Come ready with that proverbial jar to catch them.
Those who came the Oxford Civic Center on Saturday night left with a jar full of fireflies, like Roosevelt Coleman’s joy at returning from Savannah, Ga., to receive such recognition from his hometown.
There was Jimmy Luttrell’s funny tale of a stagecoach ride he took with former Jacksonville High teammate Earlon McWhorter. Demonstrated by the widening gap between his hands, the imaginary Indians just got bigger and bigger.
There was Darrell Malone’s admission that his brother jokingly called the former Jacksonville State defensive back “toast.” It seems Malone’s brother saw him get burned a few more times than Malone remembers.
There was former Calhoun County High (now Oxford High) star E.C. “Baldy” Wilson finally adding the Calhoun Hall to his list, and it happened in the first Calhoun Hall ceremony held in Oxford. So many years after he, as a coach, led Glencoe to a stunning and not-well-received victory over his alma mater, he really could come home.
And for those who might have noticed that tiny service ribbon on Wilson’s jacket, it represents the Purple Heart he earned in the Battle of the Bulge. That revelation came out after the ceremony, at the urging of a friend, who made a point to mention it as Wilson talked with a reporter.
Great moments all, but on this night, it was hard to top Scott Moore’s spot-on attempt to channel his father, late Anniston Municipal Golf Course pro “Buddy” Moore.
Just hours before the clock was to strike midnight and the beginning of Father’s Day, the man for whom “Buddy” Moore was father delivered one more Father’s Day card to a man many long-timers in the local golf community consider a second father.
His name was Robert Leon Moore, but his son and all of those second sons called him the same thing.
“I always referred to my father as either ‘Buddy’ or ‘Bud,’” Scott told a packed house at the renovated civic center. “It’s not sign of disrespect. It’s a sign of admiration and love for my father.”
Scott went on to channel his father, using first person to say what he believed Buddy would say.
Right after saying how honored and privileged he felt to be inducted and “I’m not sure I’m worthy,” he thanked “the boys of ‘The Hill.’”
They, of course, would be the apt golf pupils Buddy Moore tutored over 40 years at the course he turned from “Goat Hill” into “The Hill.”
Then, at the risk of hearing one earful, maybe two, Scott relayed his father’s recognition of his mother, Mary Ann, for all of those roast beef sandwiches and other little things she did to take care of the boys of The Hill.
“Most of all, I would like to thank a special person who made this all possible,” Scott said. “When I say she deserves this award as much as I do, I really mean to say she deserves it more for all she did to make ‘The Hill’ a special place.”
Deep down, it seems Buddy knew all too well how much Mary Ann liked to feel appreciated, no matter how much she might protest.
But for the brightest of fireflies that Scott let loose on the room Saturday, he turned off the channel to his father and shared a new insight about him.
It’s an insight Scott said came to him as a result of Buddy’s Calhoun Hall induction and preparing for the acceptance speech.
It’s an insight about a man who had offers to take his expertise elsewhere for more money but stayed at The Hill all of those years and gladly raised so many area kids on the game he loved.
It’s that thing on which Scott put his finger, two years after his father died.
“My father had what we’re all called to have, the heart of a servant,” Scott said. “That’s something special.”
Sports Columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter @jmedley_star.