My Favorite Lee Story
In 1974, Lee played Temple at Bradley High. There was a play in which Larry Carpenter had a breakaway layup and Tony Hopper of Temple pushed him into the wall breaking Larry's hand putting him out for the season. This really ticked me off and I wrote a letter to Tony threatening him in a vague way. The letter was really funny, but threatening. I signed it "DHD." Temple got the letter and sent it to the press. Word got back to Dr Conn and he called for a meeting with all the DHD members. We all dressed in suits and went to Dr Conn's office to get our butts chewed out. Dean Duncan and Coach Hughes was there too. They had done a writing analysis and was going to say that I was the one who wrote the letter but before they could blame me, I "claimed dibs" on writing it so I stole their thunder. Dr Conn reads the letter to us. I promise, it was hilarious but as only Dr Conn could do, he was STERN faced as he read it. Steve McBrayer had not read the letter and busted out laughing in the middle of the reading. Dr Conn did NOT like that and pounded his fist on he desk and screamed "this is not a laughing matter!!!!" The experience was priceless.
Word had gotten out that we had planned on going to Temple when they were playing another team and cause a disturbance. The letter I wrote said we would. On the day of the game, Dean Duncan came to the cafeteria and made an announcement. "Anyone caught going to the Temple game tonight will be suspended from school!!!" As soon as Dean Duncan left the cafeteria, a classic, never to be forgotten moment occurred in Lee cafeteria history. Mike Gibson (God's been good), who made the cafeteria announcements everyday, announced: "the bus leaving for Temple will be at 6:00." The place went crazy!!!
We didn't go to Temple on this particular night, but a few nights later, we borrowed Murl Dirkson's van, put a Tennessee Temple sticker on the back and drove it to Temple. We dropped off a couple of guys who spray painted on the back of Temple's gym "#1 Lee beat Temple" except for a guard showed up and it said "#1 Lee beat Temp." BTW, you can still see the remnants of it today. The 2 guys who did the painting ran off and we drove around looking for them feeling safe because we had the Temple sticker on the back, but we were stopped by the Temple guard. He came to the driver's window and said....in another classic line in Lee history..."which one of you boys is Murl Dirkson??" Obviously, they had traced the tag. He asked us what our names were. I believe Gary Gill said he was Ray Hughes. Somebody else was Wade Horton. Then he proceeded to tell us that he carries a badge and he carries a gun. Yes, Barney Fife was Temple's security. We survived because he had not seen the back of the gym and we left for Cleveland leaving behind our 2 spray painters. When we got back to Lee, they had beat us back having hitch hiked back.
Temple sent a bill to Lee for the gym to be cleaned and one of our group, who I will not name, squealed on us and we all had to pay for it.
Moving ahead to 1975, Cathy and I had plans to marry and I had the task of going to Dr Conn's office and ask to marry his daughter. He said to me "haven't you been in here before, son?" Yes, I had.