Coach and The Cold War
When I was a boy Coach was the high man on the totem pole. He was above doctor, teacher, dentist, and even had more influence with us than Preacher. In a way, he was a bit of a minister too. Coach supervised the Harvey County Park Pool in the summers. When it thundered he’d blow that whistle to the top of his lungs. Lord help the boy who thought he’d dawdle a bit.
I recall a JV basketball scrimmage game. It was the one when ‘Double W’ (Wrong Way) Ron earned his nickname. He ran the length of the court and put a basket in the wrong goal to lose the game. Double W was so fast none of us could catch him, and so excited he didn’t hear us all screaming at him to stop.
Coach blew his whistle and we all headed for the showers. One boy bumped WW at the door, and they slipped and fell. Then the next two piled on and all of a sudden the doorway was blocked by a pile of wild boys all kicking and yelling.
Coach came up and blew his whistle so hard I thought his eyes were gonna pop outta his head. I still recall that maniacal look and those red eyes bugging out. “Straighten up boys, straighten up and I MEAN NOW!!!”
We all lined up along the wall like prisoners. Coach paced up and down the line like a drill Sargent. He went on and on how we needed to be good losers, and how Ron was faster than all of us put together and it wasn’t his fault. Man did we feel feel bad. (By the way, WW got the last laugh. He was the only one of us to play college basketball, and now he is a coach!)
Coach closed his speech with an unforgettable line. “And boys, I want you to know this right here is the reason the Communists are getting ahead of us!” I tell you the truth we thought we were the cause of the demise of the Free World.
Years later Reagen when made the speech about tearing down that wall, I sure was happy. I could finally lay to rest the idea that Coach would have held us responsible if the Cold War had gone bad. That’s how influential he was with us.
Next time I see Coach at the Barber shop I’m gonna tell him I sure am glad he kept me safe from Russian tyranny. Without Coach we mighta been taken over sure enough, but he wouldn’t have any part of it.
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