To conclude my recollections of track and field. I'm jumping ahead to a post-war year when I'd been appointed an official starter for track meets.
The responsibility is to assure all runners get an even start. If someone starts too soon and the recall gun is fired, there's no penalty. It's only when a sprinter gets away so quickly that the gun hasn't even been fired that a penalty is incurred; done twice, the runner is disqualified.
Unfortunately, I found it necessary to disqualify all three
Brutus Hamilton, Cal's coach, told me
he had heard more booing at a track meet only once before. At the 1932 Olympic
There were many more track fans in those days. Sports writers and
radio commentators had a field day with my decision. Thank God, it was before
television had really caught on. I'd be stopped on the street by total
strangers venting their displeasure. I even developed a lasting friendship that
started poorly. At the initial meeting of the Big C Alumni Association, I was
accosted by Don Blessing. He was the coxswain of the
At the end of the season, I retired from starting.