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January 22nd, 2014

The 1963-64 Beacon High Bulldogs Basketball Team

By Curt Stewart

BEACON - Students of Beacon High Bulldogs, 50 charged years ago, we, the basketball team of Beacon, rose up out of the shadow of our electrifying president, John F. Kennedy, prematurely snatched from the bosom of America and the world by an assasin’s bullet, and we went on to make extraordinary history-chalking up 38 straight victories without losing one single game.

But we did not carve ourselves into history alone. We had the support of our families, high school peers, classmates, teachers and friends. Our supporters were as much a part of us carving ourselves into what is now the annals of Beacon basketball history, as were we.

We were more  than just intelligent, disciplined baskeball players. Having learned from Mr. Tom Winterbottom the virtues of team ship, would we not only go on to become outstanding athletes, but young ambassadors-engendering much pride in the citizens of Beacon. We would help our great young president usher on to the American shores a new way in which blacks and whites saw each other-representing the epitome of civility, humanity and team ship.

So, we say to you young Beacon Bulldogs of all races and ethnicities, it matters not how many curvaceous mountains you climb and descend in the sweltering heat of summertime; how many footsteps you track in the snow deep down in the valley in wintertime; how many times you inhale the aroma of the dawning of springtime, do indeed know, somebody helped you to do so.

Even if you walk down the aisle of palaces in autumn time, laden in gold and silver, with full-bloom roses enveloping the aisle, know that somebody helped you to do so. You never walk the landscape of life alone.

In closing, afford us to confess, that without the presence of Mr. Winterbottom, Al Milligan, Pee Wee Jones-all of whom could not be here today, because of some unexpected circumstances, are we feeling incomplete. We’re feeling doubly incomplete - and indeed saddened-with a deep hallow-void in our hearts-because Ralph Valentine, Tyrone Quill, and Jack Pulliam, cannot not hear today, as they have gone on a long journey-never ever to return-gone to meet their Maker. But we shall never forget them, as they’re indelibly rooted in the reservoir of our hearts.

And finally, let us thank you young Bulldogs, for honoring us on this day. Having done so, do we feel the need to impart to you some sage advice and wisdom that our great president John F. Kennedy imparted to our generation: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” You do this young brothers and sisters, and you too will be comporting yourself in the highest exemplary of ambassadorship. May God bless you, and may God bless the entire body of Beacon High.

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