TIME-OUT WITH JOHN INMAN
By JOHN INMAN
It’s been three months since I made the announcement – September 22, to be exact — that I planned to “author” a book, and I’m happy to report I’ve made remarkable progress in a short time.
So much so, I’ve decided to make a few changes already. At first, it was going to be about Heavener football (it still is), but I figured I would have to say something about my newspaper career and throw in something about my military career and going toVietnam. Sorta a three-part agenda, if you will.
Well, I think I can safely say it’s going to be strictly about Heavener football. I’ve made so many positive steps toward getting in touch with former Wolves’ players, former coaches of the Wolves and rounded up so many pictures, the contents will be all-Heavener.
Who wants to read anything about what I did during my newspaper days, whom I interviewed and what I did in the military? I can probably name with two fingers the number that even remotely gives a you-know-what. Cynthia and Karen, aka my wife and daughter.
Instead, it will cover the start of Heavener football from day 1. The earliest I have been able to find any record of the Wolves playing football was 1926, before Heavener had lights on its football field, when the Wolves still had leather helmets and the equipment was, well, shall we say, scarce at best.
I’ve discovered that possibly they were called the Heavener Hurricanes or the Heavener Timberwolves before they became the Wolves. Some of the earliest players are no longer alive, but I do have one picture that shows the starting lineup in 1935, and I’ve been fortunate to interview players who played as far as back as 1939.
So, I’m going to have interviews on players from seven decades — the 1940s, the 1950s, the ’60s, the ’70s, ’80s, and, of course, the last 20 years. Each decade will constitute a chapter. And that doesn’t count chapters on Harvey Stadium and the Johnston-Yarbrough Fitness Center, not to mention chapters on past coaches, a chapter on a golf tournament honoring one of the coaches and pictures of all the above and an all-time Heavener football team, as I polled all the players I’ve interviewed. There may be a few antidotes dispersed throughout, too.
At last count, I’ve either talked to or e-mailed no less than 65 different players, or their brothers. I even talked to several players, whose fathers played for the Wolves as well. I’ve got more scheduled over the coming months, dozens of newspaper articles to review and more pictures to find. I’ve been in touch with my publisher, sent him a preliminary outline, and he said he can’t wait to read it, that he’s looking forward to it. I have one of my best friends, a former coach to do the foreword.
All systems seem to be pointed straight ahead right now. Stay tuned, for another report before the final chapter is written on Stop the Presses.
Until next week’s Time-out …