By Butch Hurford
As I Start my last little story I will remind you about living with my grandparents. They didn’t know anything about sports but they always let me participate in all sports. We lived 75 yards from the football field. Sitting on their front porch they could hear the announcer. One night when I came home after the game, Mama said, “I heard them calling your name, you must have hit a home run”.
When I played sports all those years I had no one come to the game to watch me play. Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of my friends were there, but they would have been there even if I hadn’t been playing.
The night we played Beebe ended up being a special night for me. Beebe had a good team and they were picked to win. We were warming up when John and Boots came on the field. John had not seen me play since the seventh grade. As they talked to Coach King I could tell they were looking at me. John came over to me as I was catching punts. He said “man, we came to watch you play”! He gave me a big bear hug and said “man, go get-em”! That night as I scored a touchdown I saw Mama and Mrs. Elam, with their aprons still on, standing outside the fence watching the game. I don’t know how to explain things but that night I couldn’t feel me feet touch the ground. I didn’t see John or Boots after the game as my sweetheart, who was a cheerleader, walked me off the field. I’m sure they were busy visiting with other people.
On Saturday morning as I was working at the shoe shop, my girlfriend, who later became my wife, sent me word to read the paper. We didn’t get a paper so when I got a break I ran over to Mr. Edwins to look at his paper. School that had a game on Friday nights had a write up in the paper about the game, big schools at the top of the page and smaller schools on the bottom. I looked on the bottom and there was nothing. As I made my way up the paper they wrote, HURFORD SCORES 4 TIMES AS AUGUSTA UPSETS BEEBE!
The next week we played Batesville. If John and Boots had been there would we have won? Probably not!! But that night against Beebe I was on Cloud Nine !!!
Thank each of you for going on this journey with me. I wanted to share these simple stories of friends and family hoping they would bring laughter and joy during these troubled times. Tears from these sweet memories were ever present while I was writing. In closing I’m sending my love out to you. I hear Mama calling, “Butch, it’s time to come in”