The best basketball games I have ever seen were played in the old Edwards Gym in Corbin.
When I was ten years old me and my friends would stand at the rear of the gym and wait until somebody would open the downstairs restroom door and we would sneek in to watch the Redhounds play basketball.
When I was in high school me, Eddie Hodge and Phil Taylor, the coaches’ son, were the managers of the team. Phil and I had a photography room with an enlarger, the trays, chemicals and all the equipment nessessary for developing film set up in the basement of the gym. We did photographs for the year book and other events.
The three of us practically lived in the gym. We played more basketball there than the players on the team. The old janitor, John Broughton,who had limited vision, would walk over from his house across the street and yell out,”I know you boys are in here.” We would hide and wait until he was gone and resume our playing.
After graduating from college in 1961 I broadcast every game Corbin played there until they moved in 1985 to the Gilliam Gym at the present high school location.
So you see I have a fond attachment to Edwards Gym. Unfortunately, this past weekend I had to be out of town and that is when they had Open House at the newly renovated elementary school and I couldn’t attend.
On the first day of school this year the first thing my granddaughter, who attends school there, said as I picked her up was, “that gym is beautiful.”
Well, Dean Manning, one of our reporters shared pictures of it with me and I agree, it is beautiful. Perhaps I will be able to tour it someday.
But it was at the Edwards Gym that I developed my love for basketball. Some of the most hotly contested games I have ever witnessed were played there and most of them before a standing room only crowd. I am so glad the gym has been preserved and will be used in the future.
• While on the subject of sports, the Cincinnati Reds finished another losing season. Oh how I cherish the days of going to Crosley Field and watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the Big Red Machine.
I still remember being at Crosley Field and trying to catch a foul ball off the bat of Tony Perez only to end up with a swollen hand.
When I started my broadcasting career in 1961 at WCTT I worked the night shift. We carried the Reds games and Waite Hoyt was the Reds announcer. The Dodgers had moved to LA and one night, it was 2 a.m., and the game was still going. I was tired and wanting to go home.
Hoyt broadcast from Cincinnati and got the play-by-play over a teletype machine. He would say strike one and raty tat tat 15 seconds later he woud utter another sound.
I had had enough and I opened the mike and said,”If I don’t get a call from somebody I’m turning this boring game off and going home.” The night watchman at the Town House Motel called. I stayed until 3 a.m.