Winning The Big Game

 

Our freshman year, the varsity team won a sectional game but were defeated the next game, thus ended our quest for a state championship.

It was an Indiana custom for a school to have a celebration if their team won any championship games in the state playoffs.

We never won a championship, but our team had won a game, the school administration decided we should celebrate, so they scheduled a school dance the Monday morning following the sectional. It turned out to be quite a big deal; luckily, I had worn my peg leg blue jeans and white bucks to school that day.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

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It Was Different Then

It was a lot different in those days, the schools we played were all small, some extremely small.

Most didn’t have dressing rooms or showers, and if they did, the shower room was always cold, damp, and dingy, with no hot water. Most of the time we dressed in a classroom where maybe there were blinds to pull for a little privacy, maybe not.

The seventh graders practiced during lunch hour while the other students were sitting along the sidelines eating their lunch. It wasn’t uncommon for a loose ball to wind up in someone’s chili. After too many complained, that practice was abandoned and we began practicing after school like everyone else.

The gymnasiums were small and the out of bounds line was normally against the wall, at least on one side. Sometimes the balcony stood out over the floor so there were parts of the floor where you couldn’t shoot without hitting the upper floor.

Many gymnasiums had no room behind the goal, and often times the hot water pipes used for heating the building ran along the wall behind the goals. Leg burns were common and when going in for a lay-up, there was always the danger of running into the wall; often times head first resulting in a bloody knot on the head.

After a game, we would go out into a cold winter evening still dripping wet with sweat, and no one ever  got sick.

If we won the game, it was coach’s treat at Napoleon Tavern, cheeseburgers, French fries and a milkshake.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Basketball Is Serious Business

Just to illustrate how serious basketball is taken in Indiana, the following incident happened to my team in the seventh grade.

I attended a very small school in Napoleon Indiana. Typical of the several schools in the area, my seventh-grade class consisted of about thirty-five students.

As was the case in Indiana, the team from the neighboring town was always your fiercest rival, you would sooner cut off an arm than losing to those guys. Losing meant extreme humiliation until you could seek vengeance the following time you played each other.

Our rivals were the school in Osgood, which was only five miles away; their school was not as large a school as we were the seventh-grade class probably only had about twelve students. Almost every boy in the class played on the basketball team.

For the rest of the story.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Basketball: A Religion

An excerpt from my book, Those were the days,, my friend.

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

Our other religion was basketball, the citizens of the Hoosier State have always been known for their love of the game, especially at the high school level.

In those days, and even today to some degree, there were a lot of really small schools. Many high schools only had enough boys to support a basketball team. Finding nine or eleven boys for baseball or football was out of the question and financially, the cost of supporting a basketball team was a lot less than one of the other major sports.

The varsity team would occasionally get new uniforms. The old uniforms would filter down to the underclassmen, with the seventh graders wearing uniforms that were probably twenty years old.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

The Hoosier Legend, ” Hoosiers”

Written By: Gary Wonning

Celebrations went on into the night when a team wins a big game there is an escort with fire trucks and the Sheriff leading the way, pep rallies were at the gym, congressmen, mayors, and politicians of all sorts show up, it normally lasts into the wee hours of the morning.

Because of the distance, Milan was from Hinkle Fieldhouse and the importance of the victory, officials decided to hold the celebration the next day. An estimated fifty thousand people visited this small town of fifteen hundred, just to see where it was. The crowds backed up traffic for miles.

Soon billboard-sized photos of the team began appearing in all the restaurants and public places in Milan, and of course, every male child over the age of 3 wanted to be Bobby Plump.

It had truly been a night to remember.

Fifty-five years later my high school would win the boy’s championship and seven years later the girls would win. In that part of the world, high school basketball still reigns as the king.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Religion and Basketball

Written By: Gary Wonning

In Indiana, we had two religions, church and basketball. We practiced both daily, went to church on Sunday and the basketball game on Friday night, without fail. High school basketball was so popular and important the school’s gymnasium would often hold more people than lived in the tiny towns.

The stores would close if there was a game in town, they may as well. There wasn’t anyone including the business owners, who were going to miss the big game.

There wasn’t enough money to make them keep open their store on Friday night.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The Power Of Positive Thinking

Written By: Gary Wonning

The  Power Of Positive Thinking, Before the Power Of Positive Thinking Was Popular.

I have always been a high school basketball fan, growing up in Indiana, it was only natural.

To add to the allure, The movie “Hoosiers”, was filmed about my neighboring school championship season, the Milan Indians.

I was nine years old when the game was played and it left a permanent impression in our minds, after that game everyone wanted to be Bobby Plump, who was portrayed as Jimmy Chitwood in the movie. 

I knew of or personally knew many of the players and through the years continuously learned more about the team and what inspired them.

I recently discovered something I hadn’t known.

Glenn Butte, the starting center was a high school principal in my hometown and I knew him quite well.

However, we constantly learn something new every day.

I recently read where he was giving a talk to some elementary school kids and he made the statement that the team actually believed they could win every game they played in, even the ones they lost.

They only lost a couple all season.

This game took place in 1954, well ahead of the time when positive thinking was popular.

These were farm kids and probably heard at different times that they could do anything they wanted, but at that time this wasn’t a popular notion.

Because of what this team accomplished, it inspired many to further their education in this tiny farm community, something that hadn’t been done before this.

We all hear that quote from time to time, but for it to really sink in, it has to come from deep down within our own soul, it’s something that can’t be taught. 

It just proves that we can accomplish anything if we put our heart into it and really believe it.

It shows how a small group of people in a small town can influence others and change the world.

We don’t all have to stand on a pulpit and talk to thousands at one time.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

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