The Perfect Season: A Memoir of the 1964-1965 Evansville College Purple Aces

By Russell Grieger | Go to book overview

13
A HOLIDAY FEAST

WE BUTTONED OUR COATS AND climbed into our Ford Galaxie, its heater whirring hard to take the edge off temperatures that hovered in the midtwenties. With gloved hands, Dad adjusted the review mirror. Mom settled into the passenger seat and arranged a carefully folded map to guide us to the lands of reindeer, the baby Jesus, and Santa Claus. Joyce and I huddled close together behind Mom, trying to keep ourselves warm.

Dad backed the car out of the driveway and sped from one neighborhood to the next, slowing to a crawl in front of homes worthy of our “oohs” and “ahhs.” We found a house that displayed a plump, floor-to-ceiling fir, all its bulbs and ornaments glowing a brilliant blue. Another house exhibited a tree flocked thick with artificial snow, twinkling hundreds of miniature lights the color of ice.

We sat wordlessly, absorbed in the splendor. I felt a glow that matched what I saw through the car’s window, thinking how lucky I was to be in that car, with my loved ones, cocooned within the greater Evansville community, a community that had so embraced me and my teammates.

-138-

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The Perfect Season: A Memoir of the 1964-1965 Evansville College Purple Aces
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Author’s Note xi
  • Prologue xiii
  • Part One - The Aces Get Ready 1
  • 1 - The Armory Days 3
  • 2 - Carson Center Preparation 9
  • 3 - The Iowa Hawkeyes 20
  • Part Two - The Ace Grows Up 29
  • 4 - The Beginnings 31
  • 5 - From Bullpup to Bulldog 41
  • 6 - Flailing and Falling 53
  • 7 - Flying 63
  • 8 - St. Louis Blues 74
  • 9 - Return to Evansville 87
  • 10 - A Dream Comes True—Almost 96
  • Part Three - The Aces Succeed 119
  • 11 - Northwestern 121
  • 12 - Notre Dame 129
  • 13 - A Holiday Feast 138
  • 14 - The Black Hills and the Badlands 148
  • 15 - Larry, Then the Holy Grail 157
  • 16 - Fans into Redshirts 165
  • 17 - Southern Illinois Surprise 175
  • 18 - Depauw and More 184
  • 19 - Five Games, Five Snapshots 194
  • 20 - Southern Illinois Redux 208
  • Part Four - The Aces Triumph 217
  • 21 - The NCAA Regional 219
  • 22 - The NCAA Finals 231
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