Bill Etter, Bud Marts, and Jr. Gardner
Bill Etter, Bud Marts, and Jr. Gardner
The picture that you see of the three Purple Flyers holding County Championship trophies will remind County basketball fans of a great era in Montgomery County basketball. Of the three, the subject of our little article went on to a great career in basketball and education. His sister Nancy Rogers (Bob) and brother Jack Gardner still live here in Crawfordsville. Jack remembers going to Oakwood to play against his brother’s team when Bill Melvin was coaching the Purple Flyers in the early 50’s. Jack said that he and teammates Norm Surface and Mac Cash were on the team that year. It was a close game with New Market leading by a point at the end. Oakwood took a last second shot and missed. It came down between the three of them and was taken away by an Oakwood player who put it back in for the Oakwood win. That player was Barry McKay who turned out to be an outstanding tennis player for the University of Michigan and played on five Davis Cup teams. He is now highly-respected tennis announcer.
Bill Etter returned home after the war and returned to Wabash for his final two years graduating in 1948. He then became a member of the third generation of the family to be a part of Etter Ford of New Market and now Crawfordsville. Etter Ford began in 1920 when Bert Etter started the business. In 1923, Lloyd and Roy Etter who also played basketball for the Purple Flyers in the late teens, joined their father in 1923. After graduating from Wabash, Bill joined his brother John in the car business and remained until his retirement in 1990. John’s son Jeff is now the Etter of Etter’s Ford as the business is now into its fourth generation.
There will not be a column with Veterans Day next Monday. We will be back in two weeks!