Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Cadillac' Ride: Ice House to Good Humor Man

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Cadillac' Ride: Ice House to Good Humor Man

Article excerpt

The late Houston Beatty, a Mizzou football assistant for Don Faurot, had a pet recruiting story.

"I came up to St. Louis in 1947 in the summer," Beatty would say. "It was August, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and it's about 105 degrees. I go to his house, and his mother says he's still at work.

"After a while, I look down the street, and here he comes. He's wearing earmuffs, an overcoat, gloves and a stocking cap. I thought, geez, I've got a character here."

He did. The lad was John Kadlec, heading to his home in the 4500 block of Tennessee Street from his job at the Newstead Ice House.

"I didn't have enough seniority to get a locker," Kadlec said, "so I just wore all my stuff home."

Kadlec, which everyone including himself mispronounces as "Cadillac," had no interest in college. "I had quit St. Louis U. after a year because I had a great job in the ice house," he said. "I was making 87 cents an hour. So I didn't want to quit my job."

He did, under duress but not protest, and enrolled at Mizzou.

"I didn't have a choice," Kadlec said. "Coach Beatty told my dad they'd pay my tuition and fees, about $115 or $120 a semester, and that I could work for room and board.

"My dad just said, `When does he report?' I didn't know where the University of Missouri was. I had no idea. I knew it was in Missouri, but I didn't know which way you go, except that east was Illinois.

"I didn't follow Missouri football. I used to listen to the Colgate-Yale games on the radio. Eastern football was the big thing then. My dad, who drove a truck for Biederman Furniture Co., didn't care.

"No, you didn't fuss then. I was disappointed. Of course, I tried to get to my dad through my mom, but that didn't work. One day, he put me on a Greyhound bus at 6:30 in the morning and I went west. It stopped in Columbia and I got off."

Kadlec stayed for 37 years, minus two side trips to Kansas State and one brief retirement. He coached Tigers football for Don Faurot, Frank Broyles, Dan Devine and Al Onofrio, later becoming the senior character in the athletic department.

His title is part-time director of external relations. "It's public relations, really," Kadlec said. …

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