Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th.
If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage. It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit uhcmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. Hello. This is Hey Dude Shoes. This is an ad. But not for your ears, for your feet.
Are they listening? Good. Hey Dude Shoes are the squishiest, airiest, lightest, go-to shoes you'll ever have the pleasure of introducing your toes to. So light, a butterfly could steal them. So soft, kittens seethe with jealousy. So cushy, your hands will curse your feet for all the love and attention.
Toes, you fit the jackpot of comfy. Hey Dude, good to go to. Vanguard is owned by our investors, so we all sit on the same side of the table. As an advisor, you look out for your clients.
We look out for both of you. That's the value of ownership. Visit vanguard.com and discover ownership. One shareholder owns the funds that own Vanguard.
Vanguard Marketing Corporation distributor. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on the show from the arts to sports and business to history and everything in between, including your story. Send them to our American stories dot com.
They're some of our favorites. And if you love what you hear and you are a fan of the show, send your tax deductible donations to our American stories dot com. We are a nonprofit and your support would be greatly appreciated. Do a little, do a lot, do your part. But go to our American stories on our giving tab and donate to continue to support all of the storytelling we do. What we do, it isn't free to make our American stories.
We want to make sure it's always free to listen to. And up next, Jeremy Swick, historian and curator at the College Football Hall of Fame, tells us the story of Sergeant Stubby, the street dog turned soldier turned college mascot. Here's Jeremy. Sergeant Stubby of the First World War, the heroic story of America's most decorated war dog. So who was Sergeant Stubby? Nobody knows exactly when the dog later known as Sergeant Stubby was born, but it is thought to have been during the first half of the First World War. He was a dog of uncertain breed, described in early news stories as either a bull terrier or Boston terrier with a short stature, barrel shape and friendly temperament.
Until 1917, it is thought he wandered the streets of New Haven, Connecticut, scrounging for scraps of food. But he was no ordinary stray. Just a few years later, following the end of the First World War, the tenacious canine would become known as one of the most decorated dogs in American history. Stubby's fortunes changed in July of 1917 when he began hanging around a group of soldiers, members of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, as they trained on the grounds of Yale University. One of the men, a 25-year-old private named Robert Conroy, took a shining to the young dog and began to take care of him, naming him Stubby for his stature and tail. Although the US military didn't yet have an official military working dog program, Stubby's instincts and charm made him a fan favorite of the regiment, who taught him how to raise his paw in salute.
By the time the unit had left for France, Private Conroy had become so devoted to his new furry friend that he actually stowed him away in the ship. When a commanding officer discovered Stubby's presence, the dog responded instinctively by saluting him. The officer was reportedly rendered speechless by the gesture and the incident secured Stubby's place as the official mascot of the Yankee Division. Stubby was involved in many battles while stationed overseas. His sharp ears and ability to hear the whine of artillery shells before they landed were extremely useful, and Stubby was particularly helpful in looking for wounded soldiers in no man's land. His sense of smell, too, meant that he could readily detect mustard gas attacks. He once saved an entire company by alerting the men to don their gas masks.
He was present for four offensive and seventeen battles in total, while serving for around eighteen months. One of Stubby's greatest recorded achievements occurred late one night on the Western Front. Stubby captured a German spy and saved a doughboy, which is slang for United States infantrymen, from a gas attack.
Hearing a sound in the stillness of the night on the Western Front, the dog, who guarded sleeplessly, stole out of the trenches and recognized a German. Attempts by the German to deceive Stubby were futile. Seizing the prisoners by his britches, Stubby held on until help arrived. Alerted by the commotion, Stubby's fellow soldiers were able to capture and imprison the spy. For his efforts that night, Stubby was issued an Iron Cross medal that had originally been given to the German spy. Following the war, Stubby returned home to America. He was honored with the Medal of Heroism from the Humane Education Society, an animal protection organization, and met with Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. After the war, he went on and became the mascot for a sports team at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where Conroy studied law.
At the halftime of games, he was given the football to play with in front of the fans. He would push the ball with his nose to great fanfare, which is one of the most exciting parts about Stubby becoming a mascot for a college football team after serving valiantly in the First World War. Stubby was also given the unofficial rank of a sergeant, a higher rank than his master at the time. In 1926, Stubby died at home, reportedly in Conroy's arms. Stubby had such a great impact on not only his owner and the regiment, but really the public as a whole. His obituary was featured in the New York Times and was given half a column, which was way more than many notable people of the time. Stubby's legacy lives on as his body was donated to the Smithsonian Institute, where it is currently on display.
And a special thanks to Jeremy Swick for that terrific piece of storytelling and what a story it was. Sergeant Stubby is wandering around for food in New Haven, doing what stray dogs do, looking for the next meal, and he's adopted by the 102nd Infantry Training at Yale University, which is situated in New Haven. And then it's off to war where his ears and his nose served vital functions in protecting his fellow comrades in arms. And then life as a mascot at Georgetown University. His owner went to Georgetown Law and brought Stubby with him. And the tradition, by the way, of the mascot living at the dorm of Georgetown University to this day prevails.
The story of Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated war dog of World War One, here on Our American Story. Folks, if you love the stories we tell about this great country and especially the stories of America's rich past, know that all of our stories about American history, from war to innovation, culture, and faith, are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College, a place where students study all the things that are beautiful in life and all the things that are good in life. And if you can't get to Hillsdale, Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses.
Go to hillsdale.edu to learn more. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100 percent free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that all free clear mega packs, they have your back.
Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. Hey, you guys, this is Tori and Jenny with the 9 0 2 1 OMG podcast. We have such a special episode brought to you by Nerd Tech ODT. We recorded it at I Heart Radio's 10th poll event, Wango Tango. Did you know that Nerd Tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams can help migraine sufferers still attend such an exciting event like Wango Tango?
It's true. I had one that night and I took my Nerd Tech ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by Nerd Tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams. Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family.
But thankfully, Nerd Tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th.
If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage. It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. And we continue here with our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on the show, as you well know. And often it's not the rich and the famous or the people who've innovated or done extraordinary things and everybody knows about it.
It's the ordinary folks in this country doing extraordinary things. And that brings us to the story of Wendy Caldwell. She is the oldest cadet to graduate from Houston's police academy.
Faith brings us the story. Wendy Caldwell is a 54-year-old mounted patrol officer. This is actually her second time working for the Houston Police Department.
She first went to the academy in 1993 and graduated that same year. She was then assigned to a patrol station. After having three years of service, then I applied and went to the mounted patrol unit where I stayed until 1998. And during that time I had gotten married and we had our first child. It just really felt like it was a better calling to stay at home and raise the kids.
So that's what I did. I chose to resign my position at the police department and raise the kids. And that's what I did for the next 18 years. I got to experience all kinds of things, you know. Everything that you hope you get to see when your kids are growing up.
When they say their first word or when they take their first steps. I got to be that mom that drove the kids to dance and baseball practice. I was privileged to homeschool my kids for a good portion of their academic years. It was much different than going to be a full-time mom. I mean, there is no manual to being a mother.
You just are. And you figure it out along the way. If you're lucky, you have family and friends that can help you along the way. But for the most part, it's kind of a steep learning curve.
When the kids are little, my kids were 15 months apart. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of work. It's not like going to a 9 to 5 job every day. There's no sick days. There's no time off. There's no vacation days.
There isn't any of that stuff. You are on call 24-7, 365 days a year. But on the flip side of that, the reward is just tremendous. It's incredible. I wouldn't have traded it for the world, but I did go through a small identity shift there. I realized sitting on the riding lawnmower one summer day driving around, I said, you know, life is good. I get to do this, and I get to raise my kids.
Life is good. After being married, we were married almost 20 years. No, we were married 20 years at that point because we were married a couple years before we started having children. We went through a really rough time and ended up getting a divorce.
That was really tough. So I had to think about, well, gosh, what am I going to do? I've got to go back to work.
What am I going to do? I haven't done anything for the last 18 years. I have some college. I don't have a college degree. And my resume basically says stay-at-home mom, and who's going to hire me?
I was 52 years of age at the time, and I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, what am I going to do? Coincidentally, I was playing softball, a co-ed softball with a group of friends, and one of them just happened to be a sergeant in the recruiting division for HPD. And I had done some visiting with an old friend of mine from the Harris County Sheriff's Department, and she suggested that I attempt to challenge the TCOL exam, which is the state licensing exam, which means I would study and then apply to challenge the exam.
And then once I did that, I could be certified again, and then I would have to have an agency pick up my commission. So I was chatting with my recruiting sergeant friend and asked him how difficult he thought it would be to do that, and he says, well, why? Are you thinking about coming back? And I said, well, I don't think I'm eligible to come back to HPD.
And he goes, well, hold on a second. Let me double-check that. So he checked with his lieutenant, and apparently I was eligible. There was a gentleman, coincidentally, that was a brother to a gentleman that I had graduated with the first time in the academy that came back to the department at the age of 50, and he set precedents for the police department that if you were a former HPD officer and had left, as long as you could fulfill all the requirements and do the physical training, that you were eligible to come back. And so I was able to come back to HPD with the stipulation that I had to complete the entire six-and-a-half-month academy again. So that process began and came back August 29th of 2016 and graduated the academy again on March 16th of 2017. The first time I went through, I was 29 years of age and graduated at 30. So back then, I kept myself in pretty good shape.
I still do, but there's a big difference between 30 and 50, and most people figure that out as they age. But this time around, it was much more difficult. They had ramped up the physical, the PT portion of it, the physical training, so it was a lot harder than it was last time. We did a lot more running. We did a lot more hills. It was like an army basic training. We did log carries and all kinds of stuff.
We did fireman carries. We did the whole gamut of physical training that you would expect to see in any boot camp or police academy training. So my body did not hold up as well this time.
I had some tendonitis going on, but I struggled through it, and I always maintained where I needed to be and still graduated 17 out of 67 in my class. That included all my scores, my academic, my driving, my shooting, and my physical training as well. So I didn't think that was too bad for graduating 53 and number 17 in my class. What was it like being so much older than everyone else? We had a conversation at one point when we were in the gym, and some of the younger ones were talking about some stuff that they were doing, and I looked at them, and I said, wait a minute, what year were you born?
We were chuckling about it, and most of them were born in like 1993, 1994, and I said, oh my gosh, I was already a police officer. My nickname in the academy, they used to call me mom. At first I think they were a little concerned that I could even make it, but then about halfway through the academy, or probably a little sooner than that, they were all rooting for me, and they were there in support, and I was kind of there. It was nice. They treated me like a mom.
It was nice. And my goodness, she was scared to become a mom, and then she was scared to become a cop again, and that happens in our lives, folks, and that's why we tell you stories like this. And from our subjects mouths themselves, when we come back, more of Wendy Caldwell's story after these commercial messages. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try All-Free Clear Mega Packs. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation, or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that All-Free Clear Mega Packs, they have your back.
Get us All-Free Clear Mega Packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. It's such an exciting event like Wango Tango. It's true. I had one that night and I took my NerdTek ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by NerdTek ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams.
Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family, but thankfully NerdTek ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.
It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. And we continue with the story of Wendy Caldwell. She had not worked for almost 20 years after staying at home with her kids. After she got a divorce, Wendy decided to go back to work for the Houston PD.
That would make her the oldest cadet to graduate from that academy. We return to Wendy talking about how the other recruits in the academy treated her. They used to razz me all the time, and there was one guy in particular, and he used to kid me all the time, and he'd say, you know, when you graduate, we're going to get you a life alert. And I said, oh, thanks a lot.
I appreciate you. And he jokingly said one time, he goes, well, maybe if we don't get you a life alert, we'll have to get you a walker when you graduate. And coincidentally, I did graduate and cross the stage on a walker because during the last phase of training, my femur was broken. And so I had to finish the academy on a walker.
Wendy actually broke her femur during the final academy exercise. It happened during an exercise called Redman, which is the culmination of your physical training for the entire academy. And basically what our Redman does is it prepares you as a new police officer to understand what it feels like to be in the fight of your life because a lot of times you'll have recruits that come in that may have never ever been in a fight in their life, you know, a scuffle, and most of them have never been punched in the face.
So this is just a little taste of that to help you understand what it's like when you're chasing a suspect and you catch them and they don't want to be arrested and you guys are fighting. It's intense, it's exhausting, and then you're fighting under the exhaustion and what it's like to fight with that diminished oxygen and mental capacity, what your thinking is going to be like during that time. So it gives you a lot of different things to think about, but it's used as a training tool at the very end of the academy. And unfortunately, during my session, my Redman gave me a femur strike with the knee and broke my leg. Fortunately for me, I had completed all of the TECOL requirements necessary for the academy with the exception of taking my exam. So at that point, all I had to do was take the exam to finish the academy and then graduate, which was in two weeks. So they were talking about recycling me, and it was a little scary for me at the time because the first thought that went through my mind was, I went all this way and I'm not going to get to graduate.
I'm going to have to do this whole thing again. And I knew in my mind that I physically didn't think I had another six and a half months in me to do it. So it was tough. I mean, it was emotionally.
It really messed with me a little bit because I thought this can't be happening. Luckily for me, my captain at the time over the academy, they talked about it and they were like, oh no, she's done everything. All she has to do is take the exam. My academic scores, there wasn't an issue with that.
So I took my state licensing exam and passed that with flying colors and they graciously allowed me to graduate with my class. So how did being an officer in her 20s differ to being a police officer in her 50s? I think your perspective changes dramatically once you have kids and you realize that you're not this invincible person anymore.
You also have these little human beings to take care of. So it changes your perspective on things a lot. You're a lot more cautious about things. I also realize too that my age plays a little bit more into that factor as well. I'm not as fast as I used to be. My reflexes are probably not as quick.
I'm probably a little smarter though because I can see it coming quicker. But yeah, there's a whole lot. It's just everything.
Your perspective is the biggest change in the whole thing. Back when I was 30, I was invincible. You get up every day. You're excited to go to work. You're running and gunning and loving the chase and the thrill of the chase. And now it's like, it's fun, but I'm not going to get all excited about it like I used to.
I need to be a little more cautious. How did her kids respond to her going back to the police force? My kids were awesome. They were so supportive of me and they really were my biggest fans. They really, really were. On the really, really hard days, I just remember that they were there and that I was doing this for them.
A lot of it was for them. A very poignant moment for me was when we were putting on our uniforms for graduation. I'm still on a walker. I'm getting my uniform on and I zip up that uniformed shirt. I actually started crying because it was a very emotional moment for me to realize that I had earned that shirt and badge and the privilege to wear that uniform one more time. And my kids were, they were amazing at my graduation. They were so, they were so excited.
I think they were more excited than I was. What are Wendy's future plans? I am actually 55 now. I graduated the Academy at 53, so I'm 55 now, I'll be 56 coming up here shortly. I am back at the Mounted Patrol Unit, so I'll probably stay here and end my career over here. It'll be a long one, but I'm not quite sure how many years we can do at this point, but as long as I can, I'm going to stay here.
You're never too old to do what you really want to do, and sometimes when it's really, really hard, that's when you get the best reward. This was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also been the most rewarding. I'm Faith Buchanan, and this is our American Stories. And thank you to Wendy Caldwell, and great job as always, Faith, on this story.
I'm not sure how many years I have, but I'm going to stay as long as I can. She was doing it for her kids, and yet her kids, well, they were cheerleading on Mom. And it's a beautiful thing when people do these kind of things. We also got to hear, well, what cops train for, right? And the circumstances they have to get into in their lives. They actually get trained to get punched in the face. This is our American Stories, a story of Wendy Caldwell, a story of love, a story of compassion. And in the end, what nerve and guts to go back into the academy in your 50s? What a choice, a beautiful choice.
This is Lee Habib, this is our American Stories. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So, if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try All-Free Clear Mega Packs. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So, the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that All-Free Clear Mega Packs, they have your back.
Purchase All-Free Clear Mega Packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. Hey, you guys, this is Tori and Jenni with the 902.1 OMG Podcast. We have such a special episode brought to you by NerdTek ODT. We recorded it at iHeartRadio's 10th Poll Event, Wango Tango. Did you know that NerdTek ODT Remedipant 75 mg can help migraine sufferers still attend such an exciting event like Wango Tango? It's true! I had one that night and I took my NerdTek ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by NerdTek ODT Remedipant 75 mg. Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family.
But thankfully, NerdTek ODT Remedipant 75 mg is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So, lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year. And UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th.
If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage. It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. And we return to Our American Stories. And up next, we have a listener story from Nancy Ball. Nancy lives in Birmingham, Alabama, but grew up in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Today, Nancy reflects on her childhood with a short story she wrote called, Being an Ole Miss fan is in and of itself a lesson in humility. Ole Miss is the college here in our small town of Oxford, Mississippi, a mere hour south of Memphis.
And for anyone who's been a fan of a perennial losing team, whether you were a Chicago Cubs fan or you are a New York Giants football fan, you know what I'm talking about. Here's Nancy to share her story. I grew up in the town of Inverness, Mississippi. The town of Inverness has a population of approximately a thousand people. The bypass put in around the town some 30 years ago negated the need for the town's one red light.
It is a farming community and is surrounded by fields of various crops such as cotton, corn and soybeans, as well as catfish ponds. I never gave much thought about the childhoods of other people until I went away to a college located in a big metropolitan city. It was then that I realized that not everyone had a similar childhood as mine. Of course, that is not to say that a childhood spent in a small town versus a large city is superior.
I had just never given the differences much thought. Childhood spent in a small town was all I knew. Additionally, most people who I encountered during my childhood had also grown up in similar environments. I was under the impression that all childhoods consisted of small towns where everyone knew each other's names and their family histories going back for several generations.
I thought everyone else's small grocery store allowed its eight year old customers to charge their purchases to their family's account with a simple signature. I thought everyone else had a family reunion party on Christmas Eve, which had in attendance over 80 of their most beloved family members. I thought everyone else had worked in cotton fields and driven a tractor. It wasn't until I moved to a big city that I realized how seemingly unique my childhood had been amongst my peers. This was also confirmed by the fact that oftentimes when I would tell a story of my childhood or about life in general back home, the listener's eyes would grow large and at the end of the story, they would respond with a simple wow or better yet, that is a new one in me.
That, in turn, gave me reason to cherish my childhood all the more. For my day job, I am an estate planning attorney, which means I regularly advise clients going through personal crises. I often hear how they wouldn't wish their current situation on anyone because it is beyond awful. One particular situation clients often struggle with is family estrangement. I recently read a book seeking to find out more about family estrangement as a book provided research on the reasons why such an event may occur.
I was surprised to discover that the author's research suggests that perhaps 25 percent of all families in the United States, if not more, have an estrangement within their family. A few years ago, I drove the four hour trip to see my beloved grandfather as his health was failing him. As we were talking, my grandfather brought up the subject of my career and all of the family struggles I had encountered. He then drew in a deep breath and paused as he looked out into his yard for a while. He then turned back to me as he said in a matter of fact tone.
Well, there is nothing you can do to make me quit loving you. Shortly thereafter, my grandfather died. I started to reflect on the values that my grandfather and others had passed on to me, which I now wish to instill in my children. The result, to my great surprise, was that I could not quit writing. I have written 50 stories about my family and growing up in rural Mississippi, which hopefully provides some core life lessons I can pass on to my children. I could probably write 200 more stories.
After I had written a good bit of these stories, I began to wonder if there was any sort of magic to living in a small town that can't be found in a big city. I, like most parents, want my children to be smart, well loved, and well rounded. But more than anything, I want them to be good people.
I want them to be kind to each other and to others they encounter. In many ways, they will have a completely different environment for their childhood than I have. One way I can instill these small town life lessons in them is to tell them the stories of my childhood.
Today, I am going to share one of those stories with you. I am a third generation Ole Miss student. My dad attended graduate school at Ole Miss. My grandfather was an undergraduate student at Ole Miss. I grew up going to Ole Miss for football games and other events for most of my life. I grew up hearing about the Ole Miss football great Archie Manning and his wife, the homecoming queen, Olivia Manning.
Ironically, Archie grew up in the same rural Mississippi County as I did. I also heard about the glory days of Coach Vaught, who was the last coach to lead Ole Miss to win a football national championship, which occurred in the year 1962. He had also led the football team to win the Southeastern Conference championship for six years during this time frame. Ole Miss has not won either of these titles since Coach Vaught.
He retired in the year 1970. During my childhood, I saw the hurt looks on the faces of my father and grandfather when Peyton Manning, the son of Archie and Olivia Manning, decided to attend a school other than Ole Miss. I also saw their looks of pure joy when their younger son, Eli Manning, decided to attend Ole Miss. I have seen Ole Miss football through some pretty dismal seasons. I recall one game in which the opposing team's quarterback took a knee during every down of the third quarter. You heard this correctly, this happened in the third quarter. For those of you who are not football fans, this is not good.
In fact, it is practically unheard of, as it is an outright recognition by one team that they are not evenly matched with their opponent. The quarterback was trying to prevent his team from scoring any more points as the game was already a bloodbath, with the quarterback's team being up on Ole Miss by almost 50 points. My father never let us leave a football game before it was over, as he said that was not who we were.
He would usually say in response to requests to leave a game early, something along the lines of, we need to support the team no matter what happens, we need to respect their effort. However, my father made an exception to his policy for that particular game and we left early. In November 2003, Ole Miss was having one of those rare football seasons where they were winning a good bit due in large part to the play of Eli Manning. Anyone associated with Ole Miss football could just sense that something different was going to happen that year. We seemed to be destined for something better than finishing at our usual bottom or middle, if we were lucky, of the SEC Football Conference. So the weekend came for the annual Ole Miss versus LSU football rivalry match-up game right before Thanksgiving.
The winner of that game would secure the title of the top team of the SEC West and go on to play in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. The scalp ticket prices for the game were at record levels. Before the game, I mentioned to my dad that he should consider selling our season tickets to make a nice profit. He was downright offended at this suggestion.
In his mind, that might as well have been treason. My dad insisted that we would both attend the game as we had earned the right to attend this game after sitting through so many losing games. He was also sure that we were going to see history in the making. So there we were, sitting in our regular, well-loved seats in upper-level Section C of the stadium towards the end of regulation play with Ole Miss down 17-14. Eli Manning and Ole Miss were in position to make a game-winning drive.
The energy in the stadium was palpable. At this point, my dad did one of the most amazing things I have ever seen him do. He pulled out of his pants pocket a picture button pin and, without saying a word, proceeded to attach it to his shirt. As I leaned in to further inspect the pin, I fully expected there to be a picture of Eli Manning on it, similar to the other buttons I had seen that day being worn by so many of the other Ole Miss fans. To my great surprise, it was not a picture of Eli Manning, but rather it was a picture of Archie Manning, which my father, who can't seem to ever keep up with his reading glasses, had kept from his childhood. The pin had not seen the light of day in 30-plus years. I looked at the pin and then looked at my dad in shock as a smile broke across his face as he said, I have been saving this pin for the perfect occasion.
I didn't know whether to cry or cheer in that moment, so I did a little bit of both. Ole Miss did not win the game that day, and Eli Manning went on to play in the NFL. My dad often jokes that we may have to wait until another Manning attends Ole Miss in order to have a chance at playing in any championship games.
While my dad says this in a joking manner, I know that he is not entirely joking. He closely follows the births of the members of the next generation of the Manning family, knows each of their genders and ages, and follows any press materials about their athletic abilities. Knowing my father, that Archie Manning pin has gone back into his dresser for another special occasion. That occasion may not come during my father's lifetime or even during my lifetime. It may not come until my young son is an adult.
When it does, my son will have that pin and he will be ready. And a great job as always by Madison on the production and the storytelling on that piece. And a special thanks to Nancy Ball for sharing her story about her father's tradition and now her tradition of rooting for Ole Miss football and doing it together.
What a story she had to tell. Hopefully we're inspiring people to do the same, to be the resident historian, the keeper of the legacy of the family. If our show can do anything, it's not just to inspire people to know the stories of this great country, but to know the stories of their communities and their families. Nancy Ball's story, she grew up in a town of 1,000 where cotton, corn, soybeans, and catfish were what were farmed. But so much more was raised in that small town and small towns across this country. Her story here on Our American Stories. Learn what questions you should be asking and other tips on how to manage your breast cancer risk at cdc.gov slash bring your brave.
That's cdc.gov slash bring your brave. Geico asks, how would you love a chance to save some money on insurance? Of course you would. And when it comes to great rates on insurance, Geico can help. Like with insurance for your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, and RV. Even help with homeowners or renters coverage. Plus add an easy to use mobile app, available 24 hour roadside assistance, and more, and Geico is an easy choice. Switch today and see all the ways you could save. It's easy. Simply go to Geico.com or contact your local agent today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-16 01:15:59 / 2023-02-16 01:32:56 / 17