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So where in the world was this 7-year-old on the night of Feb. 13, 1965?
Some Hall of Fame football players were playing basketball in Natchez and I missed it.
Mom, you have some explaining to do. And please don't tell me there was some school play or party for that snobby girl down the street that night.
Maybe the fact I was seven had a lot to do with it. Then again, Mom did let my older brother bring us to championship wrestling fights at the old City Auditorium.
Somehow seeing the Dalton Gang take on the Perez Brothers or Danny Little Bear face Jerry "The King" Lawler pales a bit compared to what was going on that February night in the city auditorium.
Just kidding, Mom. She and my dad were more than generous in letting us attend functions such as these back then, as well as concerts and tons of games just a few years later.
Later as my wife and I waited on our son to return from concerts and games I wonder how in the world they did it — without blinking an eye! Or supposedly not staying up past midnight like Kathy and I did many nights while Jake was attending out of town games and concerts. And just what in the world is a mosh pit?
But getting back to my original thought, while researching some information back in 1965, I came across this short item in the Feb. 11, 1965 edition of the Concordia Sentinel about a charity basketball game.
"A gala array of outstanding Professional football players will invade Natchez city auditorium on Saturday night to take on the Natchez Oilmen in the Second Annual Cerebral Palsy Classic. Jim Taylor, Perry Lee Dunn, Johnny Robinson, Larry Grantham, Joe Fortunato, Billy Shaw, Billy Carl Irwin, Mike Morgan, Earl Leggett, Richie Pettibon are among numerous pros who will be present to contribute their talent to the fight against Cerebral Palsy."
Tickets were a $1 for adults and 50 cents for children.
Local coaching legend Bobby Marks told me their were several such games played in the Miss-Lou back then. Marks said around 1970, the Houston Oilers played a fund-raiser basketball game at Ferriday Junior High against local coaches. Representing the Oilers were such legends as Billy Cannon, Charlie Toler and Mike Barber.
"Each time they would have a contest where Billy Cannon would race someone before the game," Marks said. "He ran a 9.2 at LSU. Calvin West of Natchez challenged Billy. Billy was through the doors on the other side of the gym before Calvin made it under the first basketball goal."
OK, I can't blame my mom for that one. I do remember around the 1970s when members of the LSU basketball team played a charity game at Cathedral. I attended the game with some friends. Of course, we were all disappointed when Pete Maravich did not show up, but were thrilled with the likes of Jeff Tribbett. Rich Hickman and Danny Hester.
Personally, I was disappointed Rich Lupcho did not show up. I idolized Lupcho because he was about 5-foot-4, but lightning quick.
I did get to see when Natchez High basketball coach Mike Martin had an LSU team with Vernel Singleton and Shawn Griggs play a game at the then-South Natchez gym. Martin cringed when Shaquille O'Neal dunked on his goal. He cringed even more when O'Neal came up limping after a dunk.
Boy, to think of all the great autographs I could have had back in the day.
Then again, I probably would have lost most of them by now. That ran in the family. My brother got an autograph from a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher back in the late 1960s when we went to a Houston Astros game. He was kind of unknown then, so he didn't take real good care of it. Bet he wishes he had the Steve Carlton autograph now.
I think I even had his rookie baseball card at one time. It probably ended up with valuable others, tattered to shreds on Georgia, Florida, Laurel streets as part of noisemakers used by squeezing a clothespin on the spokes of my bicycle.
Those cards gave me great joy while riding down the road from the top of the levee.
Just thinking about the fact that there may have been a 1951 Bowman Hall of Fame Mickey Mantle Card (No. 253) flapping away on the front of my bike gives me another kind of feeling. That card is now worth $2,700.
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