A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Butch Beard’

Hardinsburg, Kentucky

Posted by graywacke on March 24, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice-a-week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Dan –  It has been 172 landings since I landed in this USer . . . KY; 20/26; 5/10; 1; 155.0.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 hard landing 1

My close-in map shows that I landed on a peninsula, of what I guess to be a lake (rather than a river):

 hard landing 2

Backing up a little, you can see I landed next to Rough River Lake, and near a bunch of small towns:

 hard landing 3

A little bit of research shows that Hardinsburg (about 10 miles north of my landing) is the only real “town” any place close (although I really like “Falls of Rough” located southwest of my landing, and “Se Ree” located northeast).

 Obviously, I landed in the Rough River watershed (my first time ever); on to the Green R (7th hit); on to the Ohio R (125th hit); on of course to the MM (788th hit).

 Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot.  It looks like I landed in what used to be a farm field, but is now just some open pasture:

 hard GE1

Rough River Lake is the result of a dam that was built across the Rough River (just east of “Falls of Rough” on my landing map).  From Wiki:

The 5,100-acre lake was formed by a dam built across the Rough River in 1959 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  Rough River Lake Dam is a 132-foot-high earthen dam impounding 334,400 acre-feet of water.

For those curious souls out there, an acre-foot of water is (not surprisingly) the volume of water one foot deep that covers an acre.  Here’s the math:  one acre = 43,560 square feet.  Multiplying by 1 foot deep, we now have 43,560 cubic feet of water.  There are 7.48 gallons of water in a cubic foot, so each acre-foot = 43,560 x 7.48 = 325,829 gallons.  The amount of water in the lake?  334,400 acre-feet x 325,829 gallons per acre-foot =  109,000,000,000 gallons (that’s 109 billion gallons).  There you have it. 

Here’s a picture from on top of the dam looking upstream towards the lake (from the National Weather Service):

us_fm_dam

So, moving right along into Hardinsburg a little, I see Beards, Beards and more Beards . . .  specifically:  Ralph Beard, Frank Beard, Percy Beard and Butch Beard. 

 I’ll start with a book excerpt that focuses on Ralph, but introduces Ralph’s story by mentioning the whole Beard family.  The book’s title (which will give you a clue about Ralph) is: Scandals of ’51:  How Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball, by Charles Rosen:

 hard the beards

Speaking of excerpts, here’s an excerpt from a Washington Post article by Matt Schudell after Ralph died in 2007:

 Mr. Beard led the University of Kentucky Wildcats, under Hall of Fame coach Adolph Rupp, to NCAA championships in 1948 and 1949 and was a three-time all-American guard. During his four years at Kentucky, his team had a record of 130 wins and 10 losses.

In the National Basketball Association, Mr. Beard was a first-team all-pro guard and started in the league’s first All-Star Game. He was preparing for his third season as a player and part owner of the Indianapolis Olympians when he and a teammate, former Kentucky star Alex Groza, were arrested Oct. 20, 1951. They and another ex-Kentucky player, Dale Barnstable, were charged with accepting money to lose a game, or at least not to meet the “point spread” set by gamblers, in 1949.

“If taking $700 was wrong, then I was guilty,” he said in 1995. “But I was totally innocent of influencing games. I never had two dimes to rub together. My mother cleaned six apartments so we could have one to live in. I took the money, and that was it.”

 In later years, Mr. Beard occasionally attended basketball workouts at Kentucky and often spoke to college athletes about the dangers of gambling.

“Basketball was my life,” he said in 1997. “If I can save one person from the hell I’ve gone through . . . I’ll do it. I’ll pay for it until the day the dirt from the spade hits the coffin. I blew it all for $700.”

Here’s Ralph in his college days.  No intensity here . . .

 hard ralph espn

Ralph had a younger brother Frank (a golfer).  OK, OK, so Frank isn’t actually from Hardinsburg (as mentioned in the book excerpt, he was born in Dallas, but close enough).  From Wiki:

 Beard turned professional in 1962. He topped the PGA Tour money list in 1969 with earnings of $175,223.   He has eleven wins on the tour including victories in the Tournament of Champions in 1967 and 1970 (beating Arnold Palmer by one stroke in 1967 and Billy Casper, Tony Jacklin and Gary Player by 7 strokes in 1970).  His best finishes in a major tournament were third-place finishes in the 1965 and 1975 U.S. Opens.

Beard is probably best known as the author of Pro, the story of his year on the tour in 1969. The book revealed many of the more mundane parts of life on the pro tour for the middle tier of golfers with families. Commentators called the book “humorous and insightful,” showing the human side of the PGA Tour.

Beard has also worked as a golf commentator on ESPN.

Here’s a photo I lifted from the Armchair Golf Blog (a blog by Neil Sagebiel).

 hard frank beard

As long as this post is big on excerpts, check out this excerpt from Neil’s blog which is actually an excerpt from Frank Beard’s book:

 The number-one guys have to be almost totally self-centered. They have to possess an incredible burning for success. They’ve got to be willing to do anything within morally, civically, and socially acceptable bounds to win. I don’t mean they have to cheat, and I don’t mean they have to go out of their way to stomp on people. Not at all. But they do have to stomp on people who get in their way. They have to ignore their friends and their enemies and sometimes their families, and they have to concentrate entirely upon winning, upon being number one. There’s no other way to get to the top.

I’m sure I sound harsh, but I’m not really condemning them. They’ve got what we all want. They’ve got financial independence. They’ve got prestige. They’ve got power. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t like to have his own airplane and his own secretaries and his own companies. There are many days I wish I had their drive, their singleness of purpose, their complete devotion to victory. I’m often tempted to try it, to push everything and everybody else out of the way and pursue nothing but success. But I just can’t do it. I don’t mean I’m too nice a guy. I mean it’s not my way. If I tried it, I’d fail. I couldn’t survive the constant intensity, the constant burning.

My approach, the one that works for me, is less grueling. Basically, I’m content just to make a good living playing golf. If I make $100,000 a year, I’m very happy. If I slump to sixty or fifty or forty thousand dollars, I’ll still be happy. I’ll be able to pay my expenses, pay my taxes, and put a little bit away.

By the way, Frank Beard (no relation to Frank Beard the golfer) is the drummer for ZZ Top, and, ironically the only band member without a beard.  He’s easy to pick out in this picture (from drummersworld.com):

 hard from drummerworld

Oh yea, he’s an excellent (scratch) golfer . . .

 I know I could have skipped the whole ZZ Top thing, but anyway, let me move on to Percy Beard.  I’ll start by saying that after a fair amount of internet research, I can find no clues to indicate that Percy is related to Ralph & Frank.  A distant relative?   Maybe.  Anyway, here’s his picture (from the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame:

 hard Beard_Percy from AL sports hall of fame

 And this from Wiki about Percy:

 Percy Beard was born in Hardinsburg, Kentucky in 1908. He became a world-class hurdler at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University).  He later competed for the New York Athletic Club, where he set a world record of 14.2 seconds in the 120-yard high hurdles in 1931. A seven-time national Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) high hurdles champion, Beard won the silver medal in the 110-meter high hurdles event at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, finishing second behind U.S. teammate George Saling.

Following his competition running career, Beard became the head coach of the University of Florida track and field team.  Beard was a member of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and was elected to the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1981.   The University of Florida honored Beard by naming its track and field facility, Percy Beard Track in 1978.  He died in 1990; he was 82 years old.

This is amazing.  And then, there’s Butch.

Alfred “Butch” Beard Jr. (born May 5, 1947 in Hardinsburg, Kentucky) is a former National Basketball Association player and head coach. He was the head coach at Morgan State University until he stepped down in March 2006. Butch Beard played college basketball at the University of Louisville. Beard played high school basketball at Breckinridge County High School where, as a junior, he led the Bearcats to the 1964 state championship game losing to a Wes Unseld-led Louisville Seneca team. The following year, Beard led the Bearcats back to the title game winning the 1965 state championship. Additionally, Beard was named the 1965 Kentucky Mr. Basketball.

Beard was selected by the Dallas Chaparrals in the 1969 ABA Draft and by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 1969 NBA Draft.[1] Beard played nine seasons (1969–1970; 1971–1979) with five teams: the Atlanta Hawks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Seattle SuperSonics, the Golden State Warriors, and the New York Knicks. He scored 5,622 career points and represented Cleveland in the 1972 NBA All-Star Game. He later served as head coach of the New Jersey Nets from 1994-1996. He was also color analyst for New York Knicks games on MSG Network during the 1980s.

Here’s a picture from Kentucky High School Hoops blogspot:

 hard butch beard

Click HERE for a very cool You Tube video with Butch reminiscing about his career. 

It’s amazing that this little town (pop 2,300) has this illustrious line-up of athletes, let alone athletes with the same last name!!

 Changing pace (entirely), it turns out that in this region of Kentucky (and right near Rough River Lake), are vestiges of early Indian civilizations known as Hominy Holes. 

ehard hominy holes ky hunting.net:

 And here’s a Hominy Hole right near the lake:

 hard hominy holes2

Evidently (for all of you mortar and pestle aficionados), these holes are the mortars, and the pestles were elongated limestone rocks (often found in the vicinity).  The Hominy Holes were likely used more for crushing acorns than “hominy” (i.e., corn).  They are all over the place, evidently.

 One other local point of interest upon which I stumbled – most dams have a spillway, which is an emergency bypass if the water gets too high.  They carved one in bedrock that goes around the dam at Rough River lake.  Here’s a Panoramio shot of the spillway:

 hard -  flood bypass channel

I’ll close with this sunset shot by Susan Cotton of the Louisville Courier Journal:

 hard courier journal susan cotton

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

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