Lost in the Fifties


Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2001

In 1954 I had the opportunity of playing basketball against one of Juneau High's all-time great teams. This group had a starting roster including John Ebona, Bruce Casperson, Dave Hollingsworth, Arnold Soley, and Sandy Blanton.

My coach at Haines High was Dale Ficken, a Kansas farm boy, who knew nothing about the sport and only spent one year in Haines. After 47 years, I made contact with Coach Ficken and his wife, Darlene. She told me the cutest story about a visiting Crimson Bear. After the last game, a dance was held, as was the custom. Inasmuch as our little town was short on female dance partners, this dapper and dashing Juneau athlete asked the coach's wife for a dance. He was apparently impressed as he also asked to escort her home.

I, recently, contacted Hollingsworth and asked if he was the culprit. My lawyer friend said "No" and went into a dissertation about this cute little cheerleader from Skagway. We did agree upon the latter. Now, I ask the rest of that 1954 squad; Jack Rhodes, Mike Grummett, Christy Crondahl, Bobby Jewett, and Leroy West, "Who was it?"

I cast my vote for Casperson. How about some of the rest of you who were familiar with these guys? How many of you '50s people still get that feeling of poignant nostalgia when you here Ronnie Milsap sing "Lost in the Fifties Tonight?" Wasn't is great to have been a part of history that is referred to as CAMELOT?

Ronald Sparks


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