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Old 02-04-2017, 09:51 AM
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DIGGER27 DIGGER27 is online now
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Default One of my hero's...needs some good thoughts and prayers

On December 31 1967 I sat down in front of the tv with my dad and some other friends and relatives and watched the Icebowl, the NFL championship game between the Packers and the Cowboys.
It was the very first football game I ever watched from beginning to end and by the time it was over I became a lifelong fan of the Packers and especially of one man that played in that game...Bart Starr.

This eventually came to be considered one of the greatest games ever played in the NFL and not because of the athleticism but because of the conditions they played in.
-15 degrees, average wind chill for the game was -36 and they almost called it off because it was just too cold to play and many players had trouble getting to the stadium because their car batteries froze overnight...but they decided to play it anyway.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967...mpionship_Game

Over the years I rooted for the Detroit Lions and then the Tampa Bay Bucs when I moved to Florida but I always had a soft spot in my heart for the Packers and Bart Starr was still my hero...that never changed.

In the early 90's I moved to Birmingham and bought a franchise and sold ceiling fans, parts, and did repair.
We had quality stuff and the smart people around bypassed the big box stores and came to me and I had lots of customers over the years, some famous local celebrities but most just normal people from all walks of life.
One day a lady came in and bought a few products and I remember she was one of the nicest people I ever talked to.
I had dealings with thousands over the years but this lady stood out, just an extra sweet person by nature, and when we wrote up the sale I finally got her name...Cherry Starr.
I looked at this and I asked are you Bart Starr's wife and she said yes, I was thrilled to get even this close to my hero even if it was once removed.
I told her that man was and is one of my hero's in life, probably at the top of my list now since my dad passed away and please tell him I enjoyed watching him throughout his career and she said she would.

She came into my store and bought fans once or twice more over the years but never with her husband, then one day I was standing outside my store talking to some friends and noticed Cherry two stores down from me standing on the sidewalk talking to a worker from a bird supply store and he was loading several large bags of wild birdfeed into her car...and standing with them was another man and I had to look twice, it was the man himself, Bart Starr.
I screwed up my courage and walked over to them and it was the only time in my life I ever got nervous talking to someone, I was actually shaking, it is not often you come face to face with a childhood hero...a man that you admired so much for three decades.
She recognized me and introduced me to her husband who stuck out his hand.
I told him what he meant to me and I had been his loyal fan since the minute he took that ball over the goal in that quarterback sneak in that game played so long ago.
He smiled and thanked me and said he really appreciated that and this man was sincere...I could tell this person was just as sweet and nice and honest in his feelings as his wonderful wife.
He asked me if I would like an autographed picture and my eyes opened wide because I never thought to ask, just shaking this man's hand was enough.
He took my address and promised he would go home and get one sent to me and in a couple of days it came in the mail signed personally to me with my name on it.
Still one of the most cherished possessions I own today.

In Green Bay he is more than revered, his record and career in the NFL is envied and there is a reason he is in the hall of fame...several reasons, actually.
Here in Birmingham he is known for his positive talks and lectures he has done all over the country for years and both of them are known for their good works, their religious devotion, the charities they are involved with and just for the kind of people they are.
There are some great people in this world, the kind that appreciate what they have and generously give back and I can think of no other couple that deserves to be on top of that long list...I consider myself blessed to have met them.

In the last two years Mr. Starr has had a rough time, he has suffered a heart attack, two strokes, numerous seizures, a broken hip, staph infections, and the loss of most of his speech...but being the athlete he is he still fights back and he is still here and fighting to improve.
Through it all his wife is still with him, supporting him, and they recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
They were high school sweethearts and when people talk about a love for the ages their relationship is the model others can only aspire to.

A local sportscaster has known them for years and has posted some of his thoughts about them recently, you can tell he is about a big a fan of these people as I am.

Send some good thoughts and prayers out to these people if you can, the world is a better place with a person like Bart Starr in it and it will be less on the day when he leaves us.





Karle's Korner: 50 years later, Bart Starr fights the fight


Rick Karle
Feb 2, 2017 08:25 PM
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from WBRC FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:

He was always a fighter, this native of Montgomery, Alabama.

Today, fifty years after Bart Starr helped make the words “Super” and “Bowl” famous (last month was the fiftieth anniversary of Super Bowl I), he continues to fight the fight.

What the NFL legend has faced over the last few years would make any man cringe, but the MVP of the first two Super Bowls remains a shining example of determination and will.

I first met Bart and Cherry Starr some 27 years ago, and then, like today, they were kind and loving, patient and classy. Their love has been one of which most would envy, and that love is what has helped Bart deal with a series of health issues that would leave a weaker man fallen.

Over the last two years, Bart has suffered a heart attack, two strokes, numerous seizures, a broken hip, staph infections, and the loss of most of his speech.

But thanks to Cherry, family (including Bart, Jr.), friends, doctors and therapists, the NFL Hall of Famer has climbed back.

As I sat with Bart and Cherry in their beautiful Birmingham home, their eyes sparkled. Their mutual support has helped both deal with seeing the former Green Bay Packers quarterback deal with the effects of the strokes.

Why the ultimate devotion? Understand that Bart and Cherry were high school sweethearts -- in fact in May of 1954, a year after Bart was named the starting quarterback, safety and punter at the University of Alabama, the couple eloped (it’s a good thing for both that Cherry decided not to attend Auburn and instead enrolled at Alabama).

How far back were those years when Bart played for the Crimson Tide? Paul Bryant had yet to arrive at the Capstone -- Bart, in fact, played for Red Drew and “Ears” Whitworth.

The bottom line: The couple has been together for more than 65 years, married for 63. To this day, Bart and Cherry’s bond is what has helped them through tough times.

When you sit with Bart and Cherry, you somehow forget that you are talking with sports royalty.

Bart Starr, the quarterback who signed on with the Packers in 1956 for $6,500?

Bart Starr, the Super Bowl legend who put the big game on the map?

Bart Starr, the hero of the Ice Bowl in 1967?

Bart Starr, the MVP of Super Bowls I and II?

Bart Starr, the man who spent nine years as the Packers head coach?

Bart Starr, the man behind The Bart Starr Award, given annually to the NFL player exhibiting outstanding character?

Yes, that Bart Starr- but the couple’s humble and gracious ways can make even a media person feel right at home.

As a familiar football coach would say, “It’s a process,” and while Bart still has difficulty expressing what is on his mind, Cherry knows exactly what her husband wants to say.

Cherry makes sure that her husband knows her feelings about him: As Bart shuffles into the kitchen each day for breakfast, Bart is greeted by a hand-written sign that sits on the counter- it reads: “I love you, darling.”

After breakfast, Bart may head to rehab at Cahaba Fitness (three days a week) or stop by his office to visit his son Bart, Jr. He may then take a nap and later sit in his recliner watching the NFL Network.

All the while, Cherry is nearby. Cherry doesn’t get out as much as she’d like, but she does play tennis in her backyard three to four times a week.

When I chatted with Cherry before my latest interview, Cherry, now in her early 80’s, said to me, “I did get to play a little bit of tennis today- but only about an hour-and-half.” Wow -- you talk about a competitor!

Yes, the fighter continues to fight the fight. The man who was the 200th pick of the 1956 NFL Draft gets the adrenaline going during rehab.

He looks down at the football he is holding. He can lift it overhead but opts not to attempt a throw.

Still, the fighter tosses the ball under-handed to trainer Brian Burns, he pedals a stationary bike while catching tennis balls, and he smiles while walking about the facility.

While it’s a bit sad to picture in your mind what became of that do-everything NFL hero, I come away more impressed, as during rehab he grinds and smiles, grunts and fights.

How impressive is this man? I doubt he has spoken a negative word about anyone.

For years he wrote a new poem each and every day and slipped it under Cherry’s pillow so she could read it before dozing off. For years he has honored and loved the most important person in his life.

I hope you take time to watch my TV piece on Bart and Cherry Sunday night on WBRC FOX6 News after the Super Bowl. Included here are some clips that may or may not make it into my edited piece.

I want to thank Bart’s assistant Leigh Ann Nelson for being so accommodating and, of course, Cherry for putting up with TV people dragging cables and lights into their home.

Bart and Cherry Starr have seen joy and pain in their lives, but Birmingham’s royal couple keeps on ticking.

I pray that they stay around awhile.

Copyright 2017 WBRC. All rights reserved
.





A great video here....

The power of love: The Bart Starr story

http://m.wsfa.com/wsfa/db_362159/con...tguid=Wl0tUSZB

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Sincerely, the opportunist."


Last edited by DIGGER27; 02-04-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:41 AM
hawgdawg hawgdawg is offline
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Nice write up there Digger. I to was a fan of Bart and to this day stay true to the Packers. Back in the late 60s when I was in school, they used to have a bus come to the school that sold books . Parents would give kids a dollar or so and the kids would buy a book or two. Well that year the book I bought was the autobiography of Bart Starr. That was really the first book I ever read. Thanks for posting this, kind of takes me back a few years . I'd love to see a game played like they played back then, 10 below and a foot of snow, From my armchair in a heated living room of course.

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Old 02-04-2017, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for posting , you could not have picked a better role model . I'm glad to hear him defind As a Great Person that was also a superstar football player . So many times great talents lack all other qualities. Prayers , include thanks and hope for more like him . Bless him and his family .
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:05 AM
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DIGGER27 DIGGER27 is online now
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Originally Posted by Ricki7 View post
Thanks for posting , you could not have picked a better role model . I'm glad to hear him defind As a Great Person that was also a superstar football player . So many times great talents lack all other qualities. Prayers , include thanks and hope for more like him . Bless him and his family .
In this age of mega salaries and mega egos there is something to be said for the kind of person this man is and has always been...humble is just one of the so many words that can be used to describe him and his wife, also.

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Old 02-05-2017, 09:49 AM
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I remember...My old Man sat next to Bart Starr on a long airplane flight once...During the conversation, He got his autograph...He came home and proudly regaled us with the story..He was as giddy and giggly as a schoolgirl on Sadie Hawkins day!...

Looking back, me and my Brothers had no idea who Bart Starr was, hell, we didnt know any of this sports stuff, it coulda been Joe DiMaggio and we would not have had a clue...It sure seemed important to my Old Man at the time...Thanks for fleshing out His character to us...Especially about his devotion to his Wife...I'll see if He still has it somewhere, and can tell me the story again now that I know and can appreciate it properly...

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Old 06-08-2019, 08:41 AM
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Default Rest in Peace....

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