Young Men with Horns

Jazz is hot. For the first time since three-chord rockers took over the popular music scene five decades ago, jazz is in resurgence with those young men, and women as well. High school jazz bands are knocking out licks sweet and hot in Sherman, Denison, Pottsboro and other schools in the area, so it seems appropriate that a new opportunity to further their musical education is coming to town.

Coach Cody White

There are a dozen or so books on the shelf behind White’s desk in his office in the DSH Athletic office building. Churchill on Leadership is up there, so is Winning Maxims, but there is nothing about football, nothing about the Xs and Os of the game.
“The Xs and Os are a lot less than what people think they are,” he said. “The first thing I ask a coach in an interview is, ‘Why do you like coaching?’ The answer I want to hear is that they like kids. That’s the most important thing.

Stormy Weather

Every region of the country seems to take a perverse pride in its own brand of nasty weather. “If you don’t like the weather in (Texas, Georgia, Maine, Wyoming—you fill in the blank) just come back tomorrow.” People love to boast of their triumph over adversity. “Why, it was so cold, the firemen just turned on the hose and then shinnied down the icicle that was formed.” It also is axiomatic that however bad it is now, it was worse back when. “Hot? Why back in the summer of (insert preferred year here), it was so hot that folks were baking cakes on the screened-in porch.”

Cliff Prescott’s Big Fat Idea

“It’s an oversize, triple-thick lounge towel,” explained Cliff Prescott of Dallas and Lake Texoma. He is the man behind the big—no, make that fat—towel. “It’s big enough to stretch over a chaise lounge. The towels are one meter by two meters.” That’s three feet, three inches by six feet six inches, for those who don’t do metric. Most beach towels are about thirty-six inches by twenty-four inches, only slightly larger than a bath towel.

Texoma Regional Blood Center

An average man of 180 pounds has about 10 to 11.5 pints of blood in his body, the average woman, a little less. If you live at high altitudes, you have more blood, as much as 4.7 pints more. A greater volume is needed as the air at higher altitudes holds less oxygen. A new-born baby weighing eight pounds only has about eight ounces of blood.

Perrin Air Force Base: 1941-1971

Pearl Harbor moved everything, including the training schedules, up a notch or two. The first class of flight cadets arrived on December 16. The eighty-one would be airmen started training on December 22. On February 20, 1942, the field recorded its first fatalities with a crash that killed Cadet Quinto Perkins and instructor Cyril Van Valkenberg. The first class graduated three days later, moving on to advanced training at another base. That February 23 also saw the dedication of the field and the Grayson Basic Flying School officially became Perrin Field.

Kent Black

Kent Black

Kent Black was the first CEO of the United Space Alliance, a joint venture between Rockwell International and Lockheed Martin formed in 1996 at the behest of NASA to consolidate Space Shuttle programs under one prime contractor. Not bad for a farm boy from Illinois with a yen for electronics.

Brad Underwood: The Right Person in the Right Seat

There is a wire-mesh business-card holder on Brad Underwood’s desk in his office at the TAPS headquarters in Sherman. The cards in the holder face Underwood’s chair. “Most of the people who come in here already know who I am,” he said. The real purpose of the holder is to support a button attached to the back, facing the visitor. It reads, “But we’ve always done it this way,” in the middle of a circle with a slash, the international shorthand for “don’t.”