Ninety-one years young, Beryl still talks proudly of the little guy with asthma who used to shoot baskets in the goal above the garage.
Still dares you to come to their hometown and find someone to say something bad about her only child. "He was such a good young man," Beryl said. "He was wonderful. Never any trouble at all."
It's mutual admiration. The son still calls his mom "a great gal."
Beryl still drives. Steers her '98 Buick LeSabre to the Christian Church every Sunday, and 27 miles to Dodge City when she needs the perks of a little bigger town, and two or three times a week to the community center for pot-luck lunches, where everyone's invited but mostly only old folks show up.
She's been out in western Kansas most of these 91 years. Born in Mullinville, Beryl grew up in nearby Joy, a map dot with a grain elevator, which her father ran.
Beryl played basketball at Mullinville High and eventually married Orville, a man who could do anything. He was a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, a mechanic, a farmer.
Beryl's son was born in Dodge City, and during World War II they moved all over Kansas, to Winfield and Wellington and Wichita and Salina and Leavenworth, as Orville worked for a construction company, building military bases.
Then it was back to Dodge, where Beryl opened her heart a little more. Her sister, Cleo, was first divorced and then had died, and Cleo's daughter, Norma, needed a home. Norma's little cousin, 10 years younger, grew up to call her Sissy, and to this day, Norma Metz is like a daughter to Beryl.
"I would have been one of those displaced children, probably," Norma said. "I'm very thankful for what I've had."
Norma still remembers the beautiful clothes her aunt Beryl made her, still remembers the love she found in that Kansas home so many years ago.
"She's warm-hearted, hard-working, a very loving person."
After Norma graduated high school, Beryl and Orville leased 160 acres and farmed in the southeast part of Ford County, and there Orville put up the basket for the boy who couldn't work much in the field because the dirt triggered his asthma. Beryl would shag the ball as the boy became quite a sharpshooter on the prairie goal.
Norma became a nurse and the boy went off to college to make something of himself, and eventually Orville built a house in town.
Beryl ran a little restaurant and became a cook at the school cafeteria. She likes to cook to this day, taking those covered dishes down to the community center.
"A good Christian lady," her son says.
Orville and Beryl used to make the 450-mile round trip to see their son when he was in college, and though Orville's been gone now 25 years, Beryl still makes the same trip on occasion and gets over to Arkansas to visit Norma.
Mostly, though, Beryl keeps up with her son via satellite dish, which brings to Bucklin basketball that requires no shagging.
So on this splendid Sunday, a tip of the hat to the mother not just of a basketball coach we know so well, but to a retired nurse whose own mom died so many years ago.
Happy Mother's Day to Mrs. Beryl Sutton.
* Editor's Note: Beryl Sutton died in Sept. 2005.