Shoe Column: Getting right to the ‘Point’

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By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan

You find the coolest things at rummage sales.

I was recently at a rummage sale held by Jack Loomis. I bought a few items, and Jack threw in something as a bonus. He gave me a copy of a marriage certificate.

Here’s a little background. Many people in Stevens Point are familiar with the name Zenoff. There’s Zenoff Sports Complex out there by the Moose Lodge. Bill Zenoff built the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point in the late ’60s. My buddy Sherman Rudnick, who lives in Iowa, said that Bill Zenoff was married to Sherman’s mother’s twin sister.

Bill Zenoff’s youngest brother, David, was born in Amherst, Wis. Looks like David was in the Marine Corps in World War II. He also was a sports reporter for the Milwaukee Sentinel. Eventually, David went to law school in Las Vegas.

Now let’s get back to that marriage certificate that Jack Loomis gave to me. It was dated the 1st of May, 1967, and it was signed by Justice David Zenoff of the Supreme Court of Nevada. Seems like David Zenoff presided over a wedding. The certificate stated that Justice David Zenoff joined in lawful wedlock Priscilla Ann Beaulieu of Shelby, Tenn. and Elvis Aaron Presley of Memphis.

David also presided over the divorce of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

I gave the certificate copy to Mayor Mike Wiza, a huge Elvis fan.

If you want to start an argument, ask a few old-timers in town to tell you where the Green Bay Packers trained in Stevens Point. It’s 100 percent true that the Packers trained here.

We know that they were in Point in 1954. Their head coach was Lisle Blackbourn, and the key players on Green Bay were Max McGee, Tobin Rote, Hawg Hanner, and Jim Ringo. It looks like they also trained here in 1957. Paul Hornung was their first draft choice, and Blackbourn was still the coach.

Local attorney Jared Redfield recalled that his dad Pete Redfield used to see Hornung in Pete’s Silver Coach on occasion. Some of the locals swear that the Packers trained at Bukolt Park, while others insist that the team trained at Goerke. I’m guessing that it was probably both places. By the way, a guy named Vince Lombardi became their head coach in 1959.

Back in the day, I was known as a pretty decent outside shooter in basketball. The only problem was that we always played inside.

Here’s how it helps to have connections:

Years ago, my neighbor Mark Holtz moved to Kentucky. This winter, Mark suddenly decided that he wanted to be the only guy in Kentucky to have UWSP 2016 National Champion Hockey shirts. He asked me to get him a couple. Heck, I haven’t followed Pointer hockey since way back when my neighbors were Pointer players like Forrest Gore, Eric Brown, Benny Gorewich, Kevin Fricke, and Wil Nichol.

However, I did know Kevin Hurd from softball out at Doug’s Sports Pub. I also knew Kevin was a coach for the Pointer basketball team. Bottom line is that I told Kevin about my buddy wanting the shirts, and Kevin relayed the message to Evan Dixon of the hockey team, and within a week, Mark Holtz of Kentucky was the proud owner of a couple of Pointer National Championship Hockey shirts.

Softball was really big in our area back in the day. By far, the zaniest play I ever saw happened at Royal Wood Park in Plover.

Here’s what happened: It was during a Sunday afternoon league game. The wind was fierce and dust and sand were blowing everywhere. The two teams went on to score fifty runs in a game that seemed like it would never end. Ronnie “Coach” Glodowski was the base umpire. He stationed himself behind second base. I was the official scorer up in the score-booth.

Late in the game, a team had the bases loaded with two outs. The batter hit a solid single right up the middle. People running everywhere. Dirt flying. I looked down in the scorebook and moved the runners. One guy from third scored; another from second scored.

I looked up again and could not see the ball; it had vanished into thin air. The guy from first rounded second and made a great slide into third. Then, suddenly, a rocket throw came to third which barely beat the runner. Umpire Ronnie ran over there and called him out. Inning over.

The game ended five minutes later. Ronnie came up for a beer. I asked: “Hey Ronnie, what happened on that play at third? I missed it.”

Ronnie laughed and said, “Well, I was standing right behind second base. The batter hit a clean single up the middle and everyone took off. The centerfielder picked up the ball and threw it back towards the infield. I somehow reached out and caught it. Then I saw the dude going to third so I gunned him down. Then I ran over there and called him out. Not a single player from either team complained.”

You just can’t beat fun at the old ballpark.

Here’s a fun fact for ya: Eric Freund said that the Sky Club in Plover was named so because the Felix Gothier McDill Airport was just down the street. Who knew?

Next time, we’ll probably talk about the newspapers from 1958 that reader Terry Witkowski mailed to us.

And finally, it’s sad to say, but this might be the last time you can see my column. Beginning on May 31, the Metro Wire will be charging $5 for a monthly subscription. If readers fork out the five bucks, they will still be able to see Brandi Makuski’s local news reports, Rob Whitmire’s sports reports, guest columns by Harvey Giese and Chris Chiapuzio, softball recaps, Scott Krueger’s golf news, open letters, my columns, and the like.

One way to pay would be to send a check to Point/Plover Metro Wire, P.O.Box 905, Stevens Point, Wis., 54481.

We know that some people will subscribe, and some will not. To those who do, we say thank you. To those who don’t, hey, catch ya on the flip side. It’s been fun.