DSCN8785.JPG

As I drove through Laurens in the truck, I thought of riding through Laurens on a bus. It was 1974, my junior year at Clinton High, and Keith Richardson had the radio on as we bumped across the railroad tracks on the bypass and listened to Bill Hogan interview Laurens head coach Mike Lindley on WLBG.

It really hasn’t changed much. Bargain Buck’s isn’t there anymore. McDonald’s wasn’t then.

71488108_2721132081231510_2025560994029240320_o (2).jpg

Monte Dutton

Anyway, when Lindley was talking about the game, he kept saying “okey-dokey.” and I, a lowly junior, couldn’t imagine Richardson ever saying “okey-dokey.”

Thus did I know we were going to win. I remember listening to that interview more than any detail of the game other than we did win. It was 6-0. I had to look it up.

It all flooded back at K.C. Hanna Stadium on Friday night. The sights. The smells. The Devil red and the Raider green. I thought to myself what a privilege it was to be there. As I looked through the camera lens, the packed stands in the background gave me chills. (That’s why my photos sucked, chill bumps.)

It was an out-of-current-body experience.

Was that only yesterday or 20 (no, actually, 47) years ago? Don’t forget the coffee, Billy Joe.

Tom T. Hall, who wrote those words, died on Aug. 20. It has become obvious that I’m going to have to start writing my own words of inspiration.

Youth is wasted on the young. George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde or somebody said that. I think the former owned a race horse and the latter skated for the San Francisco Bay Area Bombers.

The kids get to have the fun. That leaves the old just to reminisce about it.

Shortly after I received my diploma, I worked for a while at the Greenwood Index-Journal. Each Friday night, in Abbeville or Ninety Six or McCormick, I’d stand on the sideline, take a photo (the camera had a gigantic flash attached to it back then), pull out my notepad and scrawl what happened.

Now I do the same. Newspapers rose and newspapers fell, and damned if I’m not a triple threat again. Readin’, writin’ and picture takin’. Just add wi-fi.

Don’t mind me. It just hasn’t occurred to me yet that the story I started out telling happened 15 years before you were born.

At least.