November 14, 2002

 

[MY VERY GOOD FRIEND, GLENN JOHNSON REFLECTS ON MADDOX, RAMSEY, DAVID
COOPER, J.C. 'CHROME DOME' WOMACK (LIKE I SHOULD TALK), AND MORE.]

MAN, THE HITS (AMAILS) JUST KEEP ON COMING.  THERE HAVE REALLY BEEN
SOME GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS THE LAST FEW DAYS, SO MUCH SO THAT I JUST
HAD TO RESPOND.  SOME OF THE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BEFORE BUT
SINCE THEY HAVE BEEN ASKED ANEW, I WILL ATTEMPT TO ANSWER THEM AGAIN.
YES, MR. MADDOX WAS A FINE AMERICAN, AND ALTHOUGH HE AND COACH RAMSEY
ARGUED OVER THE USE OF THE FOOTBALL FIELD FOR PRACTICE, COACH RAMSEY
HAD GREAT RESPECT FOR HIM AND HIS WORK ETHIC.  COACH RAMSEY USED TO
LOOK OVER AT THE BAND AS THEY WERE PRACTICING AND TELL US "IF WE
WORKED AS HARD AS THE BAND DID, WE'D NEVER LOSE A GAME."  WELL, WE
DIDN'T LOSE MANY DID WE?  MY BIGGEST REGRET WAS NOT TAKING MUSIC AT
AHS, CONSIDERING HOW MUCH A PART OF MY LIFE MUSIC IS.  EVERYTHING I
HAVE EVER LEARNED HAS BEEN BY EAR AND THAT'S TOUGH.  BTW, DO ANY OF
YOU GUYS REMEMBER, AS 8TH OR 9TH GRADERS, LINING UP ON ALL FOURS
ACROSS THE GOAL LINE OF THE FOOTBALL FIELD AND CRAWLING DOWN THE
FIELD PULLING WEEDS?  THAT'S HOW RELIGIOUS COACH RAMSEY WAS ABOUT
KEEPING THE FIELD IN IMMACULATE CONDITION.  IT WOULD TAKE A WEEK OF
SIX PERIODS OF P. E. PER DAY, BUT THERE WERE NO WEEDS ON THAT FIELD.
BY THE TIME WE WERE 10TH OR 11TH GRADERS, THE COUNTY TOOK OVER THE
FIELD AND STARTED LETTING OTHER SCHOOLS PLAY THERE AND COACH RAMSEY
LOST INTEREST IN KEEPING THE FIELD UP TO HIS EARLIER STANDARDS.
YES DAVID COOPER WAS A GREAT RUNNING BACK. HE WAS BACK-OF-THE-YEAR
FOR THE STATE OF GA IN '63.  HE WAS A WILD SUN-OF-A-GUN, BUT LET ME
TELL YOU WHAT KIND OF PERSEVERANCE HE HAD.  HE WENT TO UGA ON
SCHOLARSHIP, GOT KICKED OFF THE TEAM, GOT DRAFTED, WENT TO VIET NAM,
CAME BACK TO UGA, GRADUATED WITH HONORS, AND STAYED UNTIL HE RECEIVED
HIS DOCTORATE IN EDUCATION.  HE IS NOW DR COOPER AND TEACHES AND
COACHES IN A SMALL TOWN NEAR MYRTLE BEACH.  IS THAT A GREAT STORY OR
WHAT?  I CALLED HIM THE NIGHT BEFORE COACH RAMSEY'S FUNERAL.  HE MADE
ARRANGEMENTS FOR A SUB TEACHER, AND DROVE ALL NIGHT TO GET HERE FOR
THE FUNERAL.  BTW, SOME ONE ASKED ABOUT COACH RAMSEY.  I THOUGHT
EVERYBODY KNEW HE HAD DIED.  HIS WIFE CALLED ME AT MY OFFICE AND
ASKED ME AND RAY MYERS TO BE PALL BEARERS.  SHE SAID THAT WE WERE TWO
OF COACH RAMSEY'S FAVORITE PLAYERS.  SHE PROBABLY SAID THAT TO
EVERYONE SHE ASKED, BUT IT STILL MEANT A LOT TO ME.  I BROKE DOWN AND
CRIED AT THE PROSPECT OF BEING A PALLBEARER FOR A MAN I SO GREATLY
ADMIRED.
IT WAS GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT DONNIE DONALDSON.  THE LAST TIME I SAW
DONNIE WAS WHEN HE WAS COMING OUT OF DEKALB GENERAL WITH HIS DAD,
FRANK, WITH WHOM I WORKED FOR SEVERAL YEARS AT GEORGIA POWER.  THERE
ARE NO FINER PEOPLE THAN FRANK DONALDSON AND HIS FAMILY, AS I'M SURE
THOSE OF YOU WHO LIVED NEAR THEM CAN ATTEST.  FRANK DONALDSON IS ONE
OF THE FUNNIEST MEN I HAVE EVER KNOWN.  I USE TO DOUBLE UP AND LAUGH
AT HIM 'TIL MY STOMACH HURT.  SOME OF THE FUNNY THINGS I MIGHT SAY IN
A CONVERSATION, I GOT FROM FRANK.  I NEED TO CONTACT HIM AND SAY
HELLO.  HE HAS CANCER BUT, AT LAST REPORT, IS HOME DOING OK.
LASTLY, WHENEVER WE GET TO TALKING ABOUT OUR SUCCESS AT AHS, IN
EVERYTHING, I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT MR. WOMACK.  HE PUT TOGETHER THE
STAFF AT AHS THAT BROUGHT OUT THE BEST IN US SO WE COULD SUCCEED LIKE
WE DID.  ALL THE TEACHERS THAT WE MENTION SO OFTEN, MRS. LALLERSTEDT
IN ALGEBRA AND CALCULUS, ALL THE GREAT ENGLISH TEACHERS WHO MADE US
DO SOME ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE TERM PAPERS, ALL THE SOCIAL STUDIES
TEACHERS, SCIENCE & CHEMISTRY TEACHERS, MR. COOPER IN ECONOMICS
(THANKS TO HIM I HAVE NEVER HAD TO PAY SOME ONE ELSE TO DO MY TAX
RETURN).  WE PROBABLY DON'T GIVE MR. WOMACK ENOUGH CREDIT.  HE WAS A
HARD MAN, BUT LIKE COACH RAMSEY AND MR. MADDOX, HE SETTLED FOR
NOTHING BUT THE BEST FROM US.  I REALLY ADMIRE THE MAN.
I KNEW MR. PATSIOS WAS GOING TO BE A PREACHER IN THE 9TH GRADE.  HE
WAS IN MY HOMEROOM AND MRS. ATKINSON (MATH TEACHER) WOULD ASK ONE OF
US TO READ SOME SCRIPTURE FOR DEVOTIONAL EVERY MORNING.  WHEN IT CAME
BRIAN'S (THAT'S THE ONLY NAME I KNOW HIM BY) TURN, RATHER THAN READ
THE BIBLE, HE GAVE A SHORT TALK ON THE SHORTEST VERSE IN THE BIBLE,
"JESUS WEPT."  REMEMBER THAT BRIAN?  I DO - LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY
BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH A GOOD "SERMON" AND I HAD A MAJOR "PARADIGM
SHIFT" ABOUT YOU.  AS GOOFY AS I ACTED BACK THEN (AND STILL DO) THAT
KIND OF THING MEANT A LOT TO ME.  THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORY.


GLENN
 
[THANK YOU, GLENN. YOU BRING SO MUCH TO AMAIL AND IT IS MOST
APPRECIATED. THAT IS AN AMAZING STORY ABOUT DAVID COOPER. YES, HE WAS
WILD IN THOSE DAYS AND OCCASIONALLY GOT INTO A LITTLE TROUBLE, AS I
REMEMBER. BUT YOU NEVER CAN TELL HOW A PERSON WILL COME OUT. AND
YOU'RE QUITE RIGHT ABOUT MR. WOMACK. WE WERE DESTRUCTIVE, RUDE AND
WORSE SOMETIMES, AND HE HAD TO DO WHAT HE HAD TO DO. BUT WE CERTAINLY
HAVE A LOT TO BE PROUD OF, AND WE CAN THANK MR. WOMACK FOR MUCH OF
IT.
AND YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT RAMSEY AND THE FIELD. EVERYBODY KNEW THAT
THE FIELD WAS 'HIS BABY,' AND YOU MESSED WITH IT AT YOUR OWN PERIL.
HE AND MADDOX WERE ALWAYS AT ODDS OVER IT. ONE MORE THING. RAMSEY
KNEW CHARACTER PERHAPS BETTER THAN ANYONE I'VE KNOWN SINCE, SO MRS.
RAMSEY'S CHOICE OF YOU AND RAY ARE NO SURPRISE AT ALL. 
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, MY FRIEND.- Ron Foster]

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