THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the Class of 2012 into the Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame kicked up some memories for an aging columnist whose starting block in journalism was the sports department of this newspaper. Three of those, two now deceased, were really close friends, Vaughn Stewart, Jack Stewart, and John Adcock.
MY FIRST memory of Vaughn was of a big, ruddy-faced, shambling man who walked into the office in my second week as sports editor. He reached across the desk, stuck out a ham of a hand, and said:
“My name is Vaughn Stewart and you’re going to need help, kid. I’ll help you.”
Vaughn did, was always there, and when he moved to Huntsville, I felt like wearing black for a few months. Missed him then, miss him now.
STEWART was in his first head coaching job, Lineville. In those years, I visited schools at least once a year. On this visit, Stewart was bemoaning a run of injuries
I was happy to offer him a few suggestions on how to handle the problems. There was growl:
“Smith, you do the writing and I’ll do the coaching.”
After he moved to Saks, I dropped by for a visit. Stewart went into a sales pitch on what he wanted me to write.
Vengeance is mine, thought the sports writer . . . with:
“Jack, you do the coaching and I’ll do the writing.”
The friendship endured.
ADCOCK, one of the nicest persons I’ve ever known, came to Wellborn as head basketball and assistant football coach under Ed Deupree.
On a Friday night, Wellborn clobbered Oxford. I had picked Oxford to clobber Wellborn. Shortly after midnight (all others had departed), there was a loud banging on the side door.
There stood Adcock and Deupree, wearing big grins. John held aloft a brown sack with:
“We brought you something to wash all that crow down.”
It was the only time in 20 years as sports editor I “washed” down a swig or two in The Star building. I felt I owed it.
The entire Class of 2012 is a memory hall for three very good friends. And I thank you for listening ...
IF YOU’RE a fan of Roma’s in Jacksonville (I’m a big one) you may have noticed owner Tina Limberis has been missing.
Tina’s at Stringfellow Hospital. The good news is she’s coming along.
Roma’s, on the square, has been in Jacksonville 40 years. In a time of fast food and other franchise restaurants, that says a lot about Tina and her people.
JAMES SPANN and his weather crew from 33/40 will be at Pleasant Valley High School Monday night.
Postponed earlier because of a bad weather threat, the “show” will begin at 6:30. I would suggest you get there a bit early.
He will, of course, talk about the terrible tornadoes of last April that left over 200 dead across Alabama.
I went to one of his deals a few years back. It was time well spent. So … go ...
MY PASTOR, the Rev. Truman Norred, has a very lovely daughter, Bryndis, who lives in Birmingham.
In a recent e-mail, she asked if Dad would send her a couple of his sermons. In essence she said:
“Daddy, I’m having trouble sleeping and I thought a couple of your sermons would help.”
Considering some of the needles the preacher slides in me, it’s obvious the daughter has his “needle” pretty good.
Loved it …
THERE ARE now 296 shopping days left until you know when, but only 182 before Alabama opens the 2012 football season against Michigan at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.
Without college football, TV really is a wasteland …
George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286. Email: email@example.com