As you know from some of my previous posts, my Dad is one of my heroes. His good buddy William Glover (Mr. Glover is wearing the brown sweater) passed recently and the family requested that my Dad speak on his behalf. I called him the morning of the funeral to wish him well and then he read me the tribute he wrote to William. It was so good to me that I asked Dad to mail it to me so I can put it on my blog. It really gave me a good feeling to reflect on the friendship that he and Mr. Glover had. It also helped me to connect with how my Dad grew up and the good times they had. I think I would've enjoyed growing up in that time as much as my Dad did. Here's the tribute:
Will all the golfers please stand and pay a tribute to our buddy, William Glover. Thank you, you may be seated.
The definition of coordination, "to be harmonious, in dress, to be very cool."
Glover would look you up and down to see if you were dressed very cool... If not, he would let you know right away. So this morning I took extra pains to see that everything matched (Dad dons his white brim that coordinates with his suit and looks over to Mr. Glover). "OK Glover?"
I met William in the late 1930's. It was around Christmas time and if you were very lucky, you might get some skates. Well that particular Christmas, I lucked out and got some. I headed straight for the "smooth street", aka Ascot Ave. This was our skating rink. Well, I was skating along when some lanky dude bumped into me, knocking me down. It was William, and that was the beginning of a long enduring friendship lasting 70+ years.
Along the way, it was William and I becoming the official cheerleaders at Jefferson High School. I will never forget the annual Los Angeles City High School track meet championships held at the Coliseum. Me and Glover had the student body going wild with the ending signature mile race between our hero, Louis Beadle, and the two guys from Hollywood High School. I'll let Beadle fill you in... (it was a close race, but Mr. Beadle lost out at the finish to one of the Hollywood HS runners).
Following high school, Glover and I graduated to Matthews Pool Hall on Central Ave. and 48th street. One of our endeavors was to gather all of us guys outside around 3:30PM and watch the daily parade of the Jefferson High School honeys sashaying past us. Some of them went out of their way to join the parade.
Party time was Friday nights. It was the Alpha Bowl, La Vada downstairs, Elks Hall, YWCA, etc. Me and Glover would go to a particular grocery store in the neighborhood named Zaby's and inquire if Miss Virgina Dare and Mr. Dubonet (those are old school wines) would like to accompany us to a party. The answer was always yes.
Sundays were always great. Early horseback riding at the Flying Horse Stables, church, then the afternoons were at the Crystal Tea Room. Finally the Lincoln Theater after that.
Some of you might not know it, but William had a tremendous singing voice. So me and him started a quartet; Glover as lead, then me, Marcus and Bunyan Johnson as backups. We also had Charles Windsor, who couldn't sing a lick, so we made him our announcer. We won the amateur hour twice at the Lincoln Theater and sang at various churches and other affairs. Then holidays might find us all at The Valverde hamming it up. Life was very good.
Finally, William invited me to join in his golf endeavors which he loved so much. He would go to the golf course at 3:30 in the morning and up the call list which let our groups be the first to tee off. When it became too cold for him, I would substitute for him.
I know that William, his brother Alvin and Sylvester Bell teed it up this morning and he's saving a spot in his group for us all.