Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Old Jayhawk

Constant readers will recall a series of stories that I started not long ago about my career in broadcasting.  I wrote about the people who influenced my early career and their colorful nicknames.  I left out an individual who was part of that great group of people I associated with during my college years.  I left him out because he wasn't in television, but he was a larger than life character whose devotion to the University of Kansas earned him a much deserved nickname, "The Old Jayhawk."

Bob Nelson passed away this weekend.  He was 88.  Rich Bailey, "The Pureman," introduced me to Bob when I was a freshman in college.  I remember thinking, why is Rich hanging around this old dude?  What's funny now is that old dude was about the age that I am now.  But I quickly figured out that Rich and a lot of other folks gravitated to this "old dude" because he had more life, more energy, and a zest for living and loving all things Kansas than I could ever hope to have.

"The Old Jayhawk" wasn't just the life of the party, he was the party.  He knew everybody and everybody knew him.  The times with Bob I remember most fondly where the trips to Kansas City for the old Big 8 Holiday Tournament.  Bob was always at the center of any pre-game or post-game gathering.  I feel sorry for those who never got experience those tournaments.  I feel sorrier still for the folks that never got to spend an evening with "The Old Jayhawk" hoisting a few adult beverages and reveling in his wonderful stories about the Crimson and Blue.

1 comment:

  1. "He wasn't just the life of the party, he was the party."--What a compliment.