The Times, They Are A Changing


While sorting through some family belongings, Chuck Hardt came across a basketball program given him by his father Jiggs Hardt.

A legendary prep basketball coach, Jiggs now retired was enshrined in the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame after a career few have ever matched.

The program he gave his son many years ago is one from the 32nd Annual Arizona State Basketball Tournament. It was held in February of 1953 on the campus of the University of Arizona.

Chuck says the program is one that he'll always cherish and probably someday pass on to his children.

The first thing one notices after glancing at the program is its price 10 cents. At the 2001 state baseball championships last spring, I paid $4 for a program.

The tournament bracketing Jiggs' Scottsdale High School Beavers team qualified for that year was called "Class B."

The teams playing in it were Tempe, Tolleson, Cottonwood, Clifton, Douglas, Coolidge, Carver, Holbrook, Duncan, Benson, Superior, Winslow, Globe, Nogales, Miami and Scottsdale.

Before integration, Carver located in downtown Phoenix was a high school whose student body was made up entirely of African American students. Those students were not allowed to attend all-white Phoenix Union.

In 1953, Carver was also the Class B defending state champion and favorites to repeat the title.

But, Jiggs masterfully led his underdog Scottsdale team to a win over Carver, the state championship and a lifetime of great sports memories.

A painful lesson

Leafing through the program with Chuck, I carefully checked over the Winslow roster.

Being an alumnus of Winslow High, I wanted to see if I recognized the names of any of the players.

The first name that caught my attention was that of Bulldog coach James Lovett. Oh, my goodness, I thought, he's a teacher and coach I'll never forget.

Sometime in the late 1950s, Mr. Lovett called me into his office and said it had been reported, by one of my classmates, that I had chucked a snowball at her on the way to school. The snowball, Mr. Lovett was told, struck the girl squarely in the noggin.

I admitted the deed, chuckled a little bit, and readied myself to accept the consequences of my dastardly deed.

Almost immediately, Mr. Lovett commanded me to bend over and grab my ankles. He then pulled a menacing looking paddle from his closet.

The paddle, about three feet in length, was maroon and white (Winslow High's colors) and had a "W" painted squarely in the middle where the board strikes the posterior. The paddle also had several good-sized holes drilled in it. No matter how old you are, you never forget the details of an instrument you know is about to inflict severe pain.

Because of Mr. Lovett's reputation as a stern disciplinarian, I knew I was going to be the recipient of that pain.

Mr. Lovett proceeded to unleash a round house swinging swat that continues to reverberate through my rear end 40-plus years later.

Needless to say, no matter how much my classmate continued to taunt me, there were no more snowballs thrown her way.

Let's see, 10 cent programs and swats for throwing snowballs. Gee, times have changed.

SO in town

About 60 athletes from Payson, Holbrook, Show Low and St. Johns will gather at Payson Bowl Saturday morning to participate in Special Olympics regional bowling championships.

The event will begin about 9:15 a.m. with the traditional opening ceremonies.

The competition will wrap up about 11:30 a.m. when athletes, coaches and fans will move to Payson Elementary School cafeteria for a pizza party and awards ceremony.

Spectators are welcome to attend the bowling competition free of charge.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.