Tuesday, September 29, 2015

No way (I would write that story)

The year was 1980, I think, and I was in my second (and last) year as sports editor for a small newspaper in South Carolina.

I'd heard of a kid who'd played basketball a couple of years earlier at the local high school, and that year he was playing basketball for a college elsewhere in the state. I asked the local high-school coach if that was worth a feature story, and he said no; he thought no one would be interested in a full-blown feature.

So I kept track of the kid and wrote a short update periodically.

One day I was talking to a guy who had played football and basketball at the high school the previous year, so we knew each other. While we were talking at halftime, the basketball player's mother caught me in the hallway beside the open gym door. And with the former high-school star (now a starter for the University of Georgia football team) and a bunch of other folks watching (and listening) in shock, she yelled for at least five minutes.

It caused a disturbance, as everyone in the gym could hear her.

A few days later, she came to the newspaper office and yelled at my boss with me in attendance. He patiently listened, then told the woman that I was the best sports editor he'd ever had. If I didn't want to do a feature story on her son, he said, it was OK with him.

She was appalled, of course, since her yelling got her nowhere. She stomped out in a huff, and, thankfully, I never saw (or heard) her again.

I never did a feature on her son. I might have done one if she'd been quiet (or if she'd asked nicely), but I wasn't going to do it after the way she acted.

No way.

Contact: I can be reached at tgilli52@gmail.com or nc3022@yahoo.com.

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Sept. 26, 2015: This week's Sports Xtra stories are on soccer player Will Peatross of Mount Tabor, volleyball player Hayleigh Cass of North Forsyth and Reagan running back Jayni Glenn.

Sept. 20, 2015: This week my Sports Xtra stories are on tennis player Jessica Gearhart of North Forsyth, cross-country runner Virginia Burcham of Mount Tabor and soccer player Noah Watkins of Reagan.

Sept. 13, 2015: I'm writing Sports Xtra stories this week on soccer player Joselito Mendoza and his coach John Timmins of North Forsyth, volleyball player Emily Aertker of Reagan and volleyball player Sarah Cooke of Mount Tabor.

Sept. 6, 2015: My fourth week of Sports Xtra stories will feature football player Robert Brown of North Forsyth, volleyball player Lauren Maltzhan of Mount Tabor and cross-country runner Mason Marsh of Reagan. They'll appear in the Winston-Salem Journal on Sept. 18.

Sept. 4, 2015: My third week of Sports Xtra stories is complete, and they'll be in the Winston-Salem Journal on Sept. 11. The stories are on tennis player Madison Wright of Reagan and football players Jared Lipscomb of North Forsyth and Boyce Lee of Mount Tabor.

Sept. 3, 2015: I learned today that my story on the Forsyth County high-school hall of fame was in Winston-Salem Monthly magazine this month. It's called Claim to Fame.

Aug. 28, 2015: My Sports Xtra stories this week were on cross-country runner Ian Foley (the cover story), volleyball player Shey Washburn of Reagan and football player Damon Shields of North Forsyth. They were in the Winston-Salem Journal on Sept. 4.

Aug. 21, 2015: My first three Sports Xtra stories are done and sent in. They're on football players Jamal Sales of Mount Tabor, Troy Smith of Reagan and David Hill of North Forsyth. I didn't have to do a Walkertown story this week.

Aug. 13, 2015: I learned a day or two ago that I'm going to be writing Sports Xtra stories again for the Winston-Salem Journal. I did that for two high-school seasons but have been out of it for two years.

I'll start out writing about Mount Tabor, Reagan, North Forsyth and Walkertown high schools, but someone will take over Walkertown in September. I think it'll start Aug. 28.

I'm excited.

July 25, 2015: I'm working on two stories for the near-future.

One is on Chris Paul's new D-1 sports facility in Winston-Salem, N.C. That story is for Winston-Salem Monthly magazine. You can find more background information at D-1's website.

The other story is on J.S. Pulliam's Barbeque, a business in Winston-Salem that's adding a second location downtown. That's for Spark, a new quarterly magazine that will be inserted in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Contact: If you have a story (particularly sports) in the Winston-Salem area that I might write for Winston-Salem Monthly magazine, I can be reached at tgilli52@gmail.com or nc3022@yahoo.com.

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)