*Michael Johnston lost a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 65. The Oklahoma City native was once a member of the Shazam Drag Boat Racing Team. A family obituary said Johnston “enjoyed summers at lakes Tenkiller and Keystone where he would spend many hours water skiing, drinking cold beer and cursing at boat engines no longer running properly.”
*Owasso businessman Charles Helscel was an avid deep sea fisherman and game hunter. Helscel won several deep sea tournament championships, particularly in waters off the Hawaiian coasts. He made 15 trips to Africa for hunting expeditions. Helscel also hunted for polar bear on the Arctic Circle. He died recently at age 72.
Odds and ends
*Clicking through The Oklahoman's electronic archives recently and stopped on Sept. 5, 1968. Had to smile at a District A-8 football preview where coaches predicted Dewey to win the championship. The remaining teams' predicted order of finish had: 2. Owasso; 3. Claremore; 4. Wagoner; 5. Vinita; 6. Jenks; and 7. Pawhuska. Hmm. Wonder who would win that district these days? Jenks, maybe?
*D'Angelo Ortiz, the 8-year-old son of Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, was given a contract by the American League team for $5. It was a reward of sorts after D'Angelo hit a home run during a recent Little League Baseball game. He joined his father at a news conference last week announcing David's new two-year deal with the Red Sox.
*Austin Auction Gallery completed its sale of the Darrell and Edith Royal estate on Sunday, and as expected, several of Coach Royal's possessions went for high-dollar amounts. Although Royal had long retired as the Texas Longhorns' legendary coach, he still received championship and bowl rings. A Big 12 title ring from 1999 sold for $17,000, and a 2006 Rose Bowl ring, when Texas trimmed USC 41-38, went for $105,000. But other items sold for big bucks that probably shouldn't have. A pin back badge that said, “Texas Longhorns National Champions 1963” with orange and white ribbons and an attached football charm sold for $550. Find the right garage sale and that badge might sell for a buck.