A day for Kings and the Sport of Kings

Published 8:02 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

By Steve Stricker

Mississippi fully blooms in May and is the Month of Mary, my heavenly mother. May 14 is Mother’s Day – my hero mom Gert’s Day.

Several times through the years, Mother’s Day and my birthday have fallen on the same day and made it even more special.

Email newsletter signup

An unforgettable birthday was Saturday, May 10, 1997, when I delivered a commencement speech as president of the Ole Miss Graduate Student Council, with my entire family present. The same day I was hooded for my Ph.D. by hero Chancellor Robert Khayat.

Our Ole Miss Baseball Rebels and hero Coach Mike Bianco will be playing game three today with the Mizzou Tigers in Columbia at 2 p.m.; Auburn here next week, Austin Peay on the 16th, and the regular season ends at Alabama on the 18th. The SEC tournament is in Hoover May 23-28. Go Rebels.

Just as plants fully mature in May, our Ole Miss graduates, after years of growth, will come fully alive and bloom on the Grove Stage next Saturday, May 13. Congratulations all!

Today is the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby. My emotional pick is lucky #13 Sun Thunder – for apostle brothers, James and John that our Lord affectionately nicknamed, “Sons of Thunder.” I’ve not attended the race, but have been to Churchill Downs in Louisville and wrote my name on the tunnel wall.

And today is the Coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, England, after the death of his mother on Sept. 8, 2022, age 96, my hero Queen Elizabeth II who reigned for 70 years. I have been over, under Tower Bridge – love London!

I’m an Indy, Grand Prix car guy and on Sunday, May 28, Indianapolis Motor Speedway The Brickyard is the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. I’ve not been to the race but have done an official lap in a Speedway tour bus and kissed the famous Start/Finish strip of bricks from the original track.

Wednesday, May 6, was National Nurses Day – Gert was a beloved registered nurse like my sisters, Mary Ann, Pat and Paula. I logged onto Facebook around 9 a.m. to post a beautiful photo of Gert in her nursing uniform and congratulate all nurses.

The first thing I saw was a post from friend Scott Coopwood, “RIP Norman Adcox.” No! There have only been a few times in my life when I felt I’d been hit with a 2 by 4 in the face and dropped in my tracks. Norm was a young man, a swell car guy like me, a terrific musician, and through the Thacker Mountain Radio Show, he, his wife Sherry Henson and I became dear friends. I miss you brother.

Thinking about how quickly life passes and Ole Miss graduation next Saturday, I picture parents looking at their graduates in hood and gown, trying to get their heads around how their first grader is now an Ole Miss graduate.

Life, like smoke, is fleeting. Love those you love, enjoy a rose while it blooms, sip a swell bourbon and May The 4th Be With You, Happy Cinco De Mayo and Go Rebels.

Steve is an Army Vietnam Vet, Oxford resident, an administrator, teacher, counselor, received his Ph.D. in counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at sstricke@olemiss.edu.