Speaking at Awards Banquets

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

2. Rehearse your speech and try to finish 2 minutes 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 speakers’ 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 will rise.   This is the signal to wrap it up quickly.

After many years and events, I believe the moderator has the right to protect his or her audience.   Too many times I have heard “he talked too long,” or “she ruined it for others,” or “I’ll never go back to another one of those.”  (NOTE:  ARTICLE 72 HAS SOME HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS ABOUT SPEAKING AT ATHLETIC BANQUETS)

TOASTS

Picked up TOASTS FOR EVERY OCCASION at the local library. As usual my “smart-ass” gene kicked in.  Here’s a few:

  • “It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu toast.”  Mark Twain
  • May you two grow old on one pillow.
  • May you live a hundred years with one extra year to repent.
  • Here’s to a friend who knows you well and likes you just the same.
  • When I read about the evils of drinking,  I gave up reading.
  • What would you like to drink too?  To about three in the morning.
  • In heaven there is no beer so we better drink it here.
  • Here’s to the good time I must have had.
  • “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker”  Ogden Nash.
  • To man.  Give him an inch and he thinks he is a ruler.
  • Here’s to our  coach –a man who will lay down our lives for his school.
  • Here’s to the honest politician.  Who when bought stays bought.
  • To the big-bellied bottle.

THE JIMMY POWELL TENNIS CENTER

Riding by the JPTC I spotted twenty plus fraternity students playing whiffle ball on the courts. They’d actually taped off a baseball field on the courts. Brogans to running shoes, beer keg & all. There they were.
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.
I tried to be nice. One kid ran his argument right at me, as I stood in the door-frame. He ran into the door fence. Really. I couldn’t help but laugh at him.
His buddy took over, quite indignantly telling me how students owned this facility. He wanted to know who I was. I  told him I was directly in charge of the facility and it was limited to tennis only. We fought skateboarders, even hockey players, but this was different.
After about three attempts to explain, he ignored me again. I, then, asked
who, in fact, he was?
He wouldn’t answer or show an I.D. card, required to play on the courts. “That’s okay,” I said, inching closer to his nose, “I already know who you are.”
“You know who I am?” he asked.
“Yeah, you’re a chicken shit coward, and you always will be.” He walked away.
I wasn’t aware he was the sports editor for the “Pendulum,” Elon’s student
newspaper. The next edition featured his article “Tennis Coach has balls.”
Back to Alan’s office!

P.S.  I was concerned that Elon would discipline me for my behavior and waited for  the call from the A.D. or President, etc.  Nope–the only response was by the football coaching staff.  One by one they lined up outside my office and each one brought me their copy of the PENDULUM article and meekly asked me to autograph it,  so they could “…show it to my Dad!”

PARLIEMENTARY MANUERING

Jim Drummond is head of the “Leisure Department” at Elon. My son Dan said he wanted that job. My suggestion was the less Drummond did, the more he ought to get paid as “Leisure Chairman.”
Dr. Drummond’ mentor, Dr. Baxter (look under curmudgeon for Bob) was giving up duties as Elon’s “Parliamentarian.” Coach Carden called those across the street, “them old Academic Dicks.” We had one in the gym, downstairs, named Drummond.
It wasn’t long before the school newsletter, citing academic meanderings, re- ported that Dr. James Drummond had attended a big convention on “Parliamentary Maneuvering.” One problem: They left out the “V in maneuvering.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is the Bible for academics. They also feature a column entitled “Marginalia” for when the academic dicks who screw up. Guess who alerted them to Leisure Jim, and his “maneuvering.”

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Kay Yow, storied Basketball Coach for NC State University, coached Elon women, prior to moving to Raleigh. Her sister, Susan Yow, played for Kay at both places. Sister Debbie is a highly recognized Athletic Director at the University of Maryland. From neighboring village, Gibsonville, NC, the Yows are truly pioneers in athletics, particularly woman’s basketball.
One of my early tasks was to intercept father, Hilton Yow, on his visit from Gibsonville to our gym. Dr. White was too busy to talk, so I’d channel Hilton into my office. I loved talking sports with him. My father’s history also gave me grounds for talking religion, which Hilton held dear.
He also told me he had a bad hip. Told me often.
One night I was channel-chasing “mindless TV.” Nothing. I almost slipped by channel five, when I spotted Hilton. He was next in line to be “healed.” There was a commercial and Rick Jones, baseball coach, will confirm, I called him, find- ing out he too had seen Hilton. Back to the Rev. DeGraffenreid’s suggestion to Hilton.
“Come on up, Sir, and tell me what’s wrong. No, let me tell you what’s wrong.”
At that point the Reverend began to finger trace down Hilton’s arm, then chest, the other shoulder suggesting all the while “its here, and here, and it runs over here.” “Am I getting it right,” is the fevered question.
Kay Yow, storied Basketball Coach for NC State University, coached Elon women, prior to moving to Raleigh. Her sister, Susan Yow, played for Kay at both places. Sister Debbie is a highly recognized Athletic Director at the University of Maryland. From neighboring village, Gibsonville, NC, the Yows are truly pioneers in athletics, particularly woman’s basketball.
One of my early tasks was to intercept father, Hilton Yow, on his visit from Gibsonville to our gym. Dr. White was too busy to talk, so I’d channel Hilton into my office. I loved talking sports with him. My father’s history also gave me grounds for talking religion, which Hilton held dear.
He also told me he had a bad hip. Told me often.
One night I was channel-chasing “mindless TV.” Nothing. I almost slipped by channel five, when I spotted Hilton. He was next in line to be “healed.” There was a commercial and Rick Jones, baseball coach, will confirm, I called him, find- ing out he too had seen Hilton. Back to the Rev. DeGraffenreid’s suggestion to Hilton.
Hilton replied, “Well, no, but while you are in there go ahead and get all of it.”
After the next break I could see the Reverend healing the next patient, and Hilton lying on the floor. All you could see of Hilton was the soles of his shoes and where his polyester sport coat covered his stomach. Ask Jones!

SPECIAL ED

Margaret has three brothers. The twins, Bob and Ray (Really!) are one year older. The oldest boy, Jim, is one year older than the twins. Margaret thinks she can do anything they can. She passed the twins in the 11th grade. Father Jim, told him after that, they need not pack their lunch pails for school any- more. He’d put them in the Navy (permissible by Canadian law). They both were “lifers.”
Jim was another “Jeremiah Johnson.” He was an excellent hockey player. He let out for the Yukon on a dare from his sister, Francis. He’s still there.
Jim taught school. Math. He was also asked to help with the “special” kids. One night I got Margaret to tell about one of Jim’s teaching adventures.
We were at a Japanese restaurant. Three Elon couples. We knew Kyle and Linda Wills well, not so baseball Coach Mike Kennedy’s wife Liz.
Margaret had a couple of drinks.
“Tell Kennedy Jimmy’s story, Marg.”
Jimmy took a wheelchair bound student who could barely speak to the bath-
room stall. He lifted him up and put him on the commode. Then politely stood outside the closed door. Immediately Jim heard a moan. Not unusual from a stall. Then a louder one. Then louder. Jim felt obliged to open the door.
Is something wrong?” he asked the youngster who had a pained look.
Margaret has three brothers. The twins, Bob and Ray (Really!) are one year older. The oldest boy, Jim, is one year older than the twins. Margaret thinks she can do anything they can. She passed the twins in the 11th grade. Father Jim, told him after that, they need not pack their lunch pails for school any- more. He’d put them in the Navy (permissible by Canadian law). They both were “lifers.”
Margaret mimicked the boy’s response: “I’m sitting on my dick.”
I knew what was coming. I wanted to watch Kennedy laugh. And he did, hardly able to control himself at this statement coming out of Margaret. The next comment was far more damaging, however. It came from wife, Liz, who quizzically told her husband “ Mike you can’t do that!” The laughing stopped and Coach Kennedy said “shut the hell up, Liz!”

THE MASTER OF THE SEA

One field trip included a trip to Bowman Grey Medical Center in Winston- Salem. They were going to see a cadaver!
As the host, an older man, was fishing though the formaldehyde, Margaret asked, “What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in this job?” Remember, Margaret’s Canadian Catholic. The old man looked at the fifteen and sixteen year old girls and concluded: “Lady, you probably don’t want me to tell that now.”
“Ah, c’mon, these girls are old enough. Plus they’re gonna be nurses.”
“Okay.”
“We had a man in here and upon close examination discovered he had a tattoo
on his penis. When we unraveled it, it said, ‘Love lifted me.’”
Margaret told me this story, funny as is, but she hadn’t heard the Baptist
hymn. I broke into “I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, sinking very deep within, sinking to rise, no more. But the Master of the Sea, heard my despairing cry, from the waters, lifted me, now safe am I.” Refrain: “Love lifted me, Love lifted me, when nothing else could help, Love lifted me.”

STYLE OVER STRATEGY

Welcome to Southern Alamance.
Later Margaret helped raise money for tennis courts at Southern. A girl’s team was ready for its first match. The coach was sick. Margaret subbed as coach.
Southern Alamance vs Williams High School or the “preppy school.” Williams was decked out in matching uniforms, blouses and tennis skirts. Southern girls wore in cut off jeans and tee shirts.
The match was on. After thirty minutes Margaret got her first inquiry from a Southern girl. As she walked to the fence, she wondered what this girl wanted. A strategy question? Would Margaret know what to say?
The girl inquired, “Mrs. Parham, where’s she hiding them balls?”
The next year Southern had their own red and white tennis uniforms, complete with “secret pockets.”

SIZE DOES MATTER

Alamance Country Club had a new resident and she was angry. Outside her home on the golf course, the men could be seen taking a leak. Repeatedly. Repeatedly she called to complain.
Dr. Frank Spaeth, an eye doctor, was on the club’s board. Frank played little golf but he is a diabolical creature to begin with. Looks like Woody Allen.
After the third time complaint, Frank activated his walking bag, dust and all.
He located next to the complainer’s window. Right where she could see. He whipped out a 14-inch dildo, simulating a three-minute relief. Where upon he shook it violently, then walked over and banged it several times in a pine tree. No more complaints.
There are all kinds of ways to solve problems. I heard they almost kicked Frank out.

GRADE POINT AVERAGES

Rick Jones was coaching baseball at Elon when colleges upped their standards for admissions and eligibility. Jones called a high school coach from Durham, NC and inquired about a talented pitching recruit. Coach Jones held his breath: “Coach, did he make the 2.0 GPA required?”
“Naw”, said the secondary school coach, he made a 1.2.”
Disappointed, Jones concluded, “Well, Coach, I’m sorry. He can’t get in Elon with a 1.2.”
The response; “That’s all right Coach Jones, he’s going to Duke anyway?” Incredulously Jones questioned, “That boy got in Duke University?”
“Naw, man, Duke Power!” (Durham is the home of Duke Power Electric
Company)