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Remembering Coach Detmer
It really came as unexpected shock when I learned of the passing of Coach Sonny Detmer. My association with Sonny begin in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. I graduated from Texas A&I University in the summer of 1961 and went to Somerset, Texas, as a teacher and coach. In the fall of 1964 I was promoted to high school principal, athletic director and girls’ basketball coach.
During my years at Somerset we went through four head football coaches, the last of whom was Sonny Detmer. When Sonny came on board it was like a breath of fresh air for our football program. The three previous coaches’ tenures ended with disappointing seasons. Sonny became an instant success on the football field and a joy to watch, as you never knew what rabbit he was going to pull out of the hat on Friday nights.
Sonny and I hit it off with a mutual respect for each other and we developed an outstanding relationship. I developed a real respect for Sonny as a football coach but also as a genuine and sincere individual. He was not only an outstanding football mind but extremely knowledgeable in basketball, and he worked with me on my basketball program. Sonny gave what he could to all the sports programs to help them become successful.
In trying to remember some of my experiences with Sonny and his family, at 83 years old I might not get them all in chronological order, but they are still very vivid in my memory. Sonny was an exceptional athlete and Alyce and I can remember going to Alamo Stadium and watching Sonny play football for the San Antonio Toros semi-pro team. While coaching at Somerset, Sonny and I got together some coaches and faculty members and formed a faculty basketball team and played against faculty teams from neighboring school districts. Sonny was a fantastic basketball player.
Sonny hired Leo Seitz as an assistant to coach the linemen. Leo was a professional wrestler in the off season. He was wrestling in San Antonio one night at Municipal Auditorium so Sonny got us all tickets and took us to the wrestling matches. This was my wife’s first experience at a professional wrestling match and we laughed our heads off. At school Leo was a soft-spoken gentlemen but when he got into the ring he instantly became the bad guy, pulling and gouging eyes.
When Sonny and Betty came to Somerset, Ty and Koy were little tikes. Sonny was the kind of father who nurtured his children and brought them up to become the best they could be.
I left Somerset in the fall of 1972 to go back to school. I kept up with Sonny and his family through the media and an occasional text message. My last communication with Sonny was in 2010 when my girls’ basketball team at Kirtland, New Mexico, won the Class 4A state championship. He texted, “Sooner or later I know you would do it.”
What a great coach and human being. He’ll be missed.
In the jaws of capitalism
The dictionary defines capitalism as an economic system in which private individuals or groups of individuals own land, factories and other means of production in order to produce goods and services for profit. Google defines capitalism as an economic and political system in which a countries’ trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit.
So what is good and bad about capitalism?
The good is that it has helped to bring millions of people out of poverty. It has helped produce better living conditions and more efficient ways of working. Overall the quality of life and the standard of living has gone up most of the time, year after year.
The bad side of capitalism is that it is constantly creating methods, systems and rigged procedures in order to feed itself profit and power. It’s like the great white shark, constantly swimming, hunting and killing the smaller fish classes, and it never sleeps. It’s the reason we have so many monopolies, zombie corporations, Ponzi and pyramid schemes and global warming, which in turn produce all kinds of divisive and dehumanizing environments for millions of people and children.
History shows many different kinds of class struggles over the last 2,000-plus years via military overthrow, voting, protest, riots, wars and assassinations.
Capitalism is mostly a self-serving economic dictatorship that produces and supports anti-democratic ideas, systems and methods. In my view capitalism needs to be repaired or replaced with a better, more humane, less divisive system; otherwise what happened to the shark in the movie “Jaws” will happen to capitalism someday.