The other day I was thumbing through the pages of a Bible my mother gave me for Christmas.
It was my late father’s Bible that I had given to him in 1979.
While looking for a certain passage myself, I stumbled on a real treasure. My father had written down a note over a passage my brother, Tim, had preached following his ordination in June 1982. He had it all marked (Matthew 4:1-12), calling it “Tim’s first sermon after 6/20/82 ordination.”
It kind of gave me chills reading it.
I shared the story with my brother and the Facebook world.
There are many other similar treasures where Dad scribbled down notes in his Bible. Some were funerals, others sermons Tim and others had preached and some where marked because it just touched him in a certain way.
It’s probably good to write in your Bible and leave those kind of notes for generations to find later. I know that one made my day.
My brother, who is pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., and in his second term as president of the Florida Baptist Convention, has preached literally thousands of sermons since that one on June 20, 1982.
But that one lit the fuse for an amazing career in the ministry. I’m so glad Dad noted it in his Bible and that Mom handed that Bible down to me. I may have to pass it on to Tim, who has been my hero for a long time.
Condolences to the family of Howard Hall, who died last week at 96.
Hall was the oldest living Ashland Tomcat football player. He graduated from AHS in 1936, a year before the Tomcats started calling Putnam Stadium their home.
Hall was a lineman on the 1935 team that went 9-0 and outscored opponents 367-2, with the only points given up all season coming on a safety in the last game against Erie, Pa., still a 25-2 victory. Fayne Grone was the head coach. Hall was also on a 10-0 Tomcat team in 1933 when Paul Jenkins was the head coach.
Ashland’s 10-0 1931 team is the one generally considered the all-time best. That team is listed as national champions on the national registry.
I remember speaking with Mr. Hall several times at Tomcat reunions and at gatherings with the late Bun Wilson. I also recall the late Ralph Felty telling me he was the substitute lineman for Hall in 1935 when he was only a sophomore.
It was rare in those days for a sophomore to even dress, let alone play, for the Tomcats. Felty went on to become an All-State lineman as a senior in 1937 and played in the Rose Bowl for Duke before joining the Marines to fight in World War II.
Hall, who may well have been the oldest AHS graduate, lived in Ashland all of his life. He also served during World War II.
It does make me wonder: Who is the oldest living Tomcat now?
If you have an idea, let me know by emailing or calling.
I received a phone call the other day from David Groves, a Russell High graduate who happened to be in from Tallahassee, Fla., visiting family the day the news came out Ivan McGlone would no longer be the Red Devils’ head football coach.
Groves went to the Raceland-Russell basketball game that night and commented about how the Rams’ players came over and fist-bumped McGlone after player introductions.
He said it was the greatest show of sportsmanship he could ever remember and wanted to congratulate the Raceland players, coaches and whoever else may have been responsible for the gesture.
Groves said he left the gym with a good feeling about area athletes.
Here’s a thought for you: Ivan McGlone coached at Russell for 38 years. Putnam Stadium, which will start being renovated on Tuesday, is 76 years old. That means McGlone coached Russell during half of Putnam Stadium’s long history.
Ivan is only one year younger than Ashland’s storied stadium.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2648.