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509Re: [Seniormemoirs] Growing up

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  • Pete Hunter
    Feb 22, 2010
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      Hi! Stan;
      I hope you don't mind my butting in, but your e-mail to Elaine opened the lid to my memory box marked STUPID.
      When I went to Moorestown High School during the mid to late '40s, My two best friends and I tried out for the football team. I won't mention their real names---I'll just call them Moe and Larry and for this e-mail, I'll be Curly. The three of us were pretty darn good all round athletes. In an era that still allowed multiple sports participation, Moe would have definitely been a four letter man, Larry, three, and me, Curly, two...maybe three.
      Even at that young age, Moe was my hero. He was always the fastest and  hardest hitting player on the field regardless of what sport it was. Later in life when I reminisced, I likened him to Dick Kazmier (spelling?), the greatest football running back that Princeton ever had. Larry, was tall and lanky, A great pitcher and equally talented in basketball and football. I always ran second to both of them, but in the trenches, football was my game. 
      On the first day of our tryouts, we, the scrubs played defense against the varsity and stopped them cold. Little by little the coach, "Worm" Wershing, put in his starters. On one play in particular, I nailed the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage and we stopped them cold just as before. Being easily aggravated, he ordered the same play to be run again. And again I stopped him for no gain. He called that play two more times with slight variations but we stopped them each time for a loss. 
      He was so disgusted that he gave us the ball and told us to run the ball any way we wanted to...run or throw. He then put in his team on defense, which was the way you played football in those days...both sides of the ball, offense and defense. We actually had to ask the scrubs for volunteers to play position. Moe was the left halfback, Larry was our right halfback and I was the pulling left guard. We called a simple running play...a hand off to the left halfback around the left end. The ball was snapped, I pulled, and was the lead blocker, with Moe right on my tail. I blocked the defensive end and Moe juked several would-be tacklers and was off to the races...untouched. 
      The coach was so mad, he ordered us to run the same play three more times. Three times I led the interference, and three times Moe ran untouched around left end for a would-be touchdown.
      Tryouts were terminated, we scrubs assembled to see who made the team. Moe's name was read and he approached the coach to receive his uniform jersey. "Welcome to the team." The coach said.
      Suddenly, Moe turned to Larry and said, "I don't want to play for this guy." He turned back to the coach and said, "Stick it, I don't want to play for you."
      Stunned, and embarrassed the coach asked, "Why not?"
      Moe answered, "I'm from Maple Shade, remember?" 
      Larry was next and said, "That goes for me too."
      Befuddled, when my turn came I said, "Whatever they said goes for me too." And I ran off to catch up to Moe and Larry. I asked them, "Why did we do that?"  Moe said , "Don't you remember what he said to class on our first day of gym...about us being from Maple Shade?"
      I said, "Yeah! He wasn't very nice."
      "Wasn't very nice? He was a jerk and Larry and I made up our minds, we're not playing for any jerk. If we made the team we were going to tell him o stick it."
      "Why didn't you tell me, I would've liked some time to think it over.'    
      "You can still play if you want to, but we're not." 
      And so I didn't. A stupid immature thing to do even at age fifteen. My father hated football so I didn't tell him anything. Besides he was a baseball man, his whole family was. I did however play football for an independent team all through the rest of my high school years and continued to play semi-pro for five years after I got out of the Navy.
      I did a lot of stupid things in the course of my life but none that could have possibly changed my life...if not as an athlete, then academically.
      The lesson I did learn was, Don't be a follower, be a leader.    
      It seems that even at an early age we have the ability to make decisions that can drastic affect our future.
      Ah! That's enough of that.
      Have a great day
      ....PETE HUNTER

      From: Stanley Levin <salmoors@...>
      To: Seniormemoirs@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sat, February 20, 2010 2:14:43 PM
      Subject: Re: [Seniormemoirs] Growing up


      Elaine: Thank you for your response. When I played on  a team in the army it was a great opportunity for me. Being an athlete and representing my army company, during basic training, had an element of prestige to it. More importantly, I loved to play basketball and performed well on the team. Of course I was now 21 years old and certainly more mature. If you were to reread my essay please note I usually quit a team when I was not given enough playing time by the coach, that was most unmature and was not in my own best interests. At that point in time I was unaware of the negative aspect of my behavior. Stan
      --- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:25 AM
      Subject: [Seniormemoirs] Growing up


      Hi Stan:
      Reading your memour of how you would quit each basletball team without giving yourself a chance to see just how well you would do makes me wonder.  When you were on the army team and quitting was not an option, how did you do in comparison to the other players?

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