Friday, November 8, 2013
I graduated with flying mediocrity from Lookout Mountain Elementary in 1972 and from there it was Saints Peter and Paul for me. That's where all of us Catholic Glascocks went. I was scared. I didn't know anybody so I signed up for wrestling because that's what all of what appeared to be the cool guys were doing. And, you know, they really were cool. So we practiced and practiced and practiced and the time finally came for a real life wrestling match.
It was with the hated cross-town other fish eaters: OLPH.
We walked into their gym and Jimmy Reynolds gravely said, "There are guys here like Robby Gaddis and Charles Key. Jabaley's gonna be here too." Jabaley? "Yeah, James Jabaley. He's a stud." The butterflies.
Before the match, everybody sort of mingled as the coaches sorted things out. Gaddis's big brother Lenny was (still is) my brother Jimmy's best friend so I kind of knew who Gaddis's were and while we were saying "I know your big brother," this tiny brown guy with thick, jet black hair and piercing eyes that I later learned could be as sweet as Jesus walked up. With rock hard confidence he demanded, "You're a Glascock, right?!" "Well, uh, yeah..." "You're goin' to Notre Dame, right?!" "Uh, I guess so, yeah...." "GOOD!" he said and his eyes became round and he smiled with his whole face.  "We'll see you there!"
It was like he took a fierce note and stuck it in a ledger in his head for later use. I was to be "in" when I got to Notre Dame. I'd just met Jabo. 
A couple years later, I was about a week into being a sophomore and by then Jab and I had become great friends. I walked into the locker room and I heard two guys saying "Open hands, no fists and nobody gets mad, okay?" "Yeah, okay." "Okay." I turned the corner to see Jabo, 103 pounds soaking wet, squared off with Craig Underhill who was a freshman. Craig was a running back and he was built like a heavy wide receiver or a light defensive end. He was about 70 pounds heavier than James and absolutely able athletically. He could knock you silly. If you didn't know Jabo, you'd think he was a freaking bully. But he knew Jabo and so did I. It was an even steven deal.  
In their Notre Dame approved dress code (1970's polyester shirt, bell bottoms and fat tie knot with zipper head hair do's) they smacked the snot out of each other. Pap, pap, PAP. Craig was landing two or three to every six or seven that Jab planted. Their faces started getting red and I said, "Hey guys." "Hey!" "HEY GUYS!" and then Craig finally delivered one to Jab's shnoz that let the blood flow and the match ended. Craig dropped his hands with a thank God look on his face. 
The blood was really flowing and we started to clean the place up but Jab said "NO! Watch this." He cupped his hands and collected the red river and started smearing it in a way that looked like somebody was attacked by a killer and was in mortal escape mode. The knife murder "struggle" went from the floor, across the wall and to the mop closet door where the "victim" tried to turn the knob in terror but, big red smear down the wall, fell and died.  There is some poor teacher or coach or janitor out there who cleaned that up and who now knows they'd been Jabo'd. I can't tell you how hard I laughed. That is but one story. The boy showed me and a ton of others a whole nuther world. He was spot on in his imitation of Dan Akroyd doing Jimmy Carter describing his enemies. "These ah lusty, zesty men, seeething with vital hahmoanal secreeshuns."  
Jab really was a stud. He won three state championships as a wrestler and, though tiny, linebackers wouldn't mess with him. He, like all of us, had demons later on but he was a champion and he fought back. He smiled with his whole body and with his eyes. These days, I learned, he has literally saved many people's lives from death from addiction. That, besides his son, has to be his greatest accomplishment.  
In 1972 he decided he'd be my friend for life. I didn't deserve that or earn it. It was his decision. I am lucky to say he is my friend.
I saw his picture with a ribbon stuck to it at Notre Dame the other day. The ribbon was, like, today you need to remember this guy because now he's gone. It broke my heart.

Jabo has round eyes that I'll love forever. I will never forget.

Savage Glascock, Sr.

What Is Thanksgiving Day For?

As I thought about tomorrow, I asked myself this question: "What is Thanksgiving for?"  For some, it is simply a break from work. For others, it is a time to gather with friends or family or both, to enjoy one another's company and our favorite foods, and to give thanks for the many blessings we've enjoyed.  Thanksgiving encompasses all of those things, but for me ... (click for more)

This Thanksgiving Think Of Others

I used to keep a framed picture in my classroom: “Your Life is God's gift to you. What you do with your Life is your gift to God.” I wish every child could hear that repeated every day. And what teachers do with their gift benefits so many children on a daily basis. Teachers are often on the front line of the poverty battle. It is important that children know from where their gifts ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and planning professional ... (click for more)

Commissioner Graham Chides Chairman Bankston For Shredding Arts Cigarette Tax Letter; Says Sunshine Law Violated

County Commissioner Joe Graham on Wednesday chided Chairman Chester Bankston for shredding a letter related to the proposed cigarette tax to aid the arts. "Have you shredded any other county legal documents?" he demanded. Chairman Bankston replied, "No, I have not done that." He said the letter did not get the necessary six signatures to forward to the Legislature. ... (click for more)

UTC Rallies to Top Arkansas State, 55-54

Just call ‘em the comeback kids, and kids – i.e. young ladies – who are plenty thankful for a win on Thanksgiving Eve. For the second time in three games, the UTC Mocs (4-2) rallied for a win as they handed previously unbeaten Arkansas State (3-1), 55-54, its first loss of the young season in McKenzie Arena Wednesday night before 1,189 fans. Down by as many as 17 (44-27) ... (click for more)

Jones Thankful For Resiliency, Resolve Of 2015 Vols

The day before families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Tennessee football coach   spoke about what he and the Vols are thankful for. "It's a time to reflect and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for in really the resiliency and resolve that this football team has shown, the growing of this football team and the growing of this football program," ... (click for more)