Thursday, October 1, 2015

V 5 N. 90 A Poem and an Old Picture

In about three days we will  get our 200,000th hit on this blog.  Thanks to all of you who read it regularly.  Your comments and  added references make the effort worthwhile.  To celebrate in advance I'm putting a nostalgic picture and a poem for the first time ever on the blog.

Recently I stumbled across this photo from 1936.  It is of University of Texas Coach Clyde Littlefield, third from left and five of his Longhorn runners taken for publicity before the Texas Relays.  I forwarded it to several of our readers who ran at UT in the mid 60s when Clyde was retired but still active with the team.   Preston Davis sent  two messages about it seen below.

George…

Thanks for the photo.  I have seen this photo before in Coach Littlefield’s home back in the mid-60’s. 
 Looks like they had some fun running track at UT with Coach Littlefield.


Note the remarkable resemblance of Clyde to Gene Autrey
Only thing missing is a guitar and the Wonder Horse, Champion

Preston Davis

George, and guys…

The “cowboy” standing next to Coach Littlefield (second from left) is Harvey Wallender, who is in the 
Longhorn Hall of Honor.  He won the SWC 100 and 220 three years in a row and finished second to 
Jesse Owens in the NCAA 220 in 1936.  He also finished fifth in the 100, again to Owens who also won the long jump.  The Texas team won the SWC championship’s all three years Harvey was at Texas…he was captain his senior year.


Also received today is the following poem...   forwarded to us by Joseph A. Swanson, visiting scholar at Kellogg School of Management,  Northwestern University.   I think it was in response to the earlier post from Paul O'Shea's book review of Jeff Hollobaugh's book on tactics in running the mile.   Jim Metcalf had also sent in a comment on Herb Elliott's tremendous race in Rome.  I think this poem outlines some of the thoughts of those who shared the track that day with Elliott.  And maybe some of ours too.

GB


Always Something More Beautiful

This time I came to the starting place
with my best running shoes, and pure speed
held back for the finish, came with only love
of the clock and the underfooting
and the other runners. Each of us would
be testing excellence and endurance

in the other, though in the past I’d often
veer off to follow some feral distraction
down a side path, allowing myself
to pursue something odd or beautiful,
becoming acquainted with a few of the ways
not to blame myself for failing to succeed.

I had come to believe what’s beautiful
had more to do with daring
to take yourself seriously, to stay
the course, whatever the course might be.
The person in front seemed ready to fade,
his long, graceful stride shortening

as I came up along his side. I was sure now
I’d at least exceed my best time.
But the man with the famous final kick
already had begun his move. Beautiful, I heard
a spectator say, as if something inevitable
about to come from nowhere was again on its way.
Source: Poetry (June 2015).

To know more about Stephen Dunn

Click on his name below.  The poem will appear again.

Then click on his name again under the title of the 
poem.

Stephen Dunn



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