Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

August 31, 2013

RAY DAY: Many cleared a trail

It seems to me the older I get, the more things I learn from life. As I drift off into my bank of memories, I stop at the ones that are most important and relive those days of good happenings.

I remember when the Carver Community Center first opened. The director was a man by the name of Mr. Bud Bowman.

Here was a man who was selected because of his love for the outcomes of those who would one day rise to the stature of importance to their community. And there were many like him who only wanted the best out of each child. Frank Bellamy, Joel Tinder, Homer Linch, George Fort, Doug Hogan and others did their part in establishing a place for the youngsters of that neighborhood to meet and learn how to be better, not only in sports, but also in the life they would have later on. Hogan later was city councilman from that area.

Carver Center opened its doors to kids like me, who needed to spread their wings and have fun under the supervision of others like Mr. Bowman.

As I grew older, I met Wesley Byers, better known as “Circus John”. Here was a man who not only demanded the best of each youngster in that neighborhood, but also all those kids who wanted to learn how to be better baseball players. Circus John had a wagon pulled by horses, and he was known by all as a man who cared.

What do we have in the future, if not for those who step up to the plate and take that first step so that the ball game of life continues in a future of greatness and in a city that is known for getting the job done? Circus John helped the younger kids in how to present themselves in life and get the most out of it so they could be a role model for the ones coming up.

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