Tuesday, June 2, 2015

V 5 N. 47 A Second Report of the Laszlo Tabori Fete

Darryl Taylor former Long Beach State 880 Specialist and long time track coach at Rancho Alamitos HS in Garden Grove, CA, sent us his report of the party for Laszlo Tabori.  

Below is his report and photos.

Hello George and Roy-Still loving the continuing history lesson for the mid-60s.  There was a very nice tribute to one of my high school heroes this past week-end. I've had the honor of getting to know Laszlo Tabori and his wife Laurie over the past year, having been invited to visit him at his home in Westlake to have  him and Laurie give my son, Greg and my Grandson Ryan a grand tour of his home and trophy room while being enchanted with his stories of escaping the Hungarian Revolution while qualifying for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. You guys have no doubt already covered those events atonceuponatimeinthevest.  I was invited to attend this nice celebration at the Hyatt Westlake Village Plaza last Sunday the 31st of May where I joined upward of 200 guests in honoring his historic sub 4:00 mile to become the 3rd man after Bannister and Landy to crack that difficult barried. In the process of winning that race in 3:59.0, Laszlo pulled Chris Chataway and Brian Hewson to identical 3:59.8 clockings to become the 4th and 5th under4:00.  The floodgates were about to be opened.

 Celebrity guests included Ron Larrieu, Ron Allice, John Bork and a long list of coaches and athletes who were directly or indirectly influenced by the great Tabori. As for me, as a freshman at Excelsior High School in 1955 my coach would pass around current copies of Track & Field News for us to take home and read. So although I've KNOWN Laszlo for less than a year, I've KNOWN of him for a full 60 years as his exploits were included in T&FN along with those of John Landy, Ron Delaney, Tom Courtney, Max Truex and later the likes of Peter Snell and Herb Elliott. It also must be remembered that Laszlo was a long time distance coach at USC under Ron Allice as well as developing the San Fernando Valley Track Club into a national power in Cross-Country before his tenure at USC, Duane Soloman and Jackie Hanson being a pair of his nationally recognized students.
Here are some photos I took at the celebration:

Ron Larrieu and John Bork

Ron Larrieu

Program page showing Tabori's sub 4:00.  Note that
Chataway and Hewson became the 4th and 5th men to break 4:00 in that race.

Ron Allice and Ron Morris

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