Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Long Time Ago


While I was casting about for things to pick on Juvat about, I ran across that photo above. I'd downloaded it from the koobecaf a while back from a friend's post. He's in that picture, as am I.

The photo was taken in the fall of 1970, no doubt October. I remember a local sports guy coming to take pictures for the local paper. It was taken, as I recall, in the week leading up to our last game against our rivals a bit to the south. Oddly enough, my hometown's biggest rival was the town I was born in. We never lived there, it's just that my dad and mom liked the hospital better there. Or maybe it's because it was closer to both pairs of grandparents.

I don't remember, I was just a baby.

At any rate, that team is the guys I played football with in high school. For the seniors it had been four years together. Two-a-days in the hot August sun, practice five days a week once school started, a game every Saturday. I remember some of it, I've forgotten probably more than I remember. Bits and pieces of games and practices will sometimes spring into my mind from out of the blue.

The picture is from just before the last game I ever played of organized football. I recovered a fumble in that game, it was against the rival's second string, we were getting slaughtered. But it still felt good. Those guys in the picture were all pretty good guys, most of whom I called friend.

A few of those young lads are dead now. Cancer, accidents, even one suicide. I think back to how young we all were. Heck, I even had hair, all of it dark, still thick but starting to thin out in the front.

Looking at the picture again, and the two guys I'm sitting between, it struck me. All three of us served. Army, Air Force, and Navy. All three of us made it a career.

Odd that...


Or maybe not, those were different times.

Geez, I still can't get over how much hair I had...



18 comments:

  1. Well a recently passed author wrote a book entitled "We were Soldiers once, and Young". Seems appropriate.

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    1. Sigh, yeah Hal Moore's passing was tough to take. The Vietnam generation is passing at an increasing rate.

      The young part seems like a dream. Did it ever really take place?

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    2. Yeah, it did. regards, Alemaster

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  2. Great times. My pops filmed all our games. We won our final game, a big upset. I watch it every year just to make sure we still won.

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    1. Wow, that must be something.

      I have no desire to watch that last game, we were beaten badly.

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  3. Ah, two a days. The smell of stinkgrass and misery. Did you have salt tab dispensers in the locker room? Were you allowed water during practice? I played LB and TE. Mostly a blocker on offense, they called me stone fingers.

    The tri-service connection is cool. Fun post!

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    1. Salt tablet dispensers aye. Water during practice was a rarity, just enough to keep us alive I think was the rule.

      I was a TE my freshman year, DE on defense, played the whole game. On offense I was a blocker as well. Later I became a guard, a tackle, and a linebacker. Played noseguard for a couple of plays. I went in where needed, as long as it didn't involve touching the ball, I was good to go.

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  4. Replies
    1. Hahaha, sap gloves. That would have been nice to have.

      We didn't see much tape, but I believed in cladding myself with every pad I could find. Made me feel invincible.

      Delete
  5. Nice that you were able to Photoshop the old leather helmets out!

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    1. When we were freshman, Steve actually had a leather helmet!

      They were still around in the late 60s.

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    2. Which "late 60s"? (Asked innocently....of course)

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  6. To channel Bob Hope: Thanks for the memories.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  7. A Looong Time Ago? Pikers. Heh, my HS football years were 58 to 61 First year to be equipped with Riddell "kraylite" plastic helmets. Everyone had only a single bar except interior linemen. We won the final game of my senior year to win the Conference title. Our QB was a guy named Marty Pattin who pitched in MLB for 13 yrs, mainly with the KC Royals. (My Mother taught 2nd Grade with Martys wife as Mom was the oldest teacher in school at that time while Donna was the youngest. :) )

    PS: Our uniforms looked a HELLUVA lot better than yours, Sarge. Those look like goddamn practice jerseys! :)

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    1. Those are practice jerseys. Not sure why I don't have any photos of us in our game jerseys.

      Hey, at least you guys had face masks. Wasn't too much before your time when no one had those!

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