Saturday, November 27

Butch Dale

Butch thankful for these simple things
Butch Dale, Columnists

Butch thankful for these simple things

Butch and brother in tub By Butch Dale At this time of year, most of you remind yourself of the things in life for which you are thankful. I have been guilty, as perhaps some of you are, of taking some aspects of my life for granted at times. But as cold weather sets in each year, I always become more appreciative and remember to thank the Lord for the following: A WARM HOUSE The house that I grew up in was very cold in the winter. Those of you who grew up in an old farmhouse know all about this. We had a small fuel oil stove in the living room and a smaller stove in the kitchen. On a cold and windy day, the temperature downstairs might be in the upper 50s in some of the rooms. My brother and I slept upstairs, and the only heat that reached there was through a small floor vent. W...
Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jim Dunbar
Butch Dale, Columnists

Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jim Dunbar

By Butch Dale How many people from Montgomery County have ever won an Olympic medal? Well, as far as I can tell...just two. One was basketball star Howie Williams, a 1945 New Ross graduate, who was a four year starter for Purdue and a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. (I will write a column about Howie later on.) The other medal winner was Jim Dunbar, a 1948 Darlington High School graduate, who won his gold medal at those same 1952 Olympics as a member of the U.S. men's eight-man rowing crew. So how did a farm boy from Darlington earn this great honor? James "Jim" Dunbar was an excellent student. He participated in sports, but although he was physically very strong, Jim was not considered an outstanding at...
Butch remembers teacher Jane Anderson Switzer
Butch Dale, Columnists

Butch remembers teacher Jane Anderson Switzer

By Butch Dale I have written a couple of articles about some of my favorite teachers who helped shaped my life and the lives of my fellow students. I truly believe that some people were just meant to become teachers. God has given these men and women the ability to work with and inspire our young people. One of these persons was Jane Anderson Switzer, a fellow classmate of mine. Jane and I attended school together at Darlington the entire 12 years, both of us graduating in May of 1966. During our senior year, Jane was elected as our class president. She was certainly one of the most popular students in our class, and she had a very outgoing personality and a great sense of humor. Jane was active in many organizations, including band, Sunshine Society, 4-H, choir, booster club an...
1940’s Linden Bulldog Sharpshooter Bob Vail
Butch Dale, Columnists

1940’s Linden Bulldog Sharpshooter Bob Vail

Bob Vail. By Butch Dale In the three basketball seasons of 1947, '48, and '49, the Linden Bulldogs, under Coach Alex Cox, compiled an impressive regular season record of 46-8, in addition to winning the County Tourney in 1948. A player largely responsible for this success was Bob Vail who was undoubtedly one of the greatest shooters in Bulldog history. Bob started on the varsity those three years as forward and carried an amazing 19 point average during his career. Alex Cox stressed a "run and shoot" offense, and Bob did not hesitate to put the ball in the air. He could hit the basket from anywhere on the floor. As a junior in a game against Clarks Hill, Bob peppered the basket for an almost unbelievable 48 points, which was quite a feat back in those days! But Bob's most memorab...
Butch proud of his family’s veterans
Butch Dale, Columnists

Butch proud of his family’s veterans

By Butch Dale Veteran's Day is a special day in which we give thanks to the men and women who served our country in the military. This week I started thinking about all of my relatives who served in the armed forces. On my Dad's side of the family, three out of my five uncles were in the armed forces. On my Mom's side, all five of my uncles joined the military after high school. Five of my first cousins served in the military, with one making the Navy his life's career. My Dad was a high school senior when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. His class gathered around a radio in the study hall and listened as President Roosevelt declared war on Japan that next day. Dad told me that he knew his life was about to change. In May of 1942, he graduated as valedictorian of...
One of county’s most popular coaches . . . Pat McDowell
Butch Dale, Columnists

One of county’s most popular coaches . . . Pat McDowell

By Butch Dale Now here's a great guy who would undoubtedly be voted as one of the most popular coaches in Montgomery County sports history. Patrick "Pat" McDowell graduated in 1956 from Lafayette Jeff, where he participated in football and served as class president his senior year. In junior high he admired his teacher and coach, John Eberle, and subsequently, while in high school, Pat coached the St. Boniface grade school basketball team for four years, with his team winning the Booster Club tourney championship. After high school, Pat headed to Purdue to obtain his bachelor's degree in education, while serving as the Boilermaker basketball team manager all four years, and then later on obtained his Master's degree from Indiana State. Pat became a teacher at Coal Creek Central ...
In the meantime, ain’t we got fun?
Butch Dale, Columnists

In the meantime, ain’t we got fun?

By Butch Dale Are we living in tumultuous times . . . unlike anything in our nation's history? I recently read a book about our country, and here are some of the comments and complaints, many of which may sound familiar . . . but folks, hold on. Don't jump to any conclusions . . . just yet. "Politics are corrupt, and politicians demand to be in the public eye for their own self-promotion.""Our President refuses to face responsibility. He seems lost and has a fondness for bloviating.""We lost many good men and women in an overseas war. We cannot get involved in all of the world's problems.""The immigration and civil rights problems are getting worse each day.""Our young people seem to question all authority. They have no desire to work, and just want to have fun.""Some of the mus...
Butch thanks great team members . . . the “subs”
Butch Dale, Columnists

Butch thanks great team members . . . the “subs”

By Butch Dale In the past year, I have written articles about several of the great athletes in Montgomery County during the last 70 years. These athletes had exceptional talent and practiced hundreds of hours to hone their skills to be the best. Many of these "star" athletes were lucky enough to inherit natural athletic skills, while others worked incessantly, with the help of coaches, teammates and parents to become outstanding players. But there are many former high school athletes who were unable to excel in various sports. They practiced just as much and they tried their best, but these athletes just couldn't quite attain the skills necessary to make the starting team or even get much actual playing time during their entire high school sports career. Yet, these athletes were...
Butch says: Six years and you’re out
Butch Dale, Columnists

Butch says: Six years and you’re out

OK folks, how would you like to have a great job with stature and influence, a lavish salary, wonderful working conditions, free vacations to anywhere in the world, free airline travel, amazing medical, dental and retirement benefits, free assistants to help you, hundreds of money-making business connections, free legal representation and stock trading benefits . . . while only working just a few days a year? Wouldn't that be just hunky-dory? Well, you can get a job like that. All you have to do is get elected to our wonderful U.S. Congress! But I must warn you of one important fact. Members of Congress have a 90 to 95 percent chance of being re-elected. Although their approval rating is only around 15 percent according to recent polls, they have ALL of the advantages that MONEY ca...
Butch reviews top scorers
Butch Dale, Columnists, News

Butch reviews top scorers

By Butch Dale As basketball in Montgomery County passed through the Depression and WWII years, the style of play evolved from primarily a slow-moving "strategy" game into more of a "run and gun" type of offense. One of the reasons for this change was the development of the one-handed moving jump shot, rather than the two-handed set shot. As the faster-moving action and scores increased, the fans began to sense the importance of the kid who could pour the points through the basket. Within a few years, player scoring averages of 20 points per game began to be commonplace. Little kids often idolized the varsity ballplayers, and youngsters would imitate the shooting style of the top scorers. When I was in the 6th grade, my brother and I cut the sleeves from our T-shirts, and wrote t...