Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

April 19, 2013

Sports author to speak

Best-selling writer Jim Dent to appear at book club

Athens — Best selling sports author Jim Dent comes to Athens on Wednesday as the guest speaker of the Trinity Valley Community College Read Through the Valley Book Club.

Each year, the club, made of Trinity Valley Community College students and employees, studies a literary work. This year, the selection was Dent’s “Twelve Mighty Orphans.” Dent’s appearance is set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the TVCC auditorium, and is open to the public.

The orphans in the book are the Mighty Mites, the football team at Masonic Home in Fort Worth, that became a power in the 1920s and 1930s. Dent’s interest in the team grew out of a show he saw on ESPN in 2006 that featured former NFL linebacker Hardy Brown, known as one of the NFL’s hardest hitters in the 1950s. 

“Steve Sabol asked him, ‘Is there anyone tougher than you?,”’ Dent said. “Hardy said, absolutely, positively not. Then he paused and said, ‘Unless it was at the Home.”’

The idea that an orphanage was able to field a team that competed at such a high level stirred Dent’s creative juices.

“I was a newspaper reporter for a long time, and I love digging into stories,” Dent said. “When I get hold of a story that I really like, I get an adrenaline rush. It’s a good thing too, because I’ve got to write 100,000 words on this subject.”

Dent’s research took him to the Fort Worth Library, where microfilm of old copies of the Fort Worth Press and Fort Worth Star Telegram contained a wealth of Mighty Mite stories. He was also able to track down the living members of some of the Masonic Home teams of the era.

Dent wove the newspaper accounts and player’s remembrances into a story that has sold more than 250,000 copies since its 2007 release.

“It got off to a little bit of a slow start, because it happened so long ago that the story got lost,” Dent said. “A lot of times it’s word-of-mouth that helps you sell books. Once it got going, this thing snowballed. The book continues to keep selling at an amazing pace.”

Dent covered the Dallas Cowboys for the Dallas Times Herald for more than a decade, then segued into the longer form with “The Junction Boys,” in 1997.  Dent said the book grew out of stories former Cowboy assistant coach Gene Stallings had told him about the tortuous summer football camp Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant put his Texas A&M team through in 1954.

Dent returns to Texas high school football for his next work. “The Kids Got it Right,” the story of how the 1965 Big 33 All Stars broke down racial walls. Bill Bradley of Palestine, a future Texas Longhorn and Philadelphia Eagle, and Jerry Levias, the Southwest Conference’s first break-out black football star at SMU, are featured in the book.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2726192_300x300.jpg Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake

    The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
    The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men. 

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD approves moving monthly meeting, additional drug testing

    Discussion on meal prices for the 2014-15 school year was pulled from Thursday's Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees agenda but other items were approved that will bring about change in the district.
    By unanimous decision, the school board approved changes to the scheduled date for its monthly meetings; additional drug testing on the high school campus and modification to the graduation policy.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 drugs.tif Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 26

    On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, giving the public its seventh opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif Feud between Tool VFDs extends to city council

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Would Lake Athens residents suffer if city controls water?

    Members of Lake Athens Property Owners Association have been watching the dispute between the City of Athens and the Athens Municipal Water Authority uncertain of how this will affect their future.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Hot issue

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Surplus property to be moved or demolished

    Athens Independent School District purchased property at 404 Royall Street during its March school board meeting with the intent to square off property previously purchased by the district.
    During Thursday's school board meeting, a unanimous decision was made to designate the property as surplus and advertise the home to be moved or demolished.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0077.JPG Taste of Home Cooking School

    The Taste of Home Cooking School was held Thursday at the Cain Center. Hundreds attended the events that was sponsored by Cole A/C and the Athens Daily Review.
     

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif City, AMWA differ on future management of water supply

    The 57-year relationship between the Athens Municipal Water Authority and the City of Athens grew stormy in 2013 because of a disagreement over who should pay certain bills.
    The difference-of-opinion led to the Authority filing suit against the city last December, and the city responding by setting the wheels in motion that slated a May 10 election to decide whether to abolish AMWA.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 Easter.jpg Excited and ready

    Lexie and Isabella Hawkins are excited and ready for the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. in Kiwanis Park.  Bicycles, rabbits and lots of Easter Eggs will be waiting for you. Everyone is welcome, and of course the Easter Bunny will be there.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo