Friday, September 6, 2013

The Interview

Today an old friend who was one of the two reporters left who was with us in Danny's young coaching years, the National Championship even, came an did a taped, two part radio interview.  Our dear friend Paul Brown.  It was the first one I have done since I got sick 17 years ago.  We had a great time.  It took total about 2 hrs.

Paul began at the beginning.  My family, home, how I grew up.  Then on to high school.  The things I was involved in cheerleading, queen of my school and such.  I shared with him how I, since I was a little girl, sought to please people.  I wanted their approval and how this dominated me and how I lived.

Danny and I went to rival schools.  I hated him before I ever loved him.  He was a great athlete, football and basketball.  He always made us lose.  He was a blind date.  I wasn't sure I wanted to go on the double date but my senior friends all said how great it would be.  That he was the best and they all would love to date him.  We began dating and never stopped dating on through my high school and his college.  We were married the day before my 20th birthday in January.  He had just finished football and it was his senior year.  He will tell you I ask him.  The way it went, we were suppose to be married that summer after he finished.  His dear friend and teammate was out fishing in a fishing boat.  The boat turned over.  His teammate, who had just finished football also and was do be married, drown.  Danny said he had his whole future before him and it is gone.  He said we might not be here tomorrow.  People cannot take their life for granted and he has been living it to the fullest ever since.  We got married in my home with just our parents.  Then off to Birmingham Alabama for a 2 day honeymoon.  Our first meal was at an all you can eat fish place.  Then we packed up like Sanford and Sons and took off to live in the old hospital barracks at Tuscaloosa, our home to be.  He got a job at the paper mill, a night job, he was a GA and I got on as receptionist at the bank, First Federal.  We passed in the night.

We moved to Bryant Hall and after a year were expecting our first child.  We lived in one bedroom with a refrigerator, bed and a couch and a bathroom.  I still remember the blue and green wallpaper with eagles on the wall.  Coach Bryant use to come from time to time and stay in the room next door to us. I still remember seeing the smoke come through the door.  I ate in the dinning hall with Danny and the team.  Coach Bryant would come through the lobby and I he would take my breath there was such a presence an ora about him.  He always nodded, tipped his hat and said ma'am.

Danny finished school and was looking for a job. Coach Bryant said you are expecting your first child.  I want you to stay on here as a recruiter.  It means being on the road.  I had gone home so I could be with a consistent doctor until the baby was born not knowing at that time where we would live.  Coach Bryant sent Danny to my home town.  He said there needs to be some recruiting done around there.  The baby was a beautiful 8'10oz baby boy with a head full of dark hair.  He was born still born.  Because of Coach Bryant Danny was with me.  I told Mrs. Bryant the story after Coaches death.  I told her I would never forget it.  She gave Danny Coach Bryant's black and white hounds tooth coat.  The one he wore a lot on the side lines.  It is on loan at the Bryant's Museum right now.  Coach Bryant was always there for us.  Just like Danny has been his players.  Amazing hard work ethic but loyalty to the bone.

We bough a small white house and redid it.  By this time we had our second child Jennifer a beautiful blonde baby girl.  I use to stay up at night when I would feed her and watch her sleep.  I remember once Coach Pat Dye, who use to also be the head coach at Auburn, eating dinner with us.  Boy did he ever take care of us.  He landscaped our yard.  We use to baby sit for him and his wife with their four children.  He would leave us steaks in the frig and we got to sleep in their king sized bed.  We were in heaven.  Anyway back to Coach Dye at our house.  I went in to check on Jennifer.  I put my hand on her back and could not feel her breathing. I did this regularly.  I ran and got a mirror and put it under her nose.  I screamed for Danny and Jennifer began to cry.  I was so fearful of loosing her too.  I remember Danny taking her outside just to let her get dirty because he said she won't know what dirt is.

We went then to Virginia Tech under Coach Jimmy Sharpe.  Eight long hours from home, ugggh, lots of snow and lots of recruiting and long hours at work.  Danny was the offensive coordinator and Charlie Pell was the defensive coordinator.  We had our third child.  Winters were long.  I remember a funny story.  Danny was out of town and it was night.  I was pregnant with Ashleigh and about 12 inches of snow was on the ground.  The phone rang.  It was a man and he said he had a pig Coach Ford had bought.  I said what am I going to do with a whole pig at 10 o'clock at night?  He said throw it out in the snow. lol.  Well they kept it at the University until Danny got in town and had it processed.  Virginia Tech was a beautiful place but I was so isolated there.  It was hard.  The team was successful and next stop was going to be Clemson.
I will never forget it.  Danny said I have some good news and some bad news.  I was in Alabama at home with my family with the girls at the time.  He said I have a great opportunity to be an assistant head coach.  I said ok, what is the bad news.  He said it is at a place you have never heard of, Clemson.  I said Clemson.  Where is that...

I think I will continue tomorrow.  Thanks for caring, supporting us all these years and reading as I remember.