Recently, while watching a University of Tennessee basketball game, I thought about Harold Anthony "Lou" Bello," a serious college basketball referee who also was a zany comedian on the court. I wondered if he was still alive but sadly found out that he passed away in 1991.
A total of 12 Thanksgiving Day Burley Bowl games were played between 1945 and 1956, with the East Tennessee State Buccaneers participating in five of them: 1952 through 1956. They won the first four games but lost the fifth one to Memphis State. This much-anticipated event consisted of a parade held in downtown Johnson City in mid-morning, followed by a football game at Roosevelt (Memorial) Stadium on E. Main Street that afternoon.
In March, 1954, the Press-Chronicle launched its sixth annual "Johnson City Cardinals (Appalachian League) Batboy Contest." Four judges, Ralph Cox, Tom Lyons, Bill Miller and Jimmy Smyth, selected six boys as finalists: Joe Ward Booth, Sammy Broyles, Bill Dyer, Dana Lyon, Ronnie Rickman and Richard Teaster.
In October 1938, an unidentified outdoorsman, whom I will call Jim, joined a hearty group of fellow hunters on what was billed as a cross-country marathon boar hunt on the Unaka Mountains in the hills of East Tennessee. One of the men, Ben Ellis, served as guide for the party. The rugged trip was said to offer the thrill of the chase, the beauty of the mountains at stunning peak fall colors and, if successful, from 60 to 150 pounds of the most scrumptious pork imaginable.
Dec. 15, 1973 was a cold Saturday night in Knoxville. My wife and I, along with our friends, Allen and Charlotte Stafford, drove there from Johnson City to see the Volunteers play the Temple Owls in the Volunteer Classic. We joined 11,700 others at the Stokely Athletics Center. The temperature inside would soon get as cold as it was outside. Allen and I pooled our recollections of that night for this column.
The recent firing of Derek Dooley as head football coach at the University of Tennessee brought to mind another gridiron coach from the college’s yesteryear.
I have been a big fan of University of Tennessee football for 46 years, attending at least one game at Neyland Stadium most of that time either as student or alumni. In the spring of 2011, my wife and I reluctantly did not renew our two Section O, Row 51 season tickets.
Louis Feathers, an occasional contributor to my column, is particularly proud of the fact that he is a fifth cousin to Herman Michael Hickman and William Beattie Feathers, two former University of Tennessee football standouts. Anybody knowledgeable of Big Orange football is familiar with the two names. Louis wrote about them in his 195-page autobiography.
Doug Bernardi sent me a copy of his prized 1964 opening day program of Johnson City’s Little League Baseball. The publication celebrates the 14thanniversary of the annual sporting event. Doug played on the First Peoples Bank squad between 1961 and 1965 and today manages the Optimist team.