Quitters never win, so winners never quit

On the Back Porch
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My Ol’ Daddy loved his sports, and he was quick to say, “Quitters never win, so winners never QUIT!” And the same is true of all sports fans. Some are lukewarm, so they come and go. But there are some that always have high expectations of their teams through good times as well as tough times.

My young bride Stella and I are Texas A&M Aggies, we bleed Maroon and believe me, we know about tough times. That sinks in when you have a season where you have the privilege to play against no less than three #1 ranked teams. But this is not about the Aggies, because I want to focus on the Marlin Bulldog fans. Especially about two fans that “NEVER QUIT!” The sports banquet for the Marlin Bulldogs back in 2016 saw two of the Bulldogs most steadfast fans receive awards that designated them as “#1 Bulldog Fans.” If you are a true Marlinite that follows Marlin Bulldogs sports, you will probably immediately know who I am talking about.

My young bride Stella and I moved to Marlin in July of 1973 and we intended to be a part of the Texas phenomena of “Friday Night Lights.” Why? We loved football and we intended to support the Marlin team. Now, football was struggling a bit, as they had fallen on hard times. But anyone that was the least bit of an observer would soon see the recipients of the 2016 #1 Bulldog Fan award were leading anyone that would listen to them to become aspiring fans of Marlin Bulldog football!

They were excited and they were exciting as they extolled their team to victory. And eventually, the Bulldogs found themselves standing in the winner’s circle more and more. And their #1Bulldog Fans just worked harder and became more excited. Obliviously, winning stirs fans more than falling on hard times will. But the #1 Bulldog Fans never let up and they never QUIT!

I met these two guys forty-seven years ago and age has taken its toll on us all. They are not as active as they once were, but they still love their Marlin Dogs and if you listen closely, come Friday night in the fall, you will hear them yell, “GO DAWGS!” We have been friends over the years and the Marlin Bulldogs have seen their ups and downs, but Coach Odell Newton and M.L. Modkin are still #1 Bulldog Fans!

They have seen many students finish and go on to be successful in life. I have occasional visits with them at their homes at Golden Years Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on 3rd Sundays when we have an afternoon worship service and sometimes during Sunday morning services at First Baptist Church where we are all #1 Fans of Jesus!

I wanted to pay tribute to these two longtime friends of mine because they have reached the status of being Marlin Bulldog Legends and folk will speak of them and their deeds where ever and whenever the subject of Marlin Bulldog athletics or athletes come to mind…..GO DAWGS!

Join us for Sunday worship service at 11:00 at First Baptist Marlin as we learn of God’s love. You might have a chance to shake hands with these Marlin “Legends.” I wrote this poem with other friends in mind, but I think it fits all types of friendships and certainly holds true.

Ol’ PARD’S
Tho’ Texas is as big as all the west,
our lives oft time show just what God can do!
He brung out some fellers to stand the test,
an’ to build partnerships proved to be true.
Them boys became pards a long time ago,
afore Methuselah ever wuz a pup.
They’d done lotsa things together, you know,
shore ‘nuff been down more times than they’d been up.
God’s love had thowed ‘em together back then,
when the Checkerboard spread had hired them boys.
Pert near seen it all, some thick an’ some thin,
ups an’ downs, some sorrows an’ lotsa joys.
They kept a good eye on each other’s backs,
fer you never knowed whut might be out there.
You wuz a mite kerful whar you laid yore tracks,
makin’ sure everyone got treated square.
Wives an’ children an’ new jobs came their way.
God has His own way to alter the course,
so, life dealt each of them a hand to play,
they seized their chance an’ used every resource.
The Good Lord’s blessin’ carried them through,
they prospered an’ their families grew strong.
Tho sometimes the road quit an’ the wind blew,
their faith an’ grit carried them right along.
An’ as luck would have it, the years passed by,
‘til them ol’ boys started to show some age.
They slowed down a mite, but still gave the try,
tho their efforts are at another stage!
They’d tell them sprouts jest how things used to be!
How the hosses were bigger an’ faster,
an’ them ol’ steers wuz meaner, don’t you see?
But them critters knew who was master!
They could ride harder an’ cover more range
than a dozen or so of them young scamps.
They allowed as how it would never change,
‘til the Good Lord took ‘em to Heaven’s camps!

Wal’ that’s how they told it by the ol’ camp stove,
an’ they shore don’t plan to change it none.
So mark it down, ‘cuz the tale has been wove.
Fer God’s mercy kept those Ol’ Pards as one!

© Ol’ Jim Cathey
God Bless Good Friends and God Bless America!

The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak Street
P.O. Box 112
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: 254-883-2554
Fax: 254-883-6553