By Ron Morgan
Blooming Grove —
I honestly have no idea just how long I’ve been subjecting all of you to my musings. It all started out when my stepson was playing junior golf. After he had won a tournament, I would call and tell Raymond, then the sports editor, the details of the win. I think he got tired of that, so he suggested I write it down and bring it by the CDS office. That tells you a little about how long ago it was. I had no access to email. Heck, I had no access to a computer (although I had seen one at the high school).
About that time, John Sykes was doing an occasional column on golf. John must have given up on that, and Raymond asked me if I would like to do, perhaps, a once a month golf column. He had obviously seen where I had won the fifth flight of the Corsicana Country Club Championship edging out some 80-year-old hacker. By asking, it was also obvious he had never seen my swing.
However, my lack of golf skill didn’t lessen the fact that I had always fancied myself as a budding Hemingway. I figured that what I didn’t know about golf, I could make up for with my literary genius. Okay, maybe genius isn’t the right word, but at least I knew about subject/verb agreement (even though I’m sure somewhere, Marianne Anderson has a file of red ink stained columns to prove otherwise).
After about two golf columns, I had gone through my expertise of the game of golf. Being a coach, I figured that I knew a lot about other sports. I started drifting into other athletic endeavors in my writings.
When Raymond didn’t raise concern about my wanderings off the assigned topic, I eventually left golf entirely as a subject.
In 1996, when I went to Drane as an assistant principal, I can still remember Raymond coming out to the Drane gym and asking me if I would do a weekly column that he could put in the Sunday paper (you remember Sunday papers, don’t you?).
I started thinking that I had made the big time. Soon after that, my suspicions were confirmed when they called and told me to come down to the “Newsroom” so Kevin Painter could take my picture to run with my column.
I had indeed hit the big time: Today a weekly column, tomorrow syndication, in the future a book deal and regular appearances on ESPN! So, obviously my personal predictions are no better than my predictions for the Cowboys, Rangers and the Mavericks. I just count on all of you having short memories, and I’ll play like I was right all along.
Of course, over the ensuing years, Raymond has gone on to become the Rupert Murdoch of Corsicana print media. Hoards of sports editors have used the Daily Sun as a stepping stone to move up to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, ESPN Magazine and a used car lot in Mexia (although I feel certain that Mike Phillips will be here long term after seeing the advantages of the ‘Can over Miami Beach).
I haven’t actually lived in Corsicana for the past 13 years. I’ve sent in columns from Bloomington, Illinois, Frisco, Texas and for the past eight years, Trophy Club. Since I started this venture, I have gotten two letters to the editor, two personal letters sent via the CDS office, and, one of my most valued possessions, a letter from Blackie Sherrod thanking me for a column I wrote about his retirement.
So, I started thinking about just why I still sit down every week to do this. Here is my top ten list on that.
10. Show me the money. I don’t want to give up the Happy Meal I buy every month with my pay check.
9.I can see myself as a younger version than what shows up in the mirror because they will continue to run an old photo of me.
8. I’m still waiting on that syndication deal, the book and the guest appearances on Between the Lines.
7. You know how the older you get, the better your high school athletic career becomes. Well, in my mind, those old columns have become Pulitzer worthy.
2-9 I actually had reasons for those spots, but at my age, I’m lucky to remember how to count backwards.
1. But, the number one reason I do this is: Have you ever watched “Hoarding, Buried Alive?” If I didn’t have the chance to empty the garbage out of my head once a week, that’s what my brain would look like. Think of yourselves as my own personal source for catharsis as well as being my own personal land fill. You are doing my wife a favor. You read so she doesn’t have to listen to it.