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BEARDEN SHOPPER-NEWS • FEBRUARY 27, 2012 • A-5

End of an era The end. Well, almost. An era of historical signiďŹ cance is winding down. There never has been anything like the Pat Summitt story and it seems unlikely there ever will be. She made the remarkable trip from genuine country girl on a dairy farm to the absolute top of the basketball world. Talent got her started. Work was a big factor. Fierce determination, the will to win, put her on the peak. Among the prizes were Olympic success as player and coach. Pat is famous for intensity and The Stare. And defense. And discipline. She is big on positive attitudes and the Golden Rule. Been there and done all that and won almost 1,100 games. There are no mountains to climb. She is in the relevant halls of fame. The Tennessee basketball oor is named in her honor. She has her own street. Some day she will get a bronze statue. Pat has always said it was all about the players but she gets credit for doing more than any college coach and I do believe she did it the right way. She has overseen the harvest of eight national championships. Beyond the numbers, she has touched lives, changed lives and encouraged, even demanded, excellence from her Volunteers. She has charted a clear course. She has applauded as hundreds earned degrees and charged boldly ahead, willing and able to compete in the real world. In her spare time, Pat has been the best ambassador ever for the University of Tennessee. Andy Holt is runner-up. Peyton Manning may someday move into consideration. Oh, I know, I’m making a

Marvin West

big fuss and it is only women’s basketball. Well, Pat Summitt took it above fun ’n games when she went public with her afiction, early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. She would, by the grace of God, refuse to surrender. That meant she would ďŹ ght it with both hands and all her might. She would take her medicine and work her puzzles and do all the stimulating mental gymnastics doctors recommend. Pure Pat quote: “There’s not going to be any pity party.â€?

Part of the war would be increasing awareness. When Pat speaks, people listen. Never has there been such a voice for this cause. Fans and foes joined hands. Her new foundation sprouted wings. “We back Patâ€? is more than a slogan. It is a genuine inspiration. I actually bought a T-shirt. The Patricia Sue Head story started almost 60 years ago in Clarksville. She was fourth among ďŹ ve children in the Richard and Hazel Head family. Daddy was tough enough. Mother was an angel. The Head boys liked baskets and the father put down a oor and put up a goal and lights in the large barn. That’s where Trish learned to play, against big brothers, push and shove or get out of the way. She was 5-9 in 3rd grade but didn’t want to be so tall. Years later, Daddy ap-

preciated her desire and talent enough to move the family from a brick home in Montgomery County to a cold, two-story frame house in Henrietta so she could attend Cheatham County High. It had a team. Trish was multitalented. She was in the 4-H Club. She showed cattle at the fair. She rode horses, barrel races, in Ashland City. She was voted “Most Popularâ€? and “Basketball Sweetheart.â€? The gym where she played now bears her name. UT-Martin wasn’t her ďŹ rst choice for college. It was Richard’s. His perspective mattered. He was going to pay. Martin didn’t give scholarships to women way back then. She became an AllAmerican. The Martin athletic director pushed her toward the World University Games. Because she would play defense and rebound, coach Billie Moore

took her to Moscow. Back at Martin as a senior, Trish suffered a serious knee injury. The doctor said ďŹ nished. She never believed it for a minute but admitted rehab was much harder than expected. She decided to take her restoration project to Tennessee – as a graduate student and assistant coach, $250 per month. She moved up before she arrived. The head coach requested a leave of absence. Pat Head, 22, worked on her master’s, taught classes, coached baskets and put unbelievable effort into rebuilding the bum knee. She got well in time to become co-captain of the 1976 Olympic team. We sat together in the Court of Flags in Montreal and talked for some time. She was wise beyond her years. Her rise to coaching immortality was not instant pudding. She ďŹ rst cut down national nets in her 13th

season. In the years that followed, Pat and great players kept cutting. She became a mother and a millionaire and a legend. She wrote books and should have books written about her. The Vol Network produced a magniďŹ cent threedisc video of her success. My cameo appearance adds little but you really should own the set. The Pat collection? Naismith coach of the century. Architect of a perfect season. Winner of lots and lots of games and the same number of titles as Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Dean Smith combined. Without thinking, I assumed good times would go on forever, until she ďŹ nally grew weary of winning. Alas and alas, it didn’t happen that way. Sad, isn’t it? Call it triumph and tragedy. Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is westwest6@netzero.com.

Arthur Seymour’s great week Fountain City lawyer Arthur Seymour Jr. had a smashing time at City Council last week. First, he steamrolled developer Tim Graham’s proposal for the corner of Clinton Highway and Merchant Road. Graham wanted commercial zoning that avoids site plan review. That vote passed 6-3 with only Marshall Stair, Mark Campen and Duane Grieve voting no. Brenda Palmer, who represents District 3 where the property is located, zinged Lynn Redmon, president of the Norwood Homeowners Association. “There are what, maybe 15,000 people in the Norwood area,� she said, implying that Redmon did not speak for the majority. Then she stumbled over his name.

Campen, Nick Della Volpe and Nick Pavlis voting with the neighborhood. Rumor has it that later Sandra in the meeting Seymour Clark reached up to scratch his ear and three Council members hit their lights, trying Redmon may be one of to change their vote. 15,000, but he’s a dynamo If it’s not true, it should political operative, espebe. It was that kind of week cially in city elections. for Arthur Seymour. Palmer may someday know his name. Money quote But back to Seymour. Next “We need to do the right up came Gentry-Griffey Futhing and let the lawyers neral Chapel, arguing against ďŹ ght it out,â€? said Nick Della a neighborhood group that formed to ďŹ ght the funeral Volpe after Council’s attorney Rob Frost and city Law home’s crematorium. Seymour represented Director Charles Swanson Gentry-Griffey owners opined that Council really Tim Williams and Jim shouldn’t overturn the GenClayton, and he won again. try-Griffey building permit. This time the vote was closer, 5-4, with Council Pension war members Daniel Brown, County Commissioners

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Kim Bennett may preempt the Charter Review Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discussion and vote on changes to the Uniformed OfďŹ cers Pension Plan. Commissioner Richard Briggs said at a workshop last week, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can put this on the ballot as County Commission and not wait on the Charter Review Commission.â&#x20AC;?

Kim Bennett, executive director of the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Retirement and Pension Board, said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not uncommon for uniformed ofďŹ cers to have an enhanced plan, as opposed to people who sit behind a desk like myself.â&#x20AC;? Commission chair Mike Hammond asked Bennett if the ofďŹ cersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; plan is solvent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My feeling is we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t keep doing what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing.â&#x20AC;? Finance Director John Troyer said the pensionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;liability grows every year.â&#x20AC;? He estimated the fund is worth $105 million with liabilities of $124 million. Briggs wants Mayor Tim Burchett and Sheriff Jimmy â&#x20AC;&#x153;J.J.â&#x20AC;? Jones to weigh in on the discussion. He suggested both attend todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pension Board meeting.

Bearden Shopper-News 022712  

A great community newspaper serving Bearden and the surrounding area

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A great community newspaper serving Bearden and the surrounding area

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