October 20, 2017 – Every year some small town winds up with a winning football or basketball team. My hometown of Oak Grove was no different.
Several years ago they had a State Champion Football team and also a Girl’s Basketball team that won the State Championship. I went to all the games, but the one I enjoyed the most was the girls’ basketball team because of two players, Lisa Davies and Courtney Murdock. They both went on to Southwest Missouri State Missouri in Springfield and were on another championship team, the Lady Bears. 8,900 fans would pack the arena every game. Knowing both girls, I tried to attend as many games as possible. At one game I was sitting behind a woman who heard me say I was from Oak Grove. She started telling me about Lisa and Courtney, and that Courtney had been playing with an injured leg, and Lisa had a 4.0 grade average and was the backbone of the team. Every one in that packed arena knew everything about the girls on the team.
One time I called ahead for two tickets to a game on Saturday. Their record at that time was 12-0. When my wife, Laura, and I got to the game and picked up our tickets we soon realized the seats were on the top row. I went back to the ticket office and asked if anyone had failed to show up for their tickets, that my wife had rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t climb that high to where our seats were located. There was a man in a suit behind the counter who said, “Here, take mine. I’ll get by and watch from somewhere else.”
After we were seated on the front row behind the scorekeepers, I opened my program. On the second page was a picture of the man who had given us his tickets. It was Dr. John Keiser, Southwest Missouri State University President.
I have often thought that because of the man’s generous and caring personality was why he was the President.