George Smith: Pete was all dressed up to go away…
Apr 07, 2013 | 6681 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Sunday conversation . . .
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ALL DRESSED up to go away ...

That kept running through my mind as I stood by Pete Sexton’s coffin Thursday evening.

His name was E. P. Sexton, but everybody called him Pete and the denim overalls and plaid shirt he was wearing to his visitation was, well, beautiful. According to his friends, that was Pete ... all the way.

He was 85 when he died, but there was a photo in the K. L. Brown lobby that told of an earlier time. It was of a young sailor, cap at a rakish angle, just the way sailors are supposed to wear their caps.

He was of World War II vintage back then and, like so many of The Greatest Generation, came home, married, raised kids, loved his grandkids and lived a simple life.

His obit in Friday’s Anniston Star said, in part:

“He loved hunting, fishing, gardening and spending time in the Cheaha Mountains.

“Pete Sexton was a simple man who enjoyed simple pleasures.”

That was written by someone in his family. I really didn’t know Pete, but I wish I had ...

* * *
TROY KILGORE is an old friend of mine and he and wife Patsy have a 63-year love affair going. That is as of Tuesday, April 9, their wedding anniversary.

My friendship with Troy goes back close to that many years. It was 1959 and I was a young and very green sports writer for this paper. Troy was a printer, worked in the back shop, and did my sports page makeup daily.

It was a time of “hot lead” and being flashy with newspaper layout was difficult at best.

Thanks to Troy, who willingly and cheerfully followed my layout, we flat out changed the look of the sports section. We did “broad” makeup with bordered stories and large photos.

Other sports sections across Alabama soon began to “copy” me ‘n Troy.

Happy anniversary, pal ... and hug Patsy for me.

* * *
YOU MAY not believe this, but you can look it up.

In the history of professional baseball, there has NEVER been a unanimous vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Not Babe Ruth, not Ty Cobb, not Ted Williams, not Joe DiMaggio ... none, zilch.

Basically what that tells me there are writers (they do the voting) who carry grudges, not fair judgment, in dispensation of their duties.

* * *
QUOTABLE: “For many years I held the home run record in the Knoxville High School Baseball League. I didn’t hit them, I pitched them.”Rev. Ray Walker

Rev. Walker, who died back in 1994, was a regular contributor to The Star’s “Letters to The Editor” column.

A part-time Baptist preacher, he worked (and retired from) Southern Railroad and the quote above comes from an email his son Tommy sent me. It was a memory kicked up off my column on baseball a few days back.

“I have tons of his stuff,” says Tommy, “poems, songs, stories, even a play.”

I was blessed to know Rev. Walker, but he had sort of slipped away in my memories until Tommy’s email.

Thanks, Tommy ... your dad was really a neat guy.

* * *
LET ME tell you about a piece of really sorry trash.

Friday when I stepped out of my car at the Lenlock Walmart, I was looking at two EMPTY plastic oil containers on the pavement.

It is logical to assume someone’s car needed oil and that “someone” went in Walmart, purchased the oil, put it in his car, threw the empties on the pavement, got in and drove away.

That, people, is just plain-out sorry.

Thanks for visiting ...


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:

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