Game of life: Rodman Frates was instrumental at North Side YMCA
Former Dartmouth golfer recently died at 75.
A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
*Rodman Frates was a longtime athlete who ran 10 miles a day and competed in marathons and ultramarathons. He was a well-known golfer — and good enough that he played at Dartmouth College, where he medalist in the 1959 Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Frates also played in the NCAA Championships, the USGA National Amateur and the USGA Senior National Amateur.
1992 Pizza Hut Caper Part II
The Oklahoman dated Tuesday, Nov. 13, included a story on Tobey Simpson kicking a 35-yard field goal as part of a University of Central Oklahoma/Pizza Hut promotion; if Simpson made the kick, which he did, everyone in Wantland Stadium that October day in 1992, received a coupon for a free medium pie at either Pizza Hut location in Edmond. Unfortunately for Pizza Hut crew, they baked more than 3,000 pies in a 36-hour period, because people made several copies of the black and white coupons.
Here are tidbits acquired last week from people involved in the 1992 Pizza Hut Caper:
“I am still stopped by people and asked to tell that story ... many who were there and many who weren't but just love to hear it. And many just thank me for all the free pizza they had for the weeks that followed. From the pregame ballot box overstuffing controversy (my name was in there hundreds of times) because of my fraternity brothers, to the severe case of coupon photocopying that spread throughout the campus and all the way through Edmond High School and the community, I get the biggest kick (no pun intended) out of it every year around this time.” — Tobey Simpson, Oklahoma City
*Editor's note: Simpson, who contacted The Oklahoman after the 20th anniversary story was published, graduated from UCO in May 1993. He is in medical sales management, has a wife and two boys. The former All-City kicker from Westmoore High said he would be interested in re-enacting the field goal during UCO homecoming in 2017 — the 25th anniversary. Simpson, 41, suggested free pizza going to charity.
“About 10 days after the game (when Simpson made the kick), I received a call from the regional manager of Pizza Hut from San Antonio. I was expecting him to be all upset about the events that had taken place since the game, and I expected him to be in the process of seeing if we could help them pay for all that. However, it was just the opposite. He said that the ‘upper management' was not really upset because for five straight days there had been a feature news story in The Oklahoman about the promotion, and there was no way that they would have been able to play for all that publicity and advertisement. He ... actually told me they would consider doing something again in the future.” — Skip Wagnon, former Central Oklahoma athletic director.
“The funniest thing is I was telling that story to my son and his three buddies on Saturday at the OU game when the guy went out to kick the field goal for Chick-fil-A. ... All the fraternities and sororities (at UCO) stacked the ballot box with Tobey's name because we knew he could hammer the field goal. Too funny!” — Cameron, Oklahoma City
He and Homer Hyde raised or donated money for the indoor running track at the North Side YMCA in Oklahoma City. He was part owner of the Santa Fe Tennis and Racquet Club, where he also competed in squash. Frates, president of C.L. Frates Insurance Co., died recently at age 75.
*American hero John Wallach had hundreds of adventure stories to tell, many about life and death. A World War II veteran who was a bombardier aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed Swoose, which is currently under restoration at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Wallach was involved in many air strikes against the Japanese Empire, totaling 69 missions and 800 combat hours. Wallach's life adventures started as a boy in Manchaug, Mass. He sandwiched baseball between school and two jobs. He sometimes skipped school with friends and hitchhiked 52 miles — one way — to Fenway Park to watch Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox. A decorated military man of 33 years and a golf enthusiast, Col. Wallach was an Oklahoma City resident when he died at age 93.
*Former Tulsa resident Ronald Canaday enjoyed golf after helping the Allies win World War II. He had three aces during a lifetime that ended two days after celebrating his 99th birthday.
*Lexington native Don Clift attended Murray State Junior College in Tishomingo, where he was campus Ping-Pong champion. Clift, who worked in animal agriculture in various Oklahoma and Texas ports, died at age 54.
*Merle McGuire Sr. was a world credit manager for Halliburton. He attended Oklahoma and UCLA, where he spent a brief time playing basketball for the relatively new Bruins' coach, John Wooden. McGuire, an Oklahoma City resident, died at 82.
*American hero Roy Dosser served his country during World War II with the Navy. He later worked in the oil business for Sinclair and Atlantic Richfield. At Garber High School, Dosser learned about ups, downs, hard work and how to persevere through adversity. Must have been pretty good at it — he captained the Wolverines' football team in 1936. The Oklahoma City resident died at age 93.