This column is about the arts.
It was the second quarter in a football
game against Linden High School, one of the toughest teams in the
state of Alabama. I was playing both offense and defense as a starter
for Orrville High School. We were big but slow--- in more ways than
Linden had the ball and their offense
depended on all-state running back, Marvin Tucker. As a defensive
safety, it had been part of my evening to move up to meet the running
of Tucker as he made his way through our line. He did that almost
On one of those plays, I was clipped (hit from behind) below the waste and had my knee pulled completely
out of place with the femur and the tibia almost at right angles to
each other. The coach came on the field and literally put my leg back
in alignment. I could hear the knee snap back together.
I was out for the remainder of that
series and returned to play the remainder of the game on offense and
defense. I finished the season and did not miss a down but I had a
sore knee most of the time.
After graduation, I never returned to
the school to see a football game. I attended a reunion there one
time. I played a little flag football in college but nothing serious.
In high school much of the interest in football and other sports is a
pursuit of some degree of glory and fame in that 1960's cosmos.
Those glory days were gone.
I tell you that story to tell you this.
I quit band to play football. Today at 66 years old, I cannot play
football but I could still be playing the sax or playing the piano.
When I left high school, I never looked at any of those activities
Knowing the "real me," makes me
realize had I had some encouragement while in school, I probably
would have continued my musical education. But there was no
organization such as the Monroe Area Council for the Arts encouraging
the school system and me to explore my love of music.
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing
against playing football. I love the game. I learned so much about
the game but also about working as a team to вЂ¦.. well that part
didn't work out so well.
I know now I could have done both, and
today, taken great pleasure in continuing playing a musical
instrument. Plus, I might not wake up in the morning with a sore knee
and thinking of Marvin Tucker and his teammates.
I encourage everyone to support Monroe
Area Council for the Arts and give all young people the opportunity
to have a more enriched life through the arts. They will be 66 one