I was picking blackberries down on my Jackson Parish hunting club earlier this year when I heard a familiar bird call that caught my attention. I was transported back to the time when I was a barefoot, tow-headed boy and I remember watching my mom tilt her head when she heard the call of this particular species of bird, one she hadn’t heard before.
Flipping through television channels as I wound down Monday night, I ran across a “Breaking Local News” bulletin on a Shreveport news station. That caught my attention, so I stopped to see what it was all about it.
Seconds later, I was gasping “No!” … horrified by what I was seeing and hearing unfold on the screen.
Six teenagers in Shreveport … none knowing how to swim … dead after drowning after they accidently walked into a sinkhole while playing in the Red River.
He could have chosen any one of three sports to excel in, but James Rodney Richard opted to choose ...
Well, all of them.
At least during his high school career, that is.
And after that, it was a no-brainer.
It was all about baseball then and J.R. went on to become one of the best pitchers in major league history, albeit a career tragically cut short by a heartbreaking mixture of health issues and injuries.
It was a “tall order,” but one I felt I could handle OK. As manager and buyer of two retail record shops in Shreveport — J&M No. 1 and J&M No. 2 — the owners wanted to expand our operations to include an independent label of our own. So they had asked me to locate a good, commercial Delta Blues artist and sign him to a contract.