All Tied Up Party

Posted in Eternal Love | 6 comments

In March of 1978, it was time for Frank to renew his contract at Hubbard ISD.

A new Head Coach came to Hubbard the previous year, and he adored Frank. The Head Coach had decided to take a coaching job in Bremond, Texas for the 1978- 79 school year, and he wanted Frank to go with him as the Defensive Line Coach.

Leaving Hubbard, Texas and moving to Bremond, Texas, was a big decision for Frank to make.  Frank and I talked about for several days.  We had lots to consider, especially after buying a home.  Frank decided to put in for the Head Coach at Hubbard, but with only three years of coaching and none of it as a Head Coach, he did not get the job.  Although he was a little disappointed, Frank knew it was the right decision and what his decision should be, and that was to go to Bremond.

Frank and I were surprised by how quickly our home sold, and the buyer told us that we could move out of the house whenever school was out for the Summer.  We took that as a sign that the decision we had made was for the best.  While Frank finished out the school year, I had lots of yard sales getting rid of anything that we did not want to move.

The last day of school came.  Frank was a little sad that morning, knowing that he would have to tell all of his students and the teachers farewell, but he smiled as he left the house.  Frank always came home for lunch on school days, but I really did not expect him that day.  When he walked into the house at lunchtime, I could tell he was down in the dumps, so I fixed him a homemade hamburger with french fries.  While Frank ate, I asked him if the students and teachers knew that this was his last day.  Frank told me that he did not think they knew, and he did not want to tell them. I felt so bad for him and wanted so badly to tell him the secret, but I had promised not to, plus Frank’s surprise would be so amazing.  Because Scotty was so small, I did not tell him about the surprise, either.

Earlier in the day, I had made Frank’s favorite cake, which I had hidden away in a Tupperware cake taker.  Since Frank came home for lunch, I was glad that the hidden cake was out of sight.  Also, our Super Beetle back seat was full of soft drinks, chips, and other goodies for the surprise.  Once Frank finished lunch and left to go back to the school, I made lots of sandwiches then put our ice chest in the Super Beetle. All I needed to do later was to put the ice and sandwiches into the cooler.

When school turned out, it was not long until I heard Frank come in the front door.  I ran to meet him and asked him how his afternoon went.  He just said, “Okay.”  Frank looked so down. I had to turn away from him so as not to smile, knowing what was about to happen.  Trying to lighten up the moment, I told Frank that I had cooked a special supper for him and made his favorite chocolate cake.  At that moment, Scotty came running into the room and jumped into his Dad’s arms.  Scotty had a piece of paper in his hand, which was a picture he had colored then excitedly Scotty handed it to his Dad. Frank’s face lit up into a big broad smile as he hugged Scotty and told him how great the picture was.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the front door.  Frank put Scotty down then went to answer the door with Scotty trailing behind him.  When Frank opened the door, ten of his football players ran in through the door, grabbed Frank, wrestled him to the floor and tied him up with a rope.  Frank was laughing loudly and trying to fight them off, but needless to say Frank did not have a chance.  Scotty was trying to help his Dad and screaming at them, so I took him aside and told him it was just a surprise.

Once the football players had Frank all tied up, they carried him to a pickup parked in front of the house, put him in the back bed of the truck. A few of the players got in the back with Frank, who was still laughing and threatening them, then the rest got into the cab of the truck to drive.  As they sped away down the road, I had tears running down my face from laughing so hard.  A week earlier, the teachers and football players had told me what they wanted to do, and, of course, I was all for it.  Go figure!

Since knowing where they were taking Frank, I ran to the refrigerator, got the ice and sandwiches, told Scotty to follow me to the car, loaded the ice chest, got Scotty and me into the vehicle, and we drove to the surprise party location. When we reached the park which was by a lake, the football players were in the process of pulling Frank out of the “Coach-Nap” truck then began carrying him towards the lake.

Scotty and I got out of the car then Scotty ran towards the football players yelling at them to not hurt his Dad.  I caught up with Scotty then told him that it was okay and to listen to his Dad laughing. Cars full of teachers and students were arriving on the scene, and everyone was laughing. Everyone could hear Frank laughing loudly and slinging threatening words at the football players, but the players paid him no mind at all.   The football players carried Frank into the lake then dunked him a few times in the water before bringing him back to the shore.  They untied his arms but left his feet tied then they ran.  Although still laughing, Frank quickly untied his feet, and the chase was on.

The football players were running in all directions. Frank caught up to them one at a time and made some excellent tackles getting them to the ground then carried them into the lake for some dunking.  Of course, Scotty was busy helping his Dad. They were all having so much fun.  I stood there watching for a while as the chase continued. I could genuinely feel the love between the players and their coach, but then it was time to start unloading the food in my car.  The teachers and students had also brought food, drinks, and chips, so we had a table full of food.

When the chase ended, Frank, Scotty, and the football players were all pretty wet, dirty, and hungry. Frank walked over to where I was standing then asked, “Nancy Lou, did you know about this?”

What could I do but tell him, “You betcha, Dimples!”

Frank picked me up in his arms, then headed towards the lake.  Everyone was cheering him on, but just as he got to the water, Frank gently put me back on the ground, hugged me, and kissed me.  As Frank kissed me, I could hear the football players in the background, yelling, “Way to go, Coach!”  Silly kids.

I know that this card will be hard to read, but I wanted to include it.

Best Wishes Card


Inside of Best Wishes Card

Everybody had plenty to eat and drink.  Frank received gifts and cards from the teachers and students. Nobody else noticed, but I could see the tears in Frank’s eyes as he read each card and just how much these teachers and students had touched his heart.  I still have the cards from these special people because I found them in The Cedar Chest where Frank had put them for safekeeping.

Frank loved teaching and coaching, and I loved watching him work with young people as a coach and teacher.  He could bring out the best and get anybody to do their best by instilling in them that they could do or be anything they want to be or do. I can truthfully say that I have never heard a harsh word spoken about my Frank.

Scotty, Frank, and I would move from Hubbard, Texas to Bremond, Texas that Summer, but we would always keep the memories from living there in our hearts.  We loved living there, and we loved the people.  Writing this chapter which ends chapters about us living in Hubbard, has me longing to take a road trip to see the homes we lived in, the Swimming Pool, Football Field, and the Old High School.

I know God had a purpose for our time in Hubbard and a reason for us leaving there.  We were always in God’s loving purpose.

<<<< Book I  | Next Chapter>>>>




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  1. Another wonderful slice of a fabulous marriage and great people

    • Thank you so much Chuck. Frank was such a Special man and touched so many people. This was such a wonderful memory and as I wrote it played through my head like a movie and touched my heart deeply.
      God Bless You,

  2. Another excellent chapter which reveals more of who Frank was and who you were together. You have some wonderful friends to remember and a lot of fun. Great memories for you and a great story for us to read.

    • Thank you so much, Diane. This is a very Special chapter. Unbelievable how much those kiddos loved and appreciated their Coach Henderson. Frank loved teaching and coaching. His dream before he died was to go back to teaching and coaching.
      God Bless You and thank you for your comment.

  3. Reading this and thinking how difficult it was to make the next move….. The bond that develops between coaches and players……

    • Kim, I know you know that bond and how Special it is. Moving around as a Coach is the main reason Frank got out of paid coaching. That is except for Little League Baseball, soccer, & anything else he volunteer for.
      Frank dud not want to move Scotty from town to town after Scotty got into school.
      Thank you so much for your comment.
      God Bless You, Kim.

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