


Burt Lancaster as Bob Starbuck in THE RAINMAKER (1956): “…BUT DON’T ASK FOR DELUGE!”

Hurricane Florence got us (Emerald Isle and lots of North Carolina). Luckily we could bolt for Son Dan’s home in Raleigh. Thanks for that.
We went one day to the North Carolina Museum of History. I was unaware of the artist/football star, Ernie Barnes, or his dual status as both. The museum’s exhibit of his artwork stunned me. Native to nearby Durham and a graduate of North Carolina Central University, his work portrayed the time I grew up in small town NC, but of a different culture. As I viewed his large showing of work, it looked vaguely familiar and yet different. It was.
Ernie died at 70, April 1990.
I went to Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, from 1959-1963. And returned there as a teacher/coach/administrator until 1985. And served in similar roles at Elon College/ now University until 2004. Lots of changes. None more than in the sports world. Integration the most volatile. No football at ACC during my stays. And the only black guys I played against was when we played college basketball against military teams. As an assistant basketball coach, I was proud to help recruit ACC’S first black players–Clifton Earl Black, and Jimmy Jones of nearby Conetoe (pronounced kah nee tah) NC. Great young men. Black broke almost every record we had. Many followed and while I stopped coaching basketball I taught almost all of them. Being a small school you got to know the kids well. Speedy Gainor, Stan Lewter, Lorenzo Jones, George Bell, Richard Battle, Damien Carter, a few of these new friends. As Athletics Director, I knew the girls too–Cindy Wall, Sheila Keel, Annie May Wooten. Good people and players. A kid from Murfreesboro, William Bogues was 5’11” and led the Carolinas Conference in rebounding! Say what? Saw it!
The small town where I went to high school played 6-man football,and, while I loved playing, it didn’t resemble what awaited 25 later at Elon. Almost immediately I supervised the team’s trip to Orlando to play a tough Central Florida team. Many had never flown. The team operated in “herd mentality”. My small tennis teams sort of wandered around wherever.
As I saw these guys and their coaches work, I really appreciated them. Kyle Wills ramrodded the work-study players, a majority of whom were black kids. I watched them in their blue work suits clean the post-game gym with precision.
And as much as I loved those ACC kids, football guys are just different. I never missed a game at home. And they made it a great learning experience. Somebody said John Bradsher became a General in the US Army. I don’t doubt it. Everybody loved Dwayne Clark. I did too and wept at his funeral. Stanly Hairston, Russell Evans, Al Hendricks, Ronnie Purcell, Jeff Slade, Gino McLamb,
Willie Williams, Grady Williamson. Our defensive backs and receivers were often just a little smaller than those at big schools. I marveled at Arketa Banks, and Steve Ferguson. Leo Barker was a super coach and others too many to name.
Over those twenty years we played North Carolina Central University, Barnes alma mata. DR. Leroy Walker always spoke. BIG HOUSE GAINES and I sat together all day at the NAIA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS in Kansas City in 1976 . The first of 8 games that day began at 11am, the last at 11pm. Coach Gaines and I watched all eight. We ate 3 meals plus at the concession stand. Popcorn, ice cream, pretzels, cokes, hot dogs, candy bars. Coppin State (with Joe Pace) won the NAIA. Big House won the concession contest.
Arthur Ashe was the Jackie Robinson of tennis. He spoke to Elon on PROPOSITION 48 in 1988. For years I have bought every copy of his DAYS OF GRACE I have found. I gave many of these, his most personal perspective of race in America, to those great kids I coached and taught. My thanks to Arthur.
I don’t know how long the Barnes exhibit will remain in Raleigh. I encourage its viewing and study. Mr. Barnes is well known in the art and football world. One book of his history and work is FROM PADS TO PALETTE (By Ernie Barnes). All football. When I finish I am sending my copy to Elon University Football. What a story.

P.S. for fun google 6-man football in Texas. going strong with scores in the 70 point range. I believe Crowell High School has had the best program.
P.S.S. Just purchased the new biography, ASHE, on Arthur Ashe. Into first 200 pages, and so far, so good. tp


Now retired from coaching tennis, I marvel at the changes in the game. The US OPEN men’s singles match between Nadal and Theim may have been the longest match ever played at that level of play. In 2012 it was apparent the next tactical gold mine was the drop shot. Now they have perfected how to defend this nightmare. What is next?
1. Temperature control. Eight players retired with heat the victor in early play.
2. Two of the all time best (and toughest) men–Federer and Nadal were victims, one to heat, one to injury. The parity of the players, and the number of them, has combined with technology to the point that even the fittest succumb. Somewhat like pro football, who is left at the end, wins. Most obvious first rule change: Only 2 of 3 sets.
3. There were no referees in small college team tennis matches when I began coaching. Players made all calls. The home coach was in charge of decisions. Some “goat rodeos” in those days. The point penalty system gave our new found referees a way to control misbehavior. Took a while. Illie Nastase shouted at the “cyclops” prototype “…you made in Russia!” The new machines can make a call as narrow as a blade of grass. Little arguments with modern line calls. The
2018 NCAA Mens Singles finals featured Wake Forest’s #2 player beating Wake’s #1 player in the finals. I witnessed a similar situation 45 years ago.
Small colleges often played in the NAIA. Presbyterian College of Clinton, SC was coached by Jim Shakespeare. And, similarly, their #1 (George Amaya) played their #2(Milan Kofol) for the title. The chair umpire and only official was the impeccable Mr. Marvin Richmond. Mr. Richmond, a small but quite neat man, had served a term as the head of the USTA.
College tennis was growing fast and needed rules. The NAIA had its unique behavior rule which simply stated ONE WARNING, SECOND OFFENSE—GAME. This was also before tiebreakers. Early in the close and heated (for teammates)match Mr. Richmond had given Kofol with a warning. At 7/7 in the final set, Amaya broke Kofol for the first service break in the set. This made the score 8/7 with Amaya to serve for the match. Kofol reeling from losing his serve, made the fatal mistake of underestimating the rules. Approaching his seat for the change over, he angrily threw his racket at his chair. Stunned, the quiet crowd heard a big voice from the small referee: “Penalty two. GAMES 9-7. Mr Amaya is the NAIA MEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION!”
Understandably Coach Shakespeare objected. His reason: “You can’t make that call, this is the national championship!” As Mr. Richardson descended to the bottom rung of umpire’s chair he straitened his necktie, turned to the coach and players and declared “WHAT BETTER TIME TO MAKE THE PROPER CALL.” And walked away.
There is written proof of my sincere admiration for the Williams family and what all they have accomplished over the years. At the same time, having watched more tennis this year than ever, my major complaint has been “…the rules do not allow throwing and/or damaging your racket. Male or Female, any day.
The rules are important. Examples are important.
Fewer rackets will be thrown.




PHONE IS 252-764-3492


“HELPING  (blog 176)




ethomasparham@gmail. com

Yesterday I was the moderator of a podcast by colleague, John Danise, of Florida. John is old, like me, and like me, is a fan of tennis. We share many ideas as to how to enhance tennis in America, specifically high school and college team tennis.


The personal information above is a copy of contacts to work I have done. My son convinced me of THE CLOUD, and the willingness to give freely to anyone who will access the blog, or the free pdf to both books.

The topic we confronted yesterday was the persistent issue of how to make tennis better in America.   My belief has always been scholarship availability for American juniors is both legal, and a key to player improvement (and sadly, to the recent demise in quality).

I was particularly encouraged by two of our contributors, one American, one a South African.   Having lost the argument for some kind of reservation of scholarships, it is good to know there are bright, younger people aware of the problem, and the willingness to put some pressure on the big guns.

Maybe the best thing yesterday, was making people aware if the history of this battle. Both sides.   The second half of HELPING is all on the history of information I have gathered since 1970 (“pre—internet”) Some mine, mostly others.

Many have been aware of the issues and legality of the problem. It was good to hear there are some new ones with the passion for our tennis. (see “

Passing the Flag” (blog 163.)


PS you can hear the podcast from yesterday by googling yella ball network. Find the specific podcast and punch away.


From my friend, Alan:  The head football coach was about to send a rookie college football coach on his first recruiting trip.  The prior season had yielded  no wins, eight losses, and two ties.

Old coach’s instructions.  1.  If  they ask you what our team record was last year, pretend you didn’t understand them.  2. They will likely respond, “…what was your record last season?” 3.  You can then say “Oh! EIGHT AND TWO”.

(It is not whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame. Or CLAIM THE FAME!)

(“It’s the economy, Stupid”!)

Here is a quote of my own.  Almost always the coach being fired is a better person than those firing him/her.

I hated  to fire a coach.  Like shooting your dog.

Historically team wins dictate employment.   2-8, 1-9, 2-8, adios.  Most  recoveries look hopefully like this—first year (3/5) , second year -5/5, third–7/3 and  almost everybody is happy.  Can’t please em all no matter what.

There are a lot of different things going on now.  Historically judgement on football coaches was about four years.  A lot like politics. “Give him four years to build his program” to “he better win next year or he’s gone.” Like politics?   Similarly “…if he gets it done in four years, we’ll give him four more!”

The previous Presidents, Clinton, W, Obama had eight years.

There is currently a lot of chest thumping over the economy.  And, in fact, the current crowd began to brag about this being totally to their credit  very early on.  A little quick for football.

CLINTON from 1992-2000  ended with a surplus budget.  (“It happened during my administration!”–POGO, AND BILL.)  Economy record?  9/1.

2000-2008:  The “W” (give cheney  and rusmfeld plenty of credit).  Iraq and hedge funds.  The term “trillions” at the end of this eight.  Economy record, 0-10.

Obama (2008 – 2016) .  The good news on the street is that we have been in the longest bull stock bull market ever.  About 8/9 years.  Hmm, that puts its beginning about 2008.

JET JOB (definition).  In the sports world when a team improves rapidly, skeptics arise.  Why?  Because to do it right takes time.  When a team goes from 2/8 to 8/2 in the first year of a coach’s tenure, eyes roll.  Pundits ponder.

It can happen quickly.  One team we had pulled 2/8 to 8/2.  I’ve got to say that coach was a really good one and we brought in two all time players at QB and wide  receiver.  After another 2/8 was about to be terminated, one staffer seemed concerned:  “I’m not sure.  This guy has recruited a great group for next year, plus he had the courage to properly red shirt some that will really help.”  Still he was replaced and the new coach went 8/2.

“You can’t make chicken salad until you have the chicken.”  (Buddy Bedgood).








Being a small college teacher/coach, summer employment was a must for survival.  Students, too, needed to earn summer money.  So, in 1968, when coaching friends  Bob Paroli and Dick Knox, offered me a job in New York I headed north.   Coach Paroli was the summer headmaster of the private academy, New York Military Academy, and he also needed college students to fill out  the staff.  I recruited five athletes who were enrolled at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College in Wilson, NC).  Most all of the summer campers were from New York City.  370 teenage and preteen boys.  All shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and  behaviors.   One Italian 10 year agreed to say the blessing every day:  “Rocky DiPietro will now say grace:   “Bless us, oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thou bounty through Christ Our Lord, Amen.”

In October of 2015 Donald Trump’s statements about John McCain (“…he is no hero.” Or “…I prefer my heroes to not be captured.”) stunned me.  I wondered how he could survive such a vile tact.  I knew that Trump was deferred four times during  the Vietnam war.  Upon researching the reason he cited was  “…bone spurs in his heel.”  Incredulously he couldn’t recall which heel.

Then the all time kicker.  Trump equated his military expertise as superior, having attended military school.   Nearby West Point?  Nope—New York Military Academy.  SAY WHAT?

Toward the end of that summer it was announced the campers would re-fight the Civil War.  Coach Bob Gilmore of Sanford, NC would command the South, and General “McFanny” (Gary McMahan of Va. Beach), the North.

There was never any other type of military education or concern.

My guys said it was a so-so water battle.

From Wikipedia— <

McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the U.S. Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While McCain was on a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during the war left him with lifelong physical disabilities. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1987 and easily won reelection five times, the last time in 2016.