Lessons from the Pam Pack great

Published 4:45 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

The Cochran’s lived one house down from me on 10th Street, and their backyard faced Bubba’s house. Once we were old enough, we ventured over to see Mickey and Steve. During that time, we could walk most anywhere, and mothers never worried.

Mickey and Steve were much older than us, but they always seem to find time for us. They were like legends, because they played for the Pam Pack! Heroes like Billy Gilgo and Otis Deavers would come to visit, and we were right in the middle of their conversations on Saturday morning about the game on Friday. We took all of what was said in and thrived on the lessons they taught us about football. Mickey and Steve always seemed bigger than life, and they used their backyard to teach us proper fundamentals of all sports. Some of our best games were played in their backyard, and we would get Herman Gaskins, the Twins (Betty and Jane), Mike, Wayne, Thad and Rose Ann involved. It did not matter about the sandspurs — it was on!

Probably, the best player in the Cochran household was Sandra Jean. Sandra was the baby sister of Mickey and Steve and the fastest in the neighborhood. Like Rose Ann, she learned from her older brothers and was always chosen first in all sports. These games became very competitive, but we always had Mickey and Steve as our officials. I will always remember that Mickey taught me to use two fingers to help throw a baseball rather than my whole hand around the ball.

Today, Mickey is the lone resident of our neighborhood that lives on Tenth Street, as we all have moved on to other areas. We may have moved, but there are many fond memories that we took with us and valuable lessons of life that we all can say we learned in the neighborhood.

Our neighborhood was special in many ways, and I really hope to tell you much more about life on Ninth and Tenth streets as we continue. There is so much to share, but to this day the friends I grew up with are the very best that I have, even if we do not see one another as much as we wish. There is one thing we can all share: memories! And no one can ever take them away!

Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.