Tuesday, September 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Plenty of magic moments in all these years

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | January 28, 2014 |

Many years ago, on the last Tuesday in January, I walked into The Davis Enterprise to begin my new and terrifying job as the sports editor of this esteemed publication.
The year doesn’t really matter anymore because I’ve quit counting, but suffice it to say, it was so long ago that we hadn’t yet upgraded to the point where we capitalized the “The” in The Davis Enterprise.
The motto of The New York Times, which has always capitalized the “The,” was “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” Our motto was “All the News That Fits.”
Two weeks prior to achieving gainful employment, I had watched on my small black-and-white television as Kansas City drubbed the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl, but despite my new and impressive journalistic title, covering the Super Bowl was not in my job description. Or my future.
No, the Enterprise sports department was first and foremost concerned with local sports and local athletes. Still is.
The day I started, Jim Sochor had yet to don a headset as head coach on the Aggie sideline. His first name was not yet “Legendary,” though his career as a standout quarterback at Aggie rival San Francisco State certainly fit that description.
I feel fortunate that even as my duties at this newspaper have changed over time, I was blessed to cover every game Jim Sochor coached at UC Davis, home and away, including the “Miracle Game” in Hayward in 1971 and the national championship game in McAllen, Texas, in 1982.
Dan Wolk was not even a twinkle in Bruce and Lois’ eyes and now he’s running for Congress or president or some such thing.
Linda Katehi was in junior high school. In Greece. A couple of chaps named Richard and Spiro were running the country, nobody played football on Monday night, first-class stamps were 6 cents apiece, gas was 36 cents a gallon at Al Hatton’s Chevron, you had to be 21 to vote in Davis city elections, and when “Midnight Cowboy” played at the Varsity Theater it was somehow considered to be an “X-rated” movie.
If a Davisite had to go to Woodland back then, it meant he or she was dealing with one of the five dreaded “D’s” — the Doctor, the Dentist, the DMV, the Draft Board or Divorce Court. Of course, if the Davisite were a “she,” there were only four dreaded “D’s.”
There was no toad tunnel, no Rec Hall, no Zipcar, no surface water project, no water meters, no Internet, no Sacramento Kings, no close-in parking for hybrid vehicles, no Gunrock, no Steve’s Pizza and no historic designation for the bathrooms at Central Park.
Aggie athletes still ran the 100-yard dash as God intended, there was no “further review” for disputed calls on the field of play, items at The Dollar Tree would have been considered expensive, and Mondavi was something you picked up at the liquor store on the edge of town.
One of my first assignments in my new job was to interview Bob Hamilton, the towel-chewing, chair-throwing, decibel-shattering head coach of the Aggie men’s basketball team.
I had watched him regularly as a devoted fan during my undergraduate days at UC Davis, and I was frankly terrified of him.
Little did I know how quickly I would come to revere this man for his complete devotion to the well-being of the young athletes in his care. He was a perfectionist, yes, but he had a heart of gold that many folks in the stands likely never saw.
I remember one game in the old and packed Hickey Gym — the best venue I’ve ever witnessed for a college basketball game — when I brought my 11-month-old son, Ted, with me and sat him on my lap in my usual seat along the press table between the two team benches.
Well, there was a tense point in the back-and-forth contest when the Aggie point guard overshot a wide-open teammate with a length-of-the-court pass that sailed wildly out of bounds.
Bob Hamilton jumped to his feet, ran along the sideline and slammed his wooden clipboard onto the solid metal press table directly in front of the seat where Ted and I were sitting. Ted responded by bursting into one of those piercing toddler shrieks that could be heard all the way to Dixon.
Seeing the havoc he had wrought, the good coach immediately called timeout and came over to issue a completely unnecessary apology and used the entire timeout not to talk to his team, but to soothe a young child’s terrifying experience.
It was just one of the many magic moments I’ve experienced in my 44 years on the job. There, I figured it out. Yes, it’s been 44 years since I first walked in the door and began pounding a typewriter.
If I can get 44 more years out of my agile fingertips, I may just call it a day.
To paraphrase that great line from “Field of Dreams,” is this heaven? No, it’s Davis.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Davis school nurses are stretched thin

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Wright resigns his seat in California Senate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Dempsey: If campaign fails, ground troops possible

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Scotland took long road to independence vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Sierra Club gathers for morning walks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
DPNS has afternoon openings

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Paws for Thought: Socialize your new pup at UCD’s Yappy Hour

By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A3 | Gallery

DHS parents go back to school

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
New DHS Hall-of-Famers

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

Exploration of dementia lecture set for Sept. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sick-pay benefits expanded to millions

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

 
Bad roads cost Californians billions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Farmers market continues at Sutter Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Yolo County’s looking for a few good advisers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Search the Internet at Connections Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Garage, bake sales benefit outdoor education trip

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

Sutter qigong classes start Sept. 22

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hundreds flee wildfires; homes burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Harmony Award nominations sought

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Da Vinci seniors take on Constitution essay

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

.

Forum

Sounds like a swell party

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Maybe not the best rebound guy

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Nate Beeler cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Many reasons to back Sunder

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
I support Madhavi Sunder

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

A leader with heart and vision

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Carbon fee and dividend plan is the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Open Cup final has local flavor

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1

 
Devil volleyball victories keep piling up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS needs just 10 boys to top Elk Grove

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Finding the good in a tough DHS football loss

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

More pressure on QB would be nice for Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Raber: glad to join in bringing readers golf column

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1

Highlights galore in Junior Blue Devil weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big Monday for Masiel as DHS golfers win league opener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Jane Eyre’ to screen at I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Anais Mitchell to play Third Space

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

‘Shrek, The Musical’ shines at DMTC

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Irish fiddlers come to Davis house show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Jenny Lynn and Her Real Gone Daddies play at Picnic in the Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7