|Flames when you add copper to a fire|
|Leo with binocallows|
|One of Leo's Birdhouses|
That particular game was on the local TV so we were sure that would make the local news. After a few minutes he felt ok and we finished the game. Another time an official who I admired immensely, Harvey, had a similar event. He had cancer and continued to officiate. Everyone was talking about this and whether he should be doing it because of the "what if" factor of having a fatality on the court. We had a good relationship so doing the right thing, I took a deep breath and asked him if he ever thought about that. I didn't believe in talking behind somebody's back that I hadn't already addressed to their face. I believed we were close enough that I could be the one to tell him what others were saying. I said, "Harvey, many officials are talking, and forgive me for telling you to your face but we all wonder what would happen to the girls who are playing during a game if something did happen?" He said he had thought about it too but officiating was what kept him going. One leg was twice as large due to the swelling from blood clots in his leg. He showed me as we talked in our pregame. He brushed off the subject and finished his pregame.
We went out to start the game. Harvey was the crew chief so he tossed the ball. I was the U2 (umpire in second position) and ran down to my position after the toss, I looked back and Harvey was laying on the floor in the center circle. My heart sank. I waited one second to see if he was moving. He rolled over jumped up and ran into his position at Trail. I asked him at half-time what had happened. Harvey was a football official as well as a basketball official. He replied, "Did you see what that girl did to me? She ran into me from the back of my legs and knocked me down!" He signaled like a football referee for a first down and said, "Clipping, good for ten yards!" We laughed hysterically relieved that it wasn't his time to go just yet.
|Leo gives Jula and Felipe Cougar Mascot Bears|
Both Harvey and Leo have left this earth recently. (I never had any photos of Harvey.) Both were older and had witty sayings. Both loved sports, particularly basketball. Both were men of integrity and were role models to me. As a pilot gets his wings, I know that when Harvey and Leo arrived at the Pearly Gates, God was there to pin basketball wings of gold on their robes. They both earned them with hard work and loyalty. If I had to think of a newspaper title to epitomize both men, it wouldn't be "No missed free throws, no missed practices, or no missed opportunities, just.... Missed Pair of Binocallows." [Binocallows is my own word of binoculars and marshmallows. It means someone who can see due to wisdom. This wisdom is usually accompanied by a great sense of humor and a thick pair of marshmallow glasses.]
Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever. ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross