The Tournament Trail Continues____
As I headed to Convoy around 3:30 yesterday afternoon I noticed a few bands of showers forming throughout the route....Showers? It wasn't really supposed to rain...but once again Mother Nature decided to take a different course....I drove through several spots of rain. One west of Rockford along the St. Marys River on US 33, another by the tiny berg of Glenmore in southern Van Wert County, and a few more spotty areas of rain as I approached the Crestview High Schools baseball/softball complex.
My old buddy Jim, my partner for the game, was already in the lot when I arrived at 4:15 or so....the showers had moved out, but a west wind could be felt in the partly cloudy 65 degree temperatures. We walked over to the diamond, talked to the coaching staffs, received a supply of baseballs for the game, and got paid...there would be few surprises this day, the coaches, players, and fans, all knew each other well, and all knew or at least have watched Jim and I umpire many times at this park, and with these teams over the years.
No game on my schedule tonight....just a Freshman double header for tomorrow at Celina, and then the District will end my Spring schedule...surgery or not, this season has flown by.
The Death of "Surfer Joe" Godfrey_____Way back in late December 1969, I was transferring from Nha Trang to Tan Son Nhut Air Base midway through my Vietnam tour.... looking back it seems amazing how many days and gray hairs have I went through since those days?
One of the first people I would meet was a character who had been with the 377th SPS, working security since the spring of 1967...Chris Godfrey was his named....I chose to call him "Surfer Joe", after all he had that California look about him. "Joe" had been in-country for nearly 3 years by the time I arrived, and would stay for a few months past my departure date of 29 June 1969....3 1/2 years working Security, including being on duty the night of the TET Offensive in late January 1968.
I just hope that his family realize or come to realize what a legend, although he would never admit it, that he was to many men who came and went during his long tenure at Tan Son Nhut....God Rest Your Soul Brother!
Photos-From Parkway Independent Photographer Pat Agler, me working the plate, and coach Schumm working me at the Shawnee Sectional last Saturday....Bunker 51 site of death and mayhem at Tan Son Nhut on 31 January 1968....Chris Godfrey was there before and long after TET, me in early 1970 heading out on Charlie Flight....and The VSPA, where Chris Godfrey, and many others have hooked up with old comrades over the years.