Merry Christmas to all our readers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 23, 2001

Sports Editor

I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and safe holiday season.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year!

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I find it to be the best time of the year to reflect on those happy years of the past. I think about my mother and father a lot at Christmas time – about how sweet my mother was to me and my brother at Christmas. How she made things so special with not a lot to work with. Her smile filled the room with love and happiness. She made sure that we were provided for in her own special way.

That delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and those wonderful cakes and pies that I hunger for today. She made the best dressing, the best cornbread muffins and the best lane cake I have ever put in my mouth. My home had a lot of warmth during the holidays. The tree was always beautiful and there were decorations everywhere. I remember my mother would always make the wreath on our front door, many times with real fruit on it. My parents always provided and did their best to make Christmas ar our house a fun and memorable experience.

I can still remember those rides through the country to my grandmother’s house where we gathered with our aunts and uncles and cousins to enjoy a wonderful family Christmas.

The laughter can still be heard if you listen long enough. It’s the laughter of those loved ones who are no longer with us. Those wonderful smiles can still be seen if you look for them and their warmth can still be felt if you slow down long enough.

Yes, they’re gone and we have only our memories of those wonderful people in our lives; our momma’s and daddy’s, our grandmother’s and grandfather’s, aunts and uncles and those dear friends that are no longer with us.

Christmas is the time when we gather with our families and friends to reflect on Christmases of the past.

It’s a time when we actually fell closer to those who are not longer with us.

Yes, I’ll feel the presence of my mother and father, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, my grandparents, aunts and uncles and lost friends more then ever and I’ll smile with a tear in my eye just thinking about those wonderful Christmas times of the past.

Like my momma always said:

"Jesus is the reason for the season!"

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Hope you enjoyed those trivia questions in last week’s column. Here are the answers.

1. Chase Riddle; former St. Louis Cardinal Major League Scout.

2. Bobby Marlow; All-American at Alabama and the Canadian League.

3. Danny Grant; most career touchdowns at TSU.

4. Danny Cox; won 15 games with St. Louis.

5. Texas A&I, North Dakota State, and Portland State; teams TSU beat for football national titles.

6. Tampa University, Columbus College; teams TSU beat in baseball World Series.

7. Virgil Seay; Super Bowl champ with Washington Redskins.

8. John Faircloth; current AISA Executive Director.

9. Randy Walls; Led Auburn to 10-1 season in 1974.

10. Pike County stars Fred Baxter and Cornelius Griffin; current players in the NFL, Baxter with the Bears and Griffin with the Giants.

11. Kerry Jenkins and Rod Walker; two former TSU players who start for two NFL teams, the Jets and Green Bay.

12. Willie Tellis; former TSU player who ran 100 yards for a touchdown with the Houston Oilers.

13. Mike Pelton; played football at Goshen and made All-SEC at Auburn.

14. Tracy Rocker; won the Lombardi and Outland trophies at Auburn.

15. Shot Sean; a native Trojan coach for Shug Jordan at AU in the 50s.

16. Albert Elmore; played quarterback in 1952-54.

17. Harry and Larry Key; CHHS track stars that won state titles in the 1960s.

18. Steve McMillan; President and CEO of Sara Lee Corporation, still holds the record for most points in a CHHS basketball game (49).

19. Frank Fryer; from Brundidge, made All-SEC in baseball at Auburn in the early 60s.

20. Jerry Reeves; of Troy, holds record for longest touchdown run in TSU history (92 yards),