Sunday, April 11, 2010

..and then there was the time

   As you know, one of the main jobs of a granddaddy is to tell his grandkids stories about what it was like when he was a kid. I’m still doing that, since two of my 5 grandkids are still at that “tell me a story, granddaddy” stage.

   I like doing it, and am fairly good at it. I think they like my stories, but the problem is…..they don’t believe a darn word of any of them.

   Take for example the story about that day at Elizabeth School. when I was about 10 years old and had just gotten real interested in football, having seen my first game between Central and Gastonia. Seeing those players with big shoulders (that I later learned were pads) and bright uniforms hooked me completely.

   Anyway, at recess one day I happened to look over at the open field next to the school yard, and lo and behold ….playing football (practicing) before my very eyes were……the DETROIT LIONS!

   At this point in the story I start hearing moans of disbelief……as my audience quickly disappears.

   Sometimes I wonder, myself, if I really saw what I thought I saw.

   So you can imagine how relieved I was to come across this newpaper article from a 1946 Michigan newspaper.  -Ed

(Click on article to enlarge)

  (And yes, the Lions practiced the week before the game on the large open field next to Elizabeth School. The Charlotte Clippers  were the champions of the Dixie Football League that year. I believe the league folded the following year. )


 "While at Piedmont I was one of the water boys and helped the managers for the Clippers when they played at home. I knew all the players. Dave Harris became coach at Harding, and one of the players married the principle at Elizabeth. Cannot remember his name but he was a tackle. Great memories and great stories."  -Don Nance

"Enjoyed your article concerning Detroit Lions and the Charlotte Clippers. It took me down memory lane. When I was 10-12 years old we would go to all the games. At that time I was a member of the Optimist Club and we could get in free. I would go with Jay Summey, Ken Flower, Larry Flower, Dickie Ratcliffe Etc. Those were good times. No adult would accompany us and we were very safe. How times have changed..."   -Bob Ellis

 "Your assessment of our neighborhood lightning strike made me laugh. More importantly, your piece about the Lions and the Clippers was a real eye-popper. How did you get that clip? Amazing. I loved the Clippers. Until tonight I never knew they were a Lions farm team. I remember they played on Sunday. I am not sure how God let them get away with it. But, they were very good. I went to many of their games. They did well against teams in their league but every now and then they would take on the "big boys" and get clobbered.

As you can tell, our internet is back. So is our TV. We bought a new answering machine complete with three cordless phones. Life is good."  -Warren Sparrow