My tribute to Mary Garber,pioneer sports reporter,after she died in 2008. Given @InesSainzG controversy,great time to learn about a woman who personified class. I sent this tribute to the parents
of every girl I had ever coached.
I hope you take the time to read this
missive that I'm sending you. More importantly, I hope that you share it with your daughter. This world lost a great human being on Sunday,
September 21, 2008. I doubt that any of you know anything about the
life of Mary Garber, but you should. Mary is known in the sports world
as one of the "first full-time female sportswriter at a daily newspaper
in the USA." She wrote for my hometown newspapers, the Winston-Salem
Journal and the Twin City Sentinel from 1946 - 2002, and was a very good
friend of my father and our family. Mary was the real deal as a person
and role model. I want all of your daughters to know about this woman,
because she is truly someone they can respect and admire. She blazed a
trail for future female reporters and battled discrimination in a quiet
and dignified manner.
Some of you know the legacy and accomplishments of my father. He was a
big time coach, who just happened to coach at a small, all black
university (Winston-Salem State University) in North Carolina. He was
known as Clarence "Big House" Gaines. My father's greatest professional
accomplishment was being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. in 1982. Mary and my dad became
friends as a result of her paying attention to my dad's school and their
athletic programs. I consider myself a child of the segregated South.
You have to experience growing up in the South during the 60's and 70's
to know how rare it was for a black man to have a special friendship
with a white woman. But if you think about it, it's natural they would
be good friends. Mary was a lover of sports during a time in our
country's history when female athletes and reporters were not taken
seriously. Women, blacks and other minorities were demanding to be
treated as equal citizens and fighting for their civil rights. In
reading the attached articles you will learn about the obstacles she
faced and how she dealt with them. I also encourage you to go to http://www.journalnow.com/
to hear Mary's acceptance speech after she was awarded (first woman)
the 2005 AP sports editors Red Smith award. Her obituary also appears
in today's Los Angeles Times.
This week my current team will be learning the "cornerstones" of John
Wooden's Pyramid of Success Philosophy, Industriousness and Enthusiasm.
I will teach this lesson by talking about Mary's life. She is a
shining example of why you must not only work hard at what you want to
do in life, but that you must have a passion and love for any endeavor
that you undertake. Our game this week will be dedicated to the memory
of Mary Garber. May God Bless Mary's spirit, her family, and all of
those she has touched in her remarkable life.