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McCollum's Column: A glimpse at the sporty side of Becky Harris

Posted: May 15, 2014 - 6:04pm

There was a playful sporting side to Becky Harris, a colleague and friend of all who died this week.

We at the Log Cabin have spent the last couple of days telling stories. Some of those we can’t print because Becky had that nice-naughty side reminiscent of vaudeville. She’d blindside you with a head-turning comment and you’d wait for the rim shot.

Becky loved sports for the sheer fun of it. She appreciated the good in sports just as she did the arts. She loved the personalities in sports. She often talked about former Pittsburgh Pirate star Bill Mazeroski, her favorite baseball player.

She often longed to go fishing with Joe Mosby.

She accompanied me to some Arkansas Sports Club luncheons, one of which I was the guest speaker. She made a special effort to attend Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame banquets in which Mosby and I were inducted or received special recognition.

With the gleam in her eye and a laugh, she was a good audience.

I had an open invitation at the Conway Noon Rotary Club from Becky whenever there was something sporty brewing. And she was often as enthusiastic about the event as I was.

One of her biggest thrills was when Hendrix revived football after a 54-year hiatus last year.

Her brother was the last quarterback before Hendrix dropped the program in 1960 because of financial reasons. I invited her to a Conway Kiwanis Club luncheon last year when new Hendrix football coach Buck Buchanan was the guest speaker. She was enthralled and was thrilled to me him and share stories afterward.

One of my last great memories of Becky was when Hendrix played its first football game last year on a brilliant but hot day at the new Young-Wise Memorial Stadium.

I saw her briefly in the press box where she met me with a broad smile and said, “I got to tailgate and it was fun.”

She used to be a cheerleader at Hendrix.

Becky was an under-the-radar diva. She was indeed a diva but she never publicly polished her crown. She acted as a servant of all.

A friend last night put on Twitter a photo of Becky on that beautiful afternoon. Against the backdrop of the stadium, she was on the track, in her old cheerleading outfit, waving white pom-pons. Right in the middle of those young cheerleaders, Becky was beaming ear to ear and having a blast. She was sick at that time but you’d never know it. For a few hours on a wonderful afternoon in an exciting atmosphere permeated with the electricity of a new season, sports served as an elixir.

And it framed a wonderful memory.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net or follow him on twitter @dmaclcd)

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