My mom just showed me this article written by Bob Hartley (pictured right), former Mississippi State sports information director and the person whom the Mississippi State football pressbox is named after. The article entitled "From the Hart", appeared in each issue of Dawgs' Bite, a small newspaper with eventually turned into a full-fledged magazine reporting the happenings of the Mississippi State athletics front.
The article contains several different parts to it and the last part is a sort of homage to my grandfather, my mom's father, my Boppie. Boppie died when I was in second grade, after losing his battle with prostate cancer. It didn't have much of an affect on me then, but the older I got and the more pictures and stories I was told, the more I grew to miss him more and more.
I wanted to share this article with my readers to give you a little more insight on why my blood is truely maroon. Besides the fact that I get to brag that my dad played for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, I get to brag that my Boppie did too, among other things.
So here goes...
"When former MSU classmate, fraternity brother and ex-star wing-back Collins Wohner called just before [the] 10 o'clock news Saturda night, Feb. 16, I had a premonition he was about to report some bad news. The call was appreciated, but [the] new of the death of one of Mississippi State University's all-time favorite graduates was saddening.
W.O. "Willie" STone has meant as much to MSU as any person I've ever known. He served the University and his fellow man in many ways. From the Hart will always treasure his memory of Willie Stone.
He is perhaps best remembered by many as the captain of Mississippi State's 1935 football team that shocked Army, 13-7. The upset startled the sports world. This game is regarded by many as the school's most important football victory. Not only was Willie Stone captain of the football team, he was president of the MSU student body. He was a 1936 grad. He was (is) also [a] member [of the] MSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Stone served as Alumni Secretary at his alma mater, 1939-41, returning after World War II. My first association with Willie was when I accompanied Coach Dudy Noble and Stone to a meeting in Tupelo, a week after joining [the] Athletic Department staff, Aug. 15, 1946. I [remember] stopping a Whitt's Cafe at Crosstown (Tupelo) while WIllie made a phone call. After the call, he reported news that Shorty McWilliams had resigned from West Point (U.S. Military Academy) and was returning to State.
One of six brothers to attend Mississippi State (five are graduates), Stone served on the Board of Instuations of Higher Learning (College Board), 1969-72, including [a] term as board president. He retired after 30 years with Mississippi Roadbuilders Supply as Vice President and Sales Manager in 1986."
The rest of the article just lists survivors and requests for memorials to Mississippi State's Development Foundation.
I share this because of my enormous pride in where I come from. My parents are the greatest and I can't imagine being a part of another family. God sure did a great job in picking parents for me and they are a true testament and result of great parents on their part as well.
(I wish I had a picture of my grandfather on my computer but I don't. Many could be scanned if I had access to a scanner.)
Praise God for amazing families!