I just wanted to take this opportunity to share another camp story with you that may be of interest to some of the "old timers." I first had the opportunity to meet Coach Inman when I was a camper in Cabin 11 in the early 1950's. During that summer Coach Inman came to camp for the first time and spent that entire summer with us, about 12 or 14 boys, in cabin 11. That was a little different to say the least, because most of the supervisors and directors were housed away from the campers. That was the only summer he bunked with campers because by the next year he was assistant camp director. He and Coach Mike Sr. ran the camp with an iron first. Coach Inman had been in the Marine Corps during World War II and had fought in some of the bloodiest battles in the South Pacific although he never really talked that much about those experiences. Needless to say, he was tough as nails.
Coach Inman later became the head football coach at Richmond Academy in Augusta where he won a State Championship and coached many great football players including former Y camper Pat Dye. This past summer, it was great to hear Pat, who became the very successful head Coach at Auburn, speak at AYC Alumni Day and recall many of these memories. Coach Inman moved on to join Coach Mike, Sr. on the coaching staff at UGA. He later moved to St. Simons Island and was associated with Georgia Southern University along with another UGA legend Erk Russell (of Junkyard Dog Fame). As head coach at GSU, ERk led the Eagles to five National Championships. Erk was my high school coach at Grady High School in Atlanta and we won the school's first and only state championship in 1954. I had great respect and affection for both Coach Inman and Coach Russell.
About five years ago I was visiting our vacation home in Darien, Georgia and went out for dinner one night at a fish camp restaurant about five miles from Darien and probably 15 miles from St. Simon's Island, a place definitely not on the beaten path. As fate would have it, it was a cool fall evening and I had on my 100thAnniversary AYC Camp sweatshirt. To my surprise, seated at a nearby table were Frank and Barbara Inman, and I went over to them and asked, "Does this shirt mean anything to anyone here?" They invited me to join them at their table and we had a wonderful time taking about the Y Camp, UGA, Georgia Southern , Erk and his Grady High School coaching years, the Marine Corps and all the history we had shared together. It was a great evening that I will never forget. Within a year Barbara was gone and this past year we lost both Coach Inman and Coach Russell. This is just a small story to let you know that you can never escape the AYC camp spirit, its people and the effect that it has on you and others. Keep the spirit alive!