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. 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!”

THUMPER

I knew Roland was good, but when he lost the first three games of his first match, I gulped. Not to worry! Nerves settled down, he went on to win that match 6-3, 6-0. And the next 44 matches. Lost three sets all year. He won the NAIA Singles title. Teamed with Stefan to win the doubles. We had four North Carolina starters in addition to the 2 Swedes. It was very unusual for the NAIA team win- ner to have an American starter in the 80’s and 90’s. Four “plain vanilla” Tar Heels were proud as punch. Roland was like having a tough big brother in a fight. He “buoyed” the rest of us.
He was also selected as the “Freshman of the Year” in NAIA tennis. And he won the NAIA Sportsmanship Award.
It was a dream season. We were treated to dinner at the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh. Jim Martin served as host. We were cited in the Congressional Records, sponsored by Congressman, Howard Coble of our District.
Roland was a potential pro. I knew it was in the best interest to move “up.” Still it was hard for us. I think we both shed tears as he transferred to UNC, Cha- pel Hill to play for Coach Allen Morris, a great player, and friend, and protégé of Coach Jim Leighton.
Roland was in the top two or three college players in America. And, as a ju- nior, he was also given the NCAA Division I Sportsmanship Award. This award is a one-time award, but an odd thing happened.
Playing in the NCAA Division I Indoor Singles Championship in 1993 senior Roland was down a set to Georgia’s Mike Sell, a fine player. This final match was on ESPN and Sell served a second serve. Down 4-5, 30-40, or a precious service break point for the set. The lineman called the serve out. Double fault, set to Thornquist. One set each.
The puzzled commentators watched Thornquist as he spoke to the chair um- pire. Then one commentator said: “Well, you don’t see that everyday.”
Thornquist had overruled the linesman on his opponent’s behalf. Roland told me he’d seen the ball hit the line and he couldn’t have returned it. He gave Sell the point.
He did win the second set and the third. More than that he exemplified the best in sport.
At the Spring Coaches Convention, the question of the Sportsmanship award came up for vote. It was noted Roland, though a logical candidate, was ineligible. An unattached Coach rose in the meeting and suggested “Men, we can give
this award to anyone we wish, but Roland Thornquist deserves the award. I move we waive the rule for one year. Roland won his third National Sportsmanship Award.
Dean Smith, Carolina’s basketball legendary coach found out about Roland. He had him on his TV show. Not only that Smith himself won a rather significant sportsmanship award that year: “Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.”
Coach Smith commented “You know, I’ve never argued with the official to call that foul on us, rather them. Roland’s one up on me!”
Coach Smith helped Roland get the women’s coaching job with Roy Williams’ school then, the Kansas Jayhawks. Williams came back to Carolina, and Roland did too. Carolina bolted into the women’s top ten tennis teams. Roland then ac- cepted the Gators job at Florida. In his second year his girls won the NCAA Divi- sion I Women’s title.

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, Marga- ret’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.” Wil- liams 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.”