Quintessentially American, inspirational, nostalgic, and filled with a sense of pride, the book is warm and thoroughly entertaining, whether you are a sports fan or never set foot in the little town of Corbin, KY.
“The Boys from Corbin” tells the tale of boys from working class families whose greatest desire was to play ball. They never envisioned the greatness they would attain in later years. That was yet to come. But their achievements were to give heart and soul and a feeling of pride and community to a little town that didn’t have much going for it.
As they soared to greater heights in their high school years, the whole town, the universities and colleges across the nation stood up and took notice. They were an unheard of phenomenon, so much talent in a small corner of America, whole families of brothers, each following in one another’s footsteps, setting records, one after another.
I never knew the “Boys from Corbin.” They came along after I graduated high school and moved away. But I knew their names which became household words in my family and other families in Corbin. Not being a sports fan, I was still aware of their exploits through my brother Don, who stayed in close touch with them and followed their careers through high school and the glory days of their history-making and record-breaking accomplishments across the nation.
When Don brought me the book and showed me the pictures of “The Boys” I had the feeling of having seen an old black-and-white movie of another day where you left the theater with your heart bursting with pride, sort of like the feeling you get from an old Frank Capra movie that makes you feel that the world is not such a bad place after all.
It touches you in that way, well written, with plenty of background of the way life was back then when you brought yourself up by your own bootstraps. It is the story of the America that was. It captures all that and more.
The author, Gary West, has done a fine job, staying true to the story and supplying lots of pictures that will enhance your memories of those day. It will make you feel young again when you relive those days when it was possible to achieve the impossible in the face of hard work, few opportunities, and only the will to capture one’s dream.
The “Boys” who gave so much and made Corbin so proud deserve the kudos they are receiving in their declining years. But they have memories that will forever keep them young as they reflect upon their past. The recognition and honors they were given in the past weeks were highly appropriate and long coming, owing to the honor they brought to their little town those many years ago. And it was a long awaited chance for their thousands of fans to award them with their thanks.
Buy the book. Keep it. Read it. Give one to members of your family and tell them to preserve it for their children yet to come. It is an important history of “the little town that could.” And the Boys who made it a reality.
Company Ham Casserole
8 oz. thin spaghetti
2 TBS minced onion
4 TBS butter
6 TBS all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup half-n-half
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups diced cooked ham
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water as directed on package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Saute onion lightly in butter in large saucepan. Stir in flour; remove pan from heat.
Stir in milk, half-n-half, and chicken broth.
Put backover heat. Cook, stirring until thickened. Add ham, peas, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and spaghetti; mix well.
Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, then pour mixture into it. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden.