A day of memories at the QB Club
IT WAS a great day at the Honolulu Quarterback Club yesterday. There was a lot of energy in the room.
Frances Galdeira was there to accept the Quarterback Club's establishment of an honor of her late husband, Earl, former club president and hall-of-fame football official.
Al Davis of Hawaii's famed -- Les Keiter referred to it as "sainted" -- Fabulous Five was there.
Paul Durham started off his pre-program joke this way: "A teacher asked her students to name the seven wonders of the world -- there's old Bob Wagner!"
Yes, Bob Wagner was there, too. Everyone was excited. There was a lot of energy in the room.
AL DAVIS FELT strange being up there alone, without the other four. The Fabulous Five was such a team, he said. He shouldn't be representing the group by himself.
"I was kind of the quiet one," he said. "I just took care of the stuff they didn't want to do."
Like public speaking, maybe.
But he did fine. Lots of memories. Lots of laughs.
He described the adventure of being invited to speak. He was approached by club member Joan Davis while he was having a cup of coffee after work.
"She kind of pulled up on me," he said, snapping his head back to show how he looked over his shoulder.
"I thought I was in Chicago," he said.
WAGS LOOKS GOOD. "One of our favorite football coaches at the university," Keiter said.
"I saw every game you ever coached," a lady told him.
He smiled. They were happy to see him. It's good to be an old coach.
"It's just amazing how much high school athletic directors do," the A.D. at Kamehameha-Hawaii said.
JIM BECKER WAS there, the former Star-Bulletin columnist. I love his new book, "Saints, Sinners and Shortstops." It's full of old adventures as a foreign correspondent, of being embedded in Korea during combat, going on a USO tour with Marilyn Monroe. "The Day the Govs Won It All."
Other stories, too. One day he went out to Radford in search of a feel-good story. They were practicing the school play. "It's Jim Becker!" A kid came running at him, leapt, landed in his arms.
"OK, little girl, I'll put your name in the paper."
It was Bette Midler.
THE BIG ISLAND is nice, Wagner said. They don't miss the traffic. He's here on vacation.
"This is the second time I've had shoes on in nine days," he said.
"The other time I was playing golf."
Of course, it isn't all relaxation. As he said, this athletic director stuff is tough work. Rewarding, though. His school recently had its first Division I football recruit. What a proud moment ...
... But the kid chose BYU. BYU!
"That was a little hard," Wagner said.
"I was happy for him, but ..."
THEY WERE "ROCK STARS," Davis said. He has a picture of himself standing on top of a phone booth, people reaching up for him, maybe thousands of them.
His mother still has those little aloha-print shorts.
Frank Fasi gave him a key to the city and called him a "kamaaina," and that was it.
"And from that point on, I don't even know anything, I'm from Hawaii. You know. 'Where you from?' 'Hawaii.' "
WAGNER RECALLED A reunion he had with Jason Elam, when they reminisced about UH's great win on the road at Air Force. The 'Bows won 6-3 -- even though Elam had missed two field goals.
"But one was 65 yards, one was 63 yards!" Elam said.
"I had a lot of confidence in you," Wagner said.
DAVIS JUST GOT married, for the first time. "I have a daughter that's grown from my first not-marriage," he said. "I have a stepdaughter that thinks she's grown -- she's 8 years old -- from this marriage."
It's different after having been a bachelor for 50 years. But wonderful. So wonderful.
"I'm happily married," he said. "In fact, some of my friends say, 'You said that real easy.' "
IT WAS A great day. A lot of energy in the room. Lots of laughs. So many memories.
"I didn't get the full ramification of this until it was over," Davis said, of those Fab Five days.
You would have to say Bob Wagner feels the same.
So do we all, looking back.