She called me "her nephew" because of her longtime friendship with my dad. After Bobbie Kay and I married back in 1989, she was on me to produce her some "great nieces and nephews." She never stopped. After we had Taylor and then Thomas was born, Sister Stafford was always preaching to me for "some nieces".
I can't count the times she sat on the little couch in my office telling about her most recent mission trip -- Cuba, Haiti, China -- no where on this planet was "off limits" from Sister Stafford's missions of hope and love.
She had very little in the way of material things in this life, but her heart and soul were made of pure gold. She's now getting her reward for over four decades of ministry here and around the world.
To borrow one of her favorite lines . . . "Have a blessed day". Sister I'll miss you!
* Cumberland's Hall of Fame baseball coach Woody Hunt isn't wasting any time after his Bulldogs ended the 2011 season one game shy of a return trip to Lewiston, ID and another berth in the NAIA World Series.
Coach Hunt has told almost anyone within ear shot that he's working to bring to Lebanon, "the best recruiting class in the history of the program". Don't doubt him for a second. He refers to his cell phone as, "the golden gun" and he's on it day and night.
*The soap opera that has developed at Lebanon High took another twist when boy's basketball coach Doug Keil was fired OVER THE PHONE Sunday afternoon by first year principal Myra Sloan.
Love Doug or despise him -- no one deserves that sort of dismissal after eight years on the job. If Sloan wanted Keil gone, fine, she's the principal and she's in charge of that building. But why wait over 10 weeks from the end of basketball season to Sunday, May 15 to make the move.
She left him twisting in the wind for the past month as rumors circulated about his fate. It ought to be interesting to see who lines up for the post. BTW -- the job opening is already posted on the TSSAA website.
*As is being reported on my Wednesday, May 18 sports page, Keil's firing is just the latest of Sloan's sweeping changes to the athletic programs at LHS. Wrestling coach Darin Plumlee, track coach David Glasscock and offensive line coach Eric Lawrence were all told they were no longer welcome at LHS and would be moved to other schools in the county.
*No one is hotter than Mt. Juliet junior pitcher Kyle Smith. The big junior improved to 9-1 on the season and whiffed 14 Dickson County batters Monday night as the Golden Bears defeated the Cougars 1-0 in the first round of the Region 5AAA baseball tournament.
Just last week Smith had eight RBI, struck out eight, hit his eighth HR of the season and picked up his eighth win of the season in a 10-0 win over Beech in the District 9AAA finals. I'd rather his future than my past.
*I was working at the office Monday night and let time get away from me. I made it out Coles Ferry Pike just in time to see the last couple of outs in Friendship Christian's 11-0 win over Monterey in the Region 4A opener. It took John McNeal's team about an hour and twenty minutes to dispose of the Wildcats.
The Commanders have now won 17 games in a row. I don't think any prep team I've seen in years (spots 1-9 in the lineup) hits the baseball like FCS. If they get any kind of pitching, look for this bunch to be back in Murfreesboro for the TSSAA Spring Fling.