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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bill Cosby and Demolay

Phone Rat and I have taken on a special project over the past few days of delving through the archives of the "Valley News and Greensheet" for old articles concerning Demolay, Job's Daughters and Rainbow. One of my first finds was an article from August 12, 1971 about a special celebrity basketball contest against the Valley Demolay League All-Stars. Here is the text of the article:

Television star Bill Cosby will bring his celebrity basketball team to Birmingham High School tomorrow evening to battle a team of Valley DeMolay All-Stars in a special benefit contest.
The event is being sponsored by the Reseda Chapter, Order of DeMolay, with all proceeds going to the Shrine Hospital for Crippled Childien in Los Angeles. Included on the celebrity team will be such notables as Cosby, former Ram star Bernie Casey, former Angel first baseman Don Mincher and television actor Mike Connors ("Manmx'). The Valley DeMolay All-Stars -will consist of Buss Damn, 6 ft. 5 in. center from the Granada Hills chapter; Jim Fox, 6-1 guard from Van Nuys chapter, Kurt Krueger, 6-1 guard from Canoga Park; Pete Giammaria, 6-3 forward from Burbank; Bob Allen, 6-3 guard from North Hollywood; Craig Fletcher, 6-2 guard from Reseda; Mike Fennelly, 6-2 forward from Reseda; and Ken Inger, 6-£ forward from Reseda. There also will be two surprise guests on the program. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. tomorrow at Birmingham. Tickets are priced at $175 for students and $250 for adults. Tickets will be on sale at the Birmingham Gym prior to the game tomorrow For further ticket information or reservations, contact Mike Fennelly at 342-9588 or 478-4051.

Quite an event, its too bad I have no memory of it. I went to Birmingham and was in Demolay at the time, though not active. So this gives you a taste of some of the stuff we are finding. Most of what we have found is normal installation and fund raising news, but that is a also a kick, and some of them have pictures. Phone Rat is working on a special project within this project for which he still needs some additional information. I will leave that cat in the bag so not to give him a stroke from the pressure.

I wanted to change the background color of this blog to green in honor of the old paper but this template does not allow that change, so instead I have changed the text color from the original article to green. It would have been great to be there and watch Chet Kincaid drive the lane against our team.

5 comments:

Justa Mason said...

Rat, are you using newspaperarchive.com for your search? I've spotted plenty of snippets on DeMolay there. It seems Chapters were heavily into league sports at one time; I can see why guys would have known more about DeMolay then than now.

Justa Mason
PMC Chev RD

Guitar Rat said...

Yes, newspaperarchive is one of our sources. We also have personal collections as well. But this article did come from the online archive.

Your comment is right on, there was more emphasis on league sports back then and that helped draw kids to Demolay. I'm not sure there are any more league sports wherever Demolay is still active. There is a Demolay chapter where I now live but I have not seen any sport activities listed at their website. Thank you for your comment.

radio rat said...

it certainly was a draw for me...playing sports for Van Nuys Demolay was one of my fondest memories form those days...i still have the basketball jersey in my drawer! great story about the celebrity basketball game. i do not remember that at all, although i remember most of the players on both sides. Don Mincher...wow

Phone Rat said...

This is a test comment from Phone Rat.

Anonymous said...

Phone Rat says..I remember being a part of the Demolay sports program. I was on the the second string of softball, and basketball. I wasn't that athletic, but always had fun, and always got to play. The best thing about it for me was the excercise,(and if you remember me,I needed it),the weekend Basketball games at Monroe High School and the Basketball practices at Reseda High, and the sofball games at McCambridge Park in Burbank. I always looked forward to the playoffs even if I didn't play and even if our chapter didn't play, It was fun driving to South Gate or San Diego with all our friends and their girlfriends and their friends. I remember one playoff trip to San Diego. I don't remember the opposing team, but North Hollywood represented Valley League in the playoffs and I rode down to San Diego with Bob Allen and a few others. Bob, along with other Demolay buddies, had a really fast cars. Bob had a Blue 68 Plymouth or Dodge, that got us to San Diego in a very short time.
Thanks for the ride Bob. It was an E ride plus 90 cents for sure.