Monday, January 11, 2016

Clemson is the choice here

Tonight's national championship game in college football will be the first college football game watched here this season.  I am looking forward to it and actually have a favorite.  That is Clemson for now, although when watching a sport I have been known to change my mind during a game.  I don't think that will happen tonight.  There is no reason for me to like Alabama.

Here's the rationale, with roots in my distant past.  From 1968 to 1971 I taught tennis at Camp Carolina in Brevard, NC.  It was a beautiful place owned by the Reynolds family of Richmond(Reynolds Wrap among other products).  The camp had counselors from many colleges but two historic providers were Clemson and Davidson.

The tennis staff in 1968 included myself, Charlie from Clarksdale, Harvey from Louisville, Jeff from Atlanta(who eventually would become coach of the Davidson tennis team), and Hoak Sloane, the former long time coach of Clemson's tennis team.  He seemed elderly at the time but he was probably  just in his '60's as he got out there on the courts and played with us.  He particularly liked teaming up with me in doubles, and we aggravated other heavy hitters with our constant returns, with many of Hoak's being lobs.  That's one of my connections to Clemson.

The other is that one of my father's best friends took textile engineering at Clemson and worked at Dan River Mills with him.  As I was growing up, he and his friend Charley's main connection was an interest in stereos and electronics.  This was in the days before everything needed could just be bought off of the shelf.  My father built his own small speakers that could fit discreetly into our small house, in the living room and dining room with wires running under the floor in the basement. Charley, being an engineer, made his own amplifier as well.  When my father was in his 80's Charley was one of his last few friends, and no one could have been more genuinely loyal.  After the Mill had been sold to an Indian company, they would drive out to the main site, sit in Charley's car, and watch the giant plant being demolished day by day.  Charley had known Hoak Sloane in the 1940's.  That's the other connection of course.

Not having a good football reason to have a favorite, this is more than enough.  Go Tigers.

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