Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

V 10 N. 5 World Indoor Champs Postponed due to Corona Virus and other News

World Indoor Championships Postponed to 2021
and Several R.I.P.s

The following story appeared in The Guardian today Jan. 29, 2020

World Indoor Athletics cancelled over coronavirus with Chinese GP at risk

 World Athletics confirms event has been delayed for year
 F1 race on 19 April in Shanghai at risk, says virus expert

Press release from World Athletics
It is with regret that we have agreed with the organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing (13-15 March 2020) to postpone the event to March 2021.
We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances.
The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.
We have considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and would like to thank the cities that have volunteered to host the championships. However, given concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China, we have decided not to go with this option, as it may lead to further postponement at a later date.
The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event. We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event.

We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.
OUTV Responds To This Crisis
We called an imediate staff meeting in the headquarters of OUTV on the fourteenth floor (Roy's Corner Office)  this afternoon to discuss the possibilties of greater pressures emanating from this first big cancellation of a sports happening in China due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus.  Roy said he wasn't worried,  he survived measles, chicken pox, diarhhea, and IQ deficiency, all without the aid of any dang vaccinations.  Steve seconded Roy's views saying only that certain diseases he once picked up in SE Asia were all treatable and curable.  Only George was a bit hesitant, saying schistosomiasis was nothing to fool around with and the putzi fly that got into his system in Zimbabwe had to find its own way out through a pimple on his backside.  We all did agree though that this news item has surpassed every story on real TV even the current impeachment procedings.   And the kicker is that the Tokyo Olympics is just around the corner.  If that baby crosses the Sea of Japan and gets into the water in Tokyo Bay, it will be curtains for the Olympics this year.  Only WWI and II have been able to curtail the Olympics. 

"If I were on the Tokyo Olympic Committee I would be sweating my balls off."  said Roy with a nonchalant grin as he looked for his latest electronic issue of TF&N.   

"It's on your computer, dufus." said Steve.   

"If they are serious about dropping the Grand Prix of Shanghai, I'd be worried."  chimed in George.  

In a more serious vein,  a number of former American Olympians have passed away recently.  

Art Bragg and Dean Smith after the Helsinki 100 meters

Arthur Bragg  1952 Olympics.  100 meters,  6th in semis but was injured and finished anyway.  Died Aug 25th 2018 age 87.
Art Bragg didn’t. Brag, that is. About his track exploits at Morgan State or making the 1952 Olympic team or the stacks of plaques and medals squirreled away in his home in Los Angeles.
“Art tended not to dwell on his achievements all those years,” said his wife, Marie Bragg.
A Baltimore native and onetime NCAA sprint champion, Bragg died of cardiac arrest Aug. 25 at a hospital near his residence in Southern California. He was 87.
A star of Morgan State’s mighty track and field teams of the early 1950s, Bragg won four Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association 100-yard dash titles and three 220-yard finals. As a sophomore in 1951, he won the NCAA 100-yard championship in 9.6 seconds. A year later, at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Bragg won again, taking the 100-meter finals in 10.5 seconds.

But there were troubles ahead. Before the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki, Finland, he pulled a hamstring — and aggravated it in an Olympic qualifying heat. His right leg bandaged, Bragg finished last in the semifinals. The gold medal went to teammate Lindy Remigino, whom he’d beaten in the U.S. t
“I have no alibi,” Bragg told reporters.
“That sounds like Art,” said Tignor Douglass, a longtime friend. “He never made excuses for anything.”
Douglass, 86, of Henderson, Nev., grew up in West Baltimore and met Bragg in grade school.
“On the playground, we’d race from fence to fence and Art always beat everyone,” said Douglass, a retired engineer. “He was outgoing but not boisterous, and well-liked.”
Helena Hicks, 84, played with Bragg as a child and remembered her cousin as “a runner forever. He was always saying, ‘I can get to the store before you’ or, ‘I’ll beat you to the corner.’ 
In a 1952 interview with the Baltimore Afro-American, Bragg’s father, Arthur, recalled the time his 5-year-old just took off running.
“We were walking one morning in Harlem Square,” he said. “All of a sudden he said, ‘Daddy, I’m going to do something,’ and with that, he broke away and ran. I tried to catch him but the kid was running so fast that I gave up the chase.”
Passersby, sensing some urgency, tried to corral the youngster, to no avail. Finally, the father said, his son stopped and “a young woman who had seen it all said, ‘That boy has what it takes to be a great runner someday.’ 
Bragg ran track at Douglass ,High  before attending Morgan State,where he teamed with celebrated athletes like George Rhoden, who won two gold medals in the 1952 Olympics (400 meters and 4x400-meter relay) and Josh Culbreath, a hurdler who won a bronze in 1956. Bragg continued running after college until 1956, when he moved to California to work as a deputy probation officer for Los Angeles County until his retirement in 1993.
A 1974 inductee of the Morgan State Athletic Hall of Fame, he was enshrined a year later into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bragg stayed active almost to the end, said his wife of 48 years.
“He took a bad fall in January but, prior to that, he was walking as much as three miles a day,” she said. “He didn’t look 87. His body was firm and strong, and he always had handsome legs.”
During the months of recovery that followed, Maria Bragg said, her husband “changed the attitudes of many patients [in physical therapy] with his upbeat attitude. To one downhearted woman who walked by, Art said, ‘Would you save the next dance for me?’ Everyone broke out laughing, and she appreciated that.”
Bragg never forgot a face, his wife said, but his memory was a double-edged sword when he harked back to the 1952 Olympics.
“It always brought sadness to his mind, knowing he’d come so close to his chance to excel before that terrible injury,” she said. “It was something he was never quite able to rise above.” by Mike Klingamen, Baltimore Sun Aug. 28, 2018.

Debbie Thompson (Brown)  1964 Olympics, 200 m , eliminated in lst round
Died Nov 17 2019 age 77
Edith McGuire, Wyomia Tyus, Pam Kilborn, Debbie Thompson Brown indoors

Summoning a burst of energy, sprinter Debbie Thompson Brown unleashed a late surge. When she ran like this, monumental things happened. Races were won, stopwatches displayed unbelievable times, national and world records fell. By finishing second in the 200-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials that day, she earned a spot on the United States Olympic track and field team for the 1964 Games in Tokyo.
Thompson Brown, the only Frederick County native to compete for the United States in the Olympics, and a longtime youth track and field coach in Frederick, died Sunday. She was 72. Thompson Brown’s name is on a relatively short list of Frederick County Maryland athletes who reached their sport’s top tier. And she, along with Frederick Track and Field Club teammate Tammy Davis Thompson and coach Jack Griffin, helped put Frederick on the map in the world of track and field.
The first inkling of Thompson Brown’s world-class potential came when her rare speed was discovered in a school fitness test. Eventually, the unbeatable combination of her natural talent, training and drive yielded milestones that seemed improbable coming from someone who grew up in tiny Frederick.
As a 15-year-old, she broke the world indoor 60-yard dash record held by Wilma Rudolph, an Olympian she emulated, with a time of 6.7 seconds. At Tokyo she was eliminated in the first round of the 200.
by john Cannon Frederick News Post  Nov. 21, 2019

At 17, still a student at Frederick HighSchool, she was one of the youngest members of the U.S. team at the 1964 Olympics, where she was eliminated in the first round of the 200-meter dash.

Jarred Rome 2004 and 2012 Olympics, Discus, 13th in 2004 and 31st in 2012. 
Died Sept 21, 2019 age 42. Two-time Olympic discus thrower Jarred Rome was found dead on Saturday in his hometown in Northern Washington, just days after he was inducted into Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame.

Rome was a member of Team USA for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2012 Olympics in London. The two-time USA Outdoor champion also won a silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Rome, who graduated from Boise State in 2000, also won a silver medal at the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Rome was inducted into the Snohomish County (Washington) Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. His sister told the Herald that he went out with friends at a casino in town on Friday night, but wasn’t feeling well. People checked in on him repeatedly during the night, but he was found unresponsive on Saturday morning.
Investigators are still working to determine his cause of death.
“I had lots of failure,” Rome said at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, via the Herald. “I was never the top thrower in high school, I was never the top thrower in college. I considered myself to be the hardest worker. I never had the talent, I frankly never believed I could make the national team, that was never a goal of mine. The support I had shows tonight from the family and friends who are here, without your support I would never be here.”
Ted Vogel winning Yonkeers Marathon 1947

Ted Vogel leading runners out of Olympic Stadium London 1948

Ted Vogel 1948 Olympics, marathon finished 14th.  Died Sept 27, 2019 age 94.
from seacoastonline.com  by Susan Putney  September 24, 2019
DOVER -- Ted Vogel has had a remarkable past, and now he’s being celebrated by Langdon Place, his residence of five years. The 94-year-old is one of Dover’s Olympic heroes and a man who has been supported and revered by the New England running community for decades.
He was discovered by the legendary runner Johnny “Jock” Semple while a student at St. Mary’s in Waltham, Massachusetts, according to Langdon Place. Semple and Vogel served together in the war where Semple was a chief petty officer and Vogel was specialized in naval communications.
During his heyday, Vogel was one of the top runners in the United States. In 1947, he was third at the Boston Marathon and won the Yonkers Marathon. In 1948, he finished second in the Boston Marathon, going head to head with Canadian legend Gerald Cote for the lead during the final miles of the race. Also in 1948, he became the 10,000-meter national champion.
At the 1948 Olympics held in London, Vogel made the U.S. Olympic team and finished 14th in the marathon, the top American.
After he settled in Dover in 1984, he ran local races and was a state record holder in New Hampshire 5K when he was in his 70s. In 1998, he ran one of his final races with the nuns at the St. Charles Children’s Home in Rochester which transitioned to a children’s day school in 2013.
Ted Vogel and his wife, Jean, whom he married in 1996, have called Langdon Place of Dover home since May 2014. During Olympic events, he always wore his USA sweatshirt and waved an American flag proudly to cheer on USA athletes. During Summer Olympic events, he was especially vocal cheering on the USA track team runners and happily reminiscing about his own Olympic experience to residents.
Sadly, many of those memories have faded, according to Langdon Place. In 2008 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and now resides in the memory unit. His wife Jean has become his biggest cheerleader, happily displaying clippings and photos of Vogel in his running days to guests who visit. She also has his collection of running shoes, which look archaic compared to those worn by athletes today, and proudly has photos of his Olympic marathon framed on the walls of her home.
“Seacoast area residents in general, and residents of Langdon Place of Dover still proudly salute Ted Vogel, our hometown Olympic hero,” said a spokesman.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

V 10 N. 4 Gail Hodgson South African and Oklahoma Sooner 1960 R.I.P.

January 15, 2020
Yesterday I received the following email from Neville Soll, South African friend who graduated from the University of Okahoma and was a friend of Gail Hodgson a 4:03 miler back when sub 4 minute miles in university were extremely rare.  George Brose

I had lunch with a friend the other day. She came from Pietermaritzburg the home town of Gail Hodgson. She knew Gail back in the day when he was a school boy. She told me that Gail had passed away. I have tried to confirm this. All that I could find is a notice in a newspaper advertising the winding up of the estate of Michael Gail Hodgson.
It gave the bithdate as 11 January 1938 which would tie up with his age. According to this notice he died on 28 April 2018. As this information came so soon after the passing of Mike Lindsay and Buddy Stewart, it is sad that another Okie of our era has passed on.

The January 1959 Track and Field News made reference to Gail in the following paragraphL

Fearless Harold Clark of South Africa made two attempts at a four minute mile, coming up short on both occasions, but certainly earning respect in the doing. On December 20 in a solo attempt in Kimberley, a city at 5000 feet elevation, he tied Gail Hodgson’s South African record of 4:04.5. Undeterred, six days later he took another shot, this time in the town of Pearl. Nature was not his friend. The temperature was 103 with the track being estimated at 130. Harold proved himself the kind of guy you would want in your foxhole by running 4:04.9.

Gail by evidence of this paragraph, at one time held the South African mile record.  He would lower it a tad in a near solo effort at the Big Eight outdoor championships held in Norman, Oklahoma.  More on that  later.

Here is a letter I received from Gail in 2011 by virtue of connecting on this blog.  I've yet to mention that Gail apart from becoming an architect was also a very good piano player and had a band  The Twisters in Norman.  He mentions a bit about that in this letter.

Hi George

Just to tell you that I have been getting all your fabulous emails over the previous months.....maybe even years !!!!!!!!. Sorry I haven't replied sooner. I just marvel at all the info that has stayed alive, and it's thanks to your efforts that have made it so interesting and meaningful.

I am a semi-retired architect after practicing in Rustenburg South Africa for the last 40 years or so, and am now in Johannesburg trying to come to terms with doing mostly nothing most of the time. My Children.......all grown up now are still in the States.......Denver, and San Marcos. My daughter Kim from Denver is doing real well with my genes and is running great long distant events all over the country.

When I was in Norman I had a rock & roll band called The Twisters.......me on piano and vocals. We backed up guys like Chuck Berry, and Johnny Cash, and I personally backed up the Inkspots, and met Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald by inviting them to perform at OU in about 1960.

I haven't run since getting back to South Africa, but have helped with a bit of coaching over the years.

Thanks again for all the GREAT news......my email is gailarch1@ mweb.co.za.

All the very VERY BEST Gail Hodgson.......OU 1957 to 1960

In 1958 at the Kansas Relays the OU team set a World Record in the Sprint Medley 440, 220,220, 880.  They were using the race as a warmup for another relay.   Gail anchored in 1:48 which on that cinder track was a very good effort.   Here is an account of that race from one of the team members,  Johnny Pellow who was also a half back on the football team.  

1958 Kansas Relay Meet: Event: Sprint Medley.
Gary Parr, Ponca City, OK started with a quarter mile. Dee Givens, Lawton OK followed witha 220 yearder. I, Johnny Pellow, Enid, OK, was next with another 220 yarder and, finally, Gail Hodgson, South Africa , finished with a half mile. Thanks to Gail Hodgson's 1:48 half mile we broke the WORLD RECORD!

I still have a 1958 Kansas Relay Watch given to us for winning the race. ON the back of the watch it reads: SPRINT MEDLEY - WORLD'S RECORD of time: 3:19.5. By the way, the watch still runs.

But, the rest of the story: Gail, Dee, and Gary were all at the very top of their special events. This race was a 9:30AM event and was to be just a warm-up for the three top stars. This was the first race that I had been in since injuring my right Hamstring Muscle two months before this race. I was just a fill-in chosen at the last minute. I remember Coach Carroll telling us just to relax and use this Sprint Medley Race as a warmup before the real afternoon races began. WE BROKE THE WORLD RECORD.

Gail Hodgson leading a Big 8 indoor event in Kansas City, MO.
The two runners on the extreme left are from U. of Kansas
Bill Dotson (first Kansan under 4:00) and Billy Mills

Later that year at the Big 8 Outdoor Meet held in Norman, OK, Gail made an attempt on a sub four minute mile.  There was little if any competition in the conference that year.  So Gail pretty much did all the work on his own.  I don't know his splits on the first two laps, but he came through the 1320 in   2:58 which was truly amazing on that soft track.  However still on his own he went into the Twilight Zone and came out the other side with a personal best in the 4:03+.  I don't remember the fraction.  I imagine only Wes Santee had done better in the conference.  I did not witness this race, but heard many accounts of it.  Gail stuck around the OU campus for a while, because the architecture degree was a five year program.  We used to listen to The Twisters practice in the dorms.  The other musicians were not athletes.  Gail travelled in a very special world having so many talents besides running.  As he said above, he didn't run after returning home.  He married the sister of SMU pole vaulter Dexter Elkins.

Remembering Gail Hodgson
from Bob Ringo
Both Gail and I began our OU track careers as freshmen in the fall of 1956.  Gail was the
latest athlete to arrive at OU from South Africa.  Peter Duncan, a swimmer,
and Neville Price, a broad jumper, preceded Gail to Norman.

Gail was not only a gifted runner but also a very talented piano player and lover of classical
music.  He inherited his musical skills from his mother who had been an opera singer in the
United States. Gail’s father managed General Motors in South Africa.  After our workouts
we would lie on the cots in Gail’s Lincoln House cubical and listen to classical music.
Today my primary music listening love is classical. 

Gail and I arrived in Norman a little earlier in September than the bulk of students. 
Athletes were allowed early enrollment to ensure they got early morning classes that
would not interfere with their workout schedules.  After Gail and I had finished our
enrollment, we stopped by the Student Union bookstore to pick up a few supplies.
We gathered what we needed and walked to the cash register.  The cute young coed
at the register asked Gail, “Will there be anything else?” Gail replied, “Yes, give me
a couple of rubbers.” After What seemed like an eternity, the blushing young lady
blurted out, “We don’t sell them here.”  As we were walking away, I told Gail in the
United States rubbers are purchased in drug stores. Gail’s reply was, “If I had wanted
those things, I would have asked for “safes”.”

Ed. Note: In South Africa erasers for pencil writing or drawing are known as 'rubbers'.
Other South Africans made that mistake as well. Another once asked a girl in class if he
could borrow a rubber from her. Think, 1950s , deep South, Bible Belt, and you'll
have the context.
The temperature was in the high nineties when Gail and I arrived in the track dressing
room to get ready for our first workout.  Ron Wade, a senior, was Captain of the
cross-country team. He confidently said, “Let’s warmup with a ten-mile run” knowing
a long run in the heat would “kill off” the newcomer freshmen.  Gail easily completed
the ten mile warmup about a mile ahead of the varsity runners not even breathing hard.
I believe I was five miles to the rear of the last varsity runners.

Our first year in Norman Bill Carroll had just taken over as the head coach from
John “Jake” Jacobs.  Jake still was around to offer bits of wisdom. However, from day
one, Gail was my coach. He prepared each daily workout for us that Bill Carroll
always went along with.  Since we were both distance runners, Gail and I trained
together stride-by-stride every day. Gail taught me how to breath while running.
“Breathe through your belly button.”  He taught me how to hold my finger for
relaxation while running. “Hold your thumb and index finger lightly together
without making a fist.” He taught me how to tie my shoes so if the laces became
untied during a race, the shoe would still fit snugly and not fall off.  Gail and I
roomed together on trips. This way we were able to go over our coming races
a thousand times before actually running them.

In the spring of our junior year, we had finished the Dallas Invitational on a Thursday
night and, then, were flown to Lawrence for the Kansas Relays.  It was my belief that I
would be running my usual second leg (880) of the distance medley relay that was
scheduled for Saturday. For this reason, I stayed behind at the hotel on Friday thinking
there was no hurry in getting to the track.  Bill Carroll hadn’t told me I was to run
the 880 anchor leg of the sprint medley held on Friday. Not finding me around the track,
Bill grabbed Gail and inserted him in my place. Gail ran a splendid race that day coming
from behind and passing everyone on the home stretch finishing first by a hair and helping
OU’s relay team set a new world’s record.

The summer after the National AAU meet in Boulder, Colorado, Gail and I had a few
days before we were to report for our summer jobs that had been arranged for us by the
Athletic Department.  Neither of us had much money, so in the evenings we would find
a bar with a piano and Gail would sit down and begin playing “requests” for cash tips
and/or beer. We used the tip money for food.  The beers were never wasted.

Gail was “drop dead” handsome.  Everywhere he went, there were always plenty of
gorgeous girls eyeing Gail.  No sooner would Gail begin playing the piano in a bar or
hotel, man-hungry girls would rush to sit on the bench next to him as he played.  Finding
girls was not ever a problem for Gail.
The above paragraphs are but a few of the special memories that I have of Gail. 

In summary, Gail was a gifted runner, a talented musician, an excellent architect, and
most of all a great friend.

Bob  Ringo Ed. Note. Bob Ringo was a pretty fair 880 man himself finishing 5th in the National AAU meet one year.

Hi George, 
Paul Ebert here,

I was at OU Jan 1958 to 1962 and Gail was in his prime.

I recall the day he broke the Big Eight record in mile at conference meet (Norman ) 1958 (4:05) 
Gail related to me that he was going to break the 4 min mile and that he would go under 60
first lap, under 2:00  2nd lap, under 3 third lap and take it home.

This he did up to last 220 where it was a struggle and he ended
with 4:05.  I as a  freshman (freshmen couldn't compete) watched the entire race.  

Also in cross country 1958 Big Eight Conference meet Gail was
first 14:00.9 new record.  
     2.  Miles Eisenman (OSU)
     3. Tom Skutka (KU),
     4. Billy Mills (KU)
     5. Ernie  Kleynhans (OU). 

1959 Big Eight Cross Country
     1.  Eisenman 13:55 NR
     2.  Mills (KU) 
     3.  Hodgson (OU).  

1960  Big Eight Cross Country
      9. Ebert  (OU)
     10. Lee Smith (OU)
     11. Hodgson  (OU)  was 11th, Ebert 9th(OU)

 In 1959 Gail was 4th in 1500 National AAU.

It's rare to find one of so many talents and Gail is still remembered by a lot of his old teammates.  I'm sure every team has one or two people who define a team by their talents, 
their actions, their behavior.  Gail gave us a lot of very positive examples in many fields.
R.I.P.  Gail Hodgson.  

Note:  We were sorely pushed to find any photos of Gail.  If any of you have any that could be used here, please send them to irathermediate@gmail.com

Saturday, January 11, 2020

V 10 N. 3 Race Across America Eddie Gardner and the Bunion Derbies book review

Race across America
Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies
By Charles B. Kastner (Seychelles 1980-82)
Syracuse University Press
December 2019
319 pages
Hardcover - $75.00
Paper – $29.95

Reviewed by Thomas E. Coyne

This is a book worth reading!  And well-illustrated, besides!

Actually, it is three books in one, drawing on Charles Kastner’s previous histories
 of the, now largely forgotten, 1928 and 1929 C. C. Pyle’s International-Trans-
Continental Foot Races.  The two races are covered but this is, equally, a focused look 
at race relations in the United States in the 1920’s and the efforts of African Americans 
to achieve full integration into white America.

Author Kastner uses the story of Edward  “Eddie” Gardner to tell his tale. Gardner,
born in Alabama, was a respected African American distance runner in the greater 
Seattle, Washington community. In 1928 he participated in the trans-continental race 
planned by the Route 66 Highway Association to draw attention to the nation’s best-known
national highway.  The Association contracted with C. C. Pyle to conduct the event.
Pyle succeeded, displaying a flair for attention and ballyhoo plus a level of incompetence
and callousness that, in retrospect, makes one marvel even more at the tenacity of the
runners who completed, not one, but two such races.

Money, not glory, was the motivation for these runners.  They were international distance
running stars and poor, but athletic, working class Americans.  The latter, with the same 
desire as countless other Americans, generations before them, who had walked East to 
West next to their covered wagons in pursuit of a better life for their families.

Pyle offered his competitors a shot at $25, 000 for the winner with $10, 000, $5,000 and 
$2,500 for second, third and fourth.  Finishers five through ten would win $1,000.  In 1928, 
this was life changing money for the average person.  To seek it, one hundred ninety-nine 
starters toed the line on March 4, 1928 in Los Angeles and, after running 3,422.3 miles, 
fifty-five crossed a finish line on May 26 in New York City.  

A year later, reality had set in.  Seventy-seven contestants, including forty-three repeaters 
from the first race, started on March 31st in New York City and, running a different route
of 3,553.6 miles, nineteen finished on June 16th in Los Angeles.

A major difference; the runners in the 1928 race received their prize money.  The finishers 
in the 1929 run received worthless promissory notes and never collected. 

In his two previous books the author focused on the races with some attention given to 
efforts by the African American runners to show their fellow white citizens they could 
compete as well as white athletes as distance runners.  In this writing, Kastner shines his 
light on Gardner who finished in eighth place in the 1928 race.  In 1929 he was the sole 
African American to return for the second running and led the run in its early stages but
succumbed to injury and fatigue and dropped out after 1,536.60 miles.

Eddie Gardner clearly wanted to successfully represent his race and African American
newspapers were the primary sources of information about that effort.  Yet, there is no 
doubt he also had the same motivation as the white runners.  Finishing in the top money
 meant a better life for him and his family.

Gardner, however, had to face the Jim Crow South as well as racial prejudice in other
states on his journeys and Kastner’s recounting presents a sobering look at race history 
in the United States.  To the credit of his fellow competitors, Gardner was treated as a 
respected comrade runner who shared the same miserable treatment C. C. Pyle gave 

Kastner deserves accolades for the years of research that have gone into his three books 
about C. C. Pyle’s Bunion Derbies.  This account gives graphic descriptions of men who
ran through rugged terrain and terrible weather conditions at paces per mile that would 
be respectable in modern day marathons and ultra-marathons.  

While the author does not comment on the hundreds of subsequent runs across America, 
he should take pleasure in knowing that the spirit of the bunioneers lives on.  Since Andy
Payne’s 1928 run of 3,422.3 miles in 84 days the cross-continent record has now dropped 
to Pete Kostelnick’s 2016 run of 3100 miles in 42 days-six hours-30 minutes.

Read the book!  The will power of these runners will impress you.

Thomas E. Coyne has been a runner since 1947.  In all that time he never once 

felt the urge to run one step more than the 26.2 mile marathon distance.

Ed. Note: Some of you may recall that Thom Coyne also reviewed the first two books
of this trilogy. The link to that review is: Vol 4 N. 3 April 29, 2014

This review was originally done for a blog by Thom Coyne's brother  John Coyne   for returned Peace Corps Volunteers.  Mr. Kastner was a volunteer in The Seychelles 1980-82

michael gregory

6:18 PM (1 hour ago)
to me
George---I sent you several emails about Andy Payne of Okla City who won the 1928 Bunion Derby.  He became the clerk of the Okla Supreme Court for 34 years.

V 11 N. 3 "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zatopek" by Pat Butcher, a Book Review by Paul O'Shea

When we come across books to review, we know that there is a particular skill set needed to be fair and honest and at the same time literary...