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THE IMPORTANCE OF NOVEMBER 1ST

Oct 30, 2015 02:12 pm | Larry Adamson



​Just some thoughts:

Another season is almost upon us....Something I wrote on Nov. 1st of last year...
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Tonight is a very significant date in history, November 1st. Yes, it is in my history and the history of thousands of guys who grew up attending small high schools in the state of Indiana in the 1950s’.
 
If you grew up then and attended one of the many small high schools in the state, you may remember this date. At that time there were a little over 700 high schools in the state and the majority of those schools were small, rural schools that did not have a football program. November 1st was the date the Indiana High School Athletic Association, ISHAA, would allow the basketball season to begin. I can still remember it like it was yesterday.
 
There is a line from an old Statler Brothers song that goes: “If I could just be a part of your memory the rest of your life.” Many happenings from that time, certainly including basketball, would be a part of those memories for me. November 1st, 1959 at 7:45 p.m. on a Friday night was the normal tip-off time for most school’s varsity games. On this November 1st it was the Blackhawk Chieftains vs. the Pimento Peppers. Now, stop laughing! The Chieftains are dressed in their traveling red and black uniforms, and they were led by veterans, Bobby Morse and Oscar Huntwork. (Oscar’s dad was my barber. He cut hair in the back of his small grocery store that the family operated.) The Peppers dressed in their home white with blue and orange trim; my old number was 40! I bet 99 per cent of the guys who played back then can remember their basketball uniform number. Mine, 40 on the home uniform, and 20 on the road.
 
It has been said, probably only by me, that in the late 1950s’ the best thing that could happen to a young Indiana high school boy who played basketball was three things. One, on a Friday night you’ve beaten the local school from a few miles down the road; two, your dad let you have the car for an after game date, and three, that one certain girl,  would go out with you. If all that happened on the same night, the stars were truly aligned perfectly. Well, on that night the stars were aligned perfectly for me; the Peppers won on a last second shot in overtime! Yours truly scored 17 points, and yes I also fouled out. It was the start of my last year in high school, my last basketball season. I would like to say it was the beginning of a very winning season, but it was not. All four years of my being a Pepper, victory did not come often. By the way, for those of us who lived during that time, basketball wasn’t our only memory from those Friday nights, but a very significant one.
 
 Last year on one of my basketball junkets back to Indiana, I attended an Indiana State University basketball game and ran into Oscar Huntwork. Neither he nor I looked nearly as intimidating as we once did, or thought we did, on that particular November night back in 1960.
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November 1, 2014
Keep on,
​Larry Adamson



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W. S. HOLLAND

Oct 29, 2015 06:03 pm | Larry Adamson



​Just some thoughts:    

​W. S. had a nickname. It was “fluke.” He became known to many as Fluke Holland. Sometime back I had the good fortune to sit and visit with him. He was most gracious in conversation. 
  
Can you imagine a nickname like that? Story has it that the term fluke came from the game of billiards. In billiards when a player hit a shot that was considered far beyond their ability, but just lucky; the term is “that was a fluke.” A dictionary will tell us that a fluke is when something good happens unexpectedly with more luck and less skill; occurrences solely based on luck. 
  
In the early 1950s’ W. S. was a good friend of Carl Perkins’s brother. Perkins would later become the legendary Sun recording artist. One night Holland was with Perkins and his band after they had played a gig at some small setting near their hometown of Jackson, Tennessee. Perkins told Holland, “Hey next week we have a recording session booked at Sun Records in Memphis with Sam Phillip. Perkins went on to tell Holland, “We don’t have a car big enough to carry all of us down there, but you do so you are driving us; and also, we need a drummer for that session.” Now Holland had a Cadillac big enough, but he was not a musician. He had never played drums in his whole life, let alone own a set. He had a neighbor who had an old set of drums that he gave to Holland, so the next day he began to teach himself to play.   
  
About a week later finds Perkins and his band in the Sun recording studio having arrived there by Holland’s car. Holland was sitting at the drums when the session began. The less than one month drummer would go on to find himself playing drums for the next sixty years. He played on the famous Perkins recording of “Blue Suede Shoes,” and he was Johnny Cash’s drummer for nearly forty years. In the words of Holland, “Much of my whole life has been a fluke.” 
  
In the lives of most all of us I would imagine there have been a number of times things have happened in which we could not fully explain. Where we have had good luck beyond our skills or when something good happens, and it was least expected. Personally I know that has been the case in my life. Many times I experienced luck beyond my skills. 
  
Hum… I have a friend that often references such occurrences as “God things.” You know maybe some things that man thinks happened just by chance… well maybe; just maybe it might be otherwise. 
  
Maybe everything isn’t just a “fluke.” You think? 
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March 15, 2012
Keep on,
​Larry Adamson


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ETERNAL FRIENDSHIP
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