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.

The University of California at Berkeley was having a dual meet with their cousins from UCLA. Cal was favored because they had better sprinters.

Unfortunately, I found it necessary to disqualify all three Cal sprinters in the one hundred yard dash for false starts. There was no problem with UCLA. This caused Cal to lose the meet.

Brutus Hamilton, Cal's coach, told me he had heard more booing at a track meet only once before. At the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, a distance runner from Finland had flagrantly fouled an American competitor. The crowd of 85,000 generated more booing than the mere 20,000 at the UCLA meet.

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 Cal crew which won in the Olympic Games in Amsterdam. His first words were, "You son of a bitch. I'd had a gun, I would have shot you."

At the end of the season, I retired from starting.