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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Massey Hired to Coach

Our family is in the process of going through old family pictures and items. I ran across the following letter to my father, W.F.Massey, dated July 28, 1928.

Mr.W.F.Massey
Barneveld, Wisconsin

Dear Mr. Massey,
I am recommending your election to the position of coach and science instructor to the board of education at a salary of $185 per month for 9 1/2 months. I shall not require a personal interview this time. Mr. Mino Flikkema, Secretary will send the contract for your signature. Hoping this is satisfactory and that we may have a pleasant and profitable school year. I am,
Yours respectfully,
E.E.Liljequist, Supt. of Schools, Fulton, Illinois




Then found a hand written sheet that was entitled, "Things to Do This Week for First Game."
1- Wall mats
2- Post mats  (Many courts then had poles on or near the court)
3- Timer clock
4- Scorer horn
5- Distribute schedules
6- Eligibility list
7- Book to count on ball possessions
8- Book for lost and found (That is turnovers, steals, and rebounds)
9- String to put mats up with

My father went on to coach at Fulton from 1928 thru 1938. His teams won 3 Regionals, 1 Sectional and went to State once. From their he moved in the 1938-9 season to Savanna, where he coached from then until 1950-1. His teams won two more Regional titles at Savanna. He was selected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches' Hall of Fame. At one time both Savanna and Fulton gave a "Massey Award" for excellence in sports. The football field in Savanna is named "Massey Field" in honor of his years as AD.

A sad clipping my father had kept was dated July 5, 1945. The headline was, "Lt.Bernard Snyder of Fulton, IL, Is Killed on Okinawa." With the clipping, he had kept two notes.

The first note was written to my father from Bernard "BJ" Snyder in August 1937 before BJ's senior year and my father's last year in Fulton. My father returned each summer to Wisconsin so the letter was written to him in Wisconsin. The letter says-

Dear Mr. Massey,
You must be busy this summer or have forgotten about me because you haven't answered my letter. I have worked all except three and one-half days this summer at JC Snyder. I have helped unload four cars of coal, handling cement, sand, tile, etc. My muscles have hardened a lot since last basketball season. I haven't had much of a chance to practice basketball because I have been working nine hours a day and I am tired at night. I am at 140 lbs., a couple pounds heavier than last year, and I am slightly taller. Uncle Earl and I talk basketball quite often.

I know where we can get five lockers for basketball. They are at the warehouse and belong to Fidelity Life Association. They never use them.

I have my hair cut so short that I can't comb it. I believe I will keep it short. Bill and I were talking about basketball shoes with Jake last week and we decided we were going to get the same kind of shoes as we did last year. I hope you can make out my spelling and English. I'll be expecting to hear from you soon.

As ever,
Bernard "BJ" Snyder

PS. They have built cement parking space for the cars on the East Side of the High School.


The second is a note from Lt.Bernard Snyder's parents after his death to my father.

My Dear Mr. Massey,
One of our happiest memories of Bud will be the enjoyment he got out of playing basketball, and how the fans would cheer for him, both in high school and college. And when he had finished college, you were still his favorite coach.
Sincerely,
Dr. and Mrs. Snyder

1 comment:

  1. That's great stuff, Evan. I help with a website dedicated to deactivated high schools. Here is a link to the Savanna page. http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id446.html

    In fact, Dave Nanninga, the creator of the website is a guest on Sportsline this Tuesday (talking about the creation of the site) and Wednesday (talking about Galesburg-area deactivated schools).

    ReplyDelete