Had to take a week off from the Suite last week as I had to play catch-up after a return trip to Alabama the week before.
My stepfather passed away in July and we returned to his hometown for a memorial service.
He was the reason I moved to Alabama in the first place. The reason I graduated from Muscle Shoals. The reason there may or may not be a statue of me in front of my old high school (you’ll have to visit it yourself to find out for sure).
He taught me how to drive. How to ride a horse. How to shoot a gun. How to “slow dance” with a girl (yeah, that really happened). How to change the oil in my car. How to....well, the list could go on for quite some time.
I already had a dad when Gill and my mom met. He meant a lot to me and I hated that we moved 600 miles away.
But Gill filled the role of father for my sister and I. He didn’t have to, though he would never have told you that. He absolutely had to fill that role in his mind.
And he did just that. He loved my sister and I as if we were his own and people who didn’t know our family dynamic already wouldn’t have known otherwise.
So the trip back to Alabama wasn’t one of the fun ones. Although I was able to take my own wife and daughter for the very first time, the trip had a somber cloud hanging over it the entire time.
Part of that was because it was up to me to come up with the words to memorialize him. That’s the down side to being the lone writer in the family.
Normally words come easy, even when the occasion is tough.
This time was different. I struggled for two weeks to come up with the right words. Not until about two hours before his service did I finish them.
There’s a lot you want to say about the man who, although we had our differences, did so much for my mom, my sister and myself. But I got through it. My family got through it. I got to show my own family my old house, the Tennessee River in which I learned to ski and that famous statue in front of MSHS (shaddup).
Last week I started seeing some posts on Facebook about how much more fun it was to watch “Family Feud” if you knew one of the contestants.
They kept tagging Jay Edelen, the superintendent at Arapaho. I did some digging and discovered Mr. Edelen was, in fact, a recent contestant on Steve Harvey’s show as part of the Berry family.
The family did quite well and Jay got to take part in the Fast Money portion several times.
As you can tell, it didn’t always go quite so well for him (he goes second):
While it’s easy for us to be backseat drivers or Monday morning quarterbacks, I can’t imagine it’s easy to pop out those answers with the clock ticking, thousands of dollars on the line, hundreds of people in the audience and potentially millions watching you after the fact.
That didn’t stop people from chiming in. Look at the comments section below the video in this link.
They are giving him the business!!!!
If you’ve ever played pickup basketball with Jay (I have), you know he appreciates a good smack talk session. His trash talk was stronger than his shot was flat (ultimate heat check guy…with his wristbands and sleeveless shirts).
Anyway, it was good to see Jay and the Berry family do so well. And I did see one Fast Money that they did win, so I’m glad he was able to cash in.
HOPE THIS DOESN'T JENKS THEM...
Alright, Westmoore, you get another shot.
Still considered to be the west’s best hope to knock off one of the powerhouses from the East, the Jaguars host Jenks on Friday night.
About three weeks ago, Westmoore was unbeaten and considered the best in the west as Broken Arrow came to town.
Broken Arrow - perhaps the worst of the Big 4 that also includes Union, Owasso and the previously-mentioned Trojans - promptly thumped Westmoore 41-7.
Talk about a party foul.
So, we’re giving Westmoore another shot against a Jenks team we’ve written about here often already. The Trojans started 0-4, but have won four straight to sit alone atop 6A I-1. A win by Westmoore can muddy the district waters entering Week 10.
A loss by the Jaguars probably means a trip to Owasso in the first round. Yup, good luck with that.
WILD WEST SHOOTOUT
Two teams that didn’t disappoint? Laverne and Shattuck.
In a rematch of last year’s Class B state championship, Shattuck made the trip up 283 and was sent home with its first loss, 44-42.
The Indians seemingly had converted a two-point pass late in the game, but it was deemed no good by the official, giving the Tigers a third win over Shattuck in two years.
Laverne won both of last year’s matchups, 44-6 in the regular season and then 40-34 in the state title tilt.
Chances are, the northwest Oklahoma rivals will have another go-round before this year is finished.
PTPers IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS
What’s that? You wanted to read about some unique performances coming out of Kingfisher County? Fine.
• Dillon Joyce ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns and returned a kickoff 93 yards for another as he scored every TD in Hennessey’s 28-12 win at previously-unbeaten Tonkawa. The win means the Eagles, who have won three in a row after starting the year 0-6 (you read about their brutal early schedule in this very column), will likely avoid a first-round playoff trip to Millwood. Nobody wants that trip. Not even Bama.
• Cashion’s Griffin Lamb completed 10 passes against Yale last Friday. Seven of them went for touchdowns. The shortest one was for 18 yards. The next shortest was 45 yards. His 10 completions covered 376 yards. Seth Brown caught four of those passes, three of them for touchdowns, for 175 yards.
• Kingfisher had just two offensive snaps and 12 yards more than halfway into the first quarter of its home game last week with Centennial. And led 28-0. That’s because of some early punting woes for the Bison. Their first punt was blocked by Trey Green, Kingfisher recovered at the 6 and scored on the next play. Their second punt was blocked by Trey Green. It fell into Declan Haub’s arms and he scored from 6 yards out. Their third punt attempt was mishandled and Kingfisher got it at the 6 again…and scored on the next play again. Their fourth punt attempt actually made it into the air. Only it went backwards after it met the 30 mile-per-hour south wind. After Haub kept it from going out of the back of the end zone, Green pounced on it for a 0-yard punt return for a touchdown. That’s how you have two snaps, 12 yards and a 28-0 lead.
WHAT YOU GOT?
If you’ve ever got suggestions for me to highlight after witnessing performances like these, send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you. Because of the aforementioned trip and catch-up time, I wasn’t able to highlight some suggestions I had received from readers, like:
• Guthrie’s five interceptions returned for touchdowns against Piedmont in a 51-20 win on Oct. 19;
• The week before that, Caddo forced 10 turnovers (eight interceptions) in a 42-8 win at Empire. The Bruins scored three defensive touchdowns and recorded a safety.
Got more like that? Send it my way. I try to finalize the Suite every Wednesday morning, so hit me up before then each week.
GIRL, YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE
My go-to on Pandora recently? A Milli Vanilli station. Yes, Milli Vanilli.
I heard one of their songs a few weeks back, so plugged them into Pandora (which I listen to at work when everyone there is hopping on my last nerve).
It’s been a pleasant surprise as it features music from about 1989 to the mid-1990s. If you’re in my age group, that’s right in your wheelhouse.
For those of you who think stuff from 2001 is old school…well, you can’t help your own ignorance. Here’s what the rest of us grew up on. The fashion - and lip syncing, we later discovered - was impeccable.