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  • Joe Hall and the Personal Touch

    By: LONNY DEMAREE

    Itís already been espoused much about the legacy of a giant of a man. We heard from many of his players and the way he touched their lives.

    My story is also a personal one in my relationship with the legendary Joe Hall. It starts in the mid to late nineties.

    Oscar Combs and I previous to that period already had a relationship which led to in 1988 started me withing in
    Cats Pause. An unlikely turn in my life. From Oscarís Combs and my personal relationship with Joe Hall began my personal relation with Joe Hall
    .
    I already had a fondness of Joe Hall by what he had done with fully integrating the UK basketball program.
    In the mid-nineties
    .
    Combs, Hall and myself started to mid-morning walk together three to four times a week at the Nutter Fieldhouse. Most time, having more juice in my legs, I had already had my customary YMCA early morning workout.

    My wife Maggie worked at the WVLK radio and was considered the matriarch in the station. At that time in 2004 was born the Joe and Denny radio talk show. We crossed paths often due to the fact I was the guest-analyst of the football post-game Tim Woodburn radio show.

    Back to our walk. At their pace we would walk about four miles. It was customary for the three us, would go to various restaurants around Lexington for lunch. I my mind I recapped the restaurants in a year that escapes me, but it totaled nineteen. Only one bad experience. It was obvious I was being discriminated against. Hall had experienced that with his teams in the south and it was obvious to him. He went ballistic! Out of that relationship we started a group called the Lunch Bunch that met daily at Immanuel Baptist Church (the ROC CENTER}. There you could work out and or eat a scrumptious lunch.

    Along the way a couple of other gentlemen the now tragic death of Dick Robinson and Charles Richardson, now residing in Bowling Green, Kentucky joined the group as regular participants That group of Kentucky blue bloods grew to approximately 25-men.

    In 2002 the group of four Richardson, Robinson, Joe Hall and yours truly formed a relationship with Doug Bibby the then head coach of Louisville Eastern High School. The focal point of that relationship was high school star Rajan Rondo who was then a junior there. Calipari often visited.

    The four of us traveled often watching high school basketball. Now I want to describe another ascursion to a Thursday night football game at the University of Louisville between the Ville and Florida State. Although Robinson and Richardson were classmates of Morehead State University, Richardson had friends that were attached to the Seminoles. They left four tickets at the U of L will-call for us.

    Some not aware may say Joe Hall at a football game? Well, many that may read this article donít know that Joe played a year and coached high football Harrison County. So, he was not a stranger of the pigskin. It rained throughout the game and sometimes heavy down pour. Needless to say, it was a cold rain. I have a photo in my possession a picture of the weather-beaten group. After that night I told Hall, ďYou earned your football spurs tonight.Ē Me being a football die-hard that kind of weather was no stranger to me. I could go on about my relationship with my friend Joe Hall, but I donít want to bore you. I will say that Hall and his date and Ralph Hacker and former WVLK employees attended Maggie and my anniversary party at the Lyric theater in Lexington. Farewell my friend JOE HALL and may God be with you.
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