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Headed to Pat Head Summit’s Hometown

By Joe Joe Wright

joejoe.wright@cordeledispatch.com

Ashland City, Tenn. in Cheatham County is the home of Pat Summitt. Well, actually, she was from Montgomery County, but she played High school basketball in my mother’s hometown of Ashland City; my mom played there as well in 1946. It is also our family reunion time up there in them thar’ hills. No! I didn’t know Coach Summitt, but my sister-in-law and she were friends and played on the same basketball team at Cheatham County Central High School.

The world will miss Pat Summitt, as she was a giant in the coaching industry. She demanded perfection, but she loved her girls unconditionally.

Now! I am going to Tennessee for more than just a family reunion I am going for revenge. You see, we play a Bocce tournament at our reunion and for the last 3 years I have lost. Now, why did I lose?  Well, 3 years ago I drew my nephew Adam as a partner and he had no killer instincts!  Arghhhhh!!!!. Then the next year, well, I drew Adam again so by then I was seriously disabled. Of course, most folks know that I am not an overly competitive person, I just go with the flow.  So, last year, as most will recall I was recovering from my “condition” (heart-by-pass surgery) and my partner (my brother-in-law, Jimmy Lewis) was actually a good player, but, alas, I was injured.

My genetics in the field of Bocce, of course, proved valuable as my son Matt had won the tournament 3 years in a row.  He even won last year with my worn out older brother, Buddy, as a partner or I should say he carried Buddy the whole match. However, I digress, it is a lot of fun and we all enjoy it, but I think my family is just a tad to competitive. I am working on them. I really find the task of beating all my hillbilly cousins and nieces and nephews, at best, a mundane task, but they ask for it and since everyone of them is a die hard bleeding orange Tennessee Volunteers fan, I will go and do my duty as a Georgian.

I wonder how good Pat Summitt would have been at Bocce? I’m thinking she would have been some serious competition. Generally speaking, the tournament takes about 3 hours or so to play, due in part to the fact we have a lot of losers…, I mean players. Mark it down folks this will be “the year” of the Joe. I am almost certain I will have to carry some one to victory and given the weight I have gained because of all these women I work with up here forcing me

to eat all this good food all the time. Anyway, it should be fun and I will take a picture of the trophy I win for all y’all to see. We also have an ice cream making contest and a dessert making contest, but I usually don’t enter them, I just judge them like everyone else. I am, after all, a professional eater.

Now, folks a little history lesson about where I am going this weekend. The area next to the Cumberland river known as Cheatham County was established in 1856. It was first inhabited by my 7th great-grandfather Adam Binkley in 1780 by one account, 1790 by another with the later being more likely. He was the 6th great-grandson of Peter Binkele (different spelling of last name) who was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1605. Now old Adam was a Captain during the American Revolution out of Suffolk County, N.C. and was granted some land in the Tennessee territory for his service in the Revolution. I bring this up for the fact that Independence Day is next Monday and my family on both my mother’s and father’s sides has a very long tradition of military service. In my family, someone has served in every war in American history and in World War II alone I had a father and 9 uncles and a dozen cousins who served. So many close to me, and now my two sons, Matt and John, and my nephew, Cody, and a host of others from right here in Cordele are serving in the Marines and other branches. So, as I travel north to whoop them Volunteers up there in Ashland City, let us not forget all of those who have served our country so we can all eat bar-b-que on the 4th of July. Oorah and Semper-fi!joe joe 2