Brownstown-Sefton News

“I got the call now I must go to the Big Game in the Sky. Pack my bag for one last time. I’m on the road again. Press my pants and shine my shoes for the big game in The Big Game in the Sky. So, my friends, listen close for when his whistle blows. For then you’ll know, the game begin and the basketball’s been tossed.”
Words from memorial card for Jack Scott
Last week, at the visitation, we saw Jack Scott for the last time on earth, in the place where we had often watched him at work, in the Brownstown High School Gym. However, his was a familiar face in many school gyms, not only locally, but also in other cities, such as Decatur, doing what he loved, refereeing young people’s basketball games with fairness and impartiality.  
He was a well-known and highly respected IHSA basketball official, having served for more than 40 years. He was a founding member of the South Central Basketball Officials Association and is in the IBCA Hall of Fame, along with holding positions of leadership and importance in his  occupations over the years.  He was also a farmer at heart.
He took his position as an official on the gym floors seriously and fairly, with integrity. Over the years, the word heard describing him most often was that  “Jack Scott was fair” regarding his calls.
He was a devoted and dedicated family man, and told his grandchildren to “be honest and be kind to other people,” and Jack, himself, was a shining example of  these words.
During an newspaper interview several years ago, he said, with appreciation and love in his voice, that his wife, Bettie, always had his referee shirt, whistle and other items needed packed in his bag and ready to go to the games.
Their sons, David and Troy, were both outstanding basketball players in high school. Jack never officiated at those Brownstown games, but he would sometimes be there to watch, whenever his officiating schedule would allow it, and Bettie would always be on the bleachers to watch their sons.
Among the recognitions, awards, and tributes Jack received, probably the most precious and meaningful one was the book his grandson, Dylan, wrote when he was a junio high student.
Entitled “The Life of Jack Scott,” the pages reveal Jack as a grandpa, dad and husband. The foreword describes “Grandpa Jack” as “a very honest and good person,” funny and teller of “neat stories,’ followed by good advice.
The family gave permission to use excerpts from the book to share with our readers.
The book continues to describe family members and events in Jack’s childhood, including a very impressive picture of a 10-year-old Jack holding a dead fox and his 22-gauge rifle with which he shot it.
The fox had been killing their chickens.
This was an indication of the responsibilities young Jack displayed, and took on his shoulders, at a very young age.
Jack’s dad became very ill with rheumatoid arthritis when Jack was only 12 and was bedfast the remainder of his life, so Jack basically ran the farm while attending school.
However Grandpa Jack had also told his children and grandchildren of the fun times of his childhood – family reunions and get-togethers, playing ball, swimming and fishing in the summer, and playing checkers, eating popcorn and drinking cider. There was no television in the home back then.
Jack was a better-than-average athlete and played several sports. He had the honor of playing on a state championship softball team in 1968.
However, his grandson wrote, “Grandpa said the biggest highlight of his softball career was the opportunity to play on the same softball team along with his two sons, David and Troy. It is amazing grandpa played softball until the age of 52.”
Jack was a life-long member of Haley Chapel in Bluff City, and served on the church board and building committee. He served on committees to help provide for communities, as well as sports causes.
Jack had a sense of humor. Included on the memorial leaflet, “A Celebration of The Life and Times of Jack Scott,” a memorial leaflet given at the visitation and funeral, is a quotation of  Jack’s: “Hi, My name is Jack, but if you see me at the airport, don’t say, ‘Hi, Jack.’”
The front page has a photo of Jack on his tractor with a child on his lap on the Lazy S Farms, with a poignant reading entitled, “Close the Gate.”
Excerpts of the words are:  “For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head. Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended. You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son. Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done. The sun is setting, the cattle all bedded and here now in the end of your day…., wash off your work boots in the puddle left by the bedded rain one final time. You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always has somehow.  Take off your gloves and put them down – no more sweat and worry for now.
The closing words are” Your labor is done, your home now is heaven, no more must you wait. Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will ‘Close The Gate.’”
Part of his legacy is the family that loved him, respected and recognized him for the good and honest person he was … and the many lives he had the opportunity to touch with his demonstration of fairness and integrity in the calls he made on the school gym basketball courts as an official … and in his life.   
One of the observations about his grandpa made by Dylan was that Grandpa Jack was “Always there,” and he will still  “always be there” in their hearts and memories.   
With appreciation to Dylan Scott and the family for allowing us to read the book and share excerptions from the pages with us and our readers. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Critter Corner
Josie Feeling the Heat??
Josie, our little, 14-year-old “puppy,” seems to be feeling a little under the weather this past week. She is eating good and everything seems to be functioning, but she seems to “droop” a little, and is slow about moving around sometimes.
Her behavior is much the same in that she barks when she wants fed or wants me to sit down with her.
She loves to rock in the cushy chair, and she likes to go to bed fairly early.
She has been sleeping later, which is different. She usually wakes me up early to go outside and than hurry back inside to eat her breakfast.
She loves to go car-riding with us and looks really down in the mouth when she thinks we are leaving her behind. She knows the meaning off the word “Go,” and it seems like she even knows what it means if we spell the word.
She has only three teeth left and she does not look like “Lassie” or even “Bullet” or “Rin-Tin-Tin” (remember him?), but she is so sweet and loyal and we love her.
Everyone else (critters & humans) on the Homestead seem to be doing OK.
An Unexpected Gift from the Roadrunner
We drove to Pana Saturday to Roadrunner Lawn Ornaments place Saturday to purchase a little donkey to place on the gravesite of Smoky, our little donkey.   That is where we had got the “critters” on Cora’s Corner; Cloudy, the horse; Fred Turkey; Rosalie, the duck; SnowWhite Goose, etc.  
We found a little donkey there, among other very pretty ornaments.  
As we talked to LuellaHubbart and her daughter, Cathy, we learned that they too love animals and have taken in unwanted ones in the past.
We showed them a picture of Smoky and SnowWhite at Smoky’s window and Cathy insisted on giving us a goose to go along with the donkey on Smoky’s grave.
They look very nice on the grave, and we think of Cathy’s and Luella’s generous and caring hearts when we look at the additions to our yard.
We feel we have not only added nice things to our yard, but also friends to our lives.  
The Week That Was…
… was this week. It began with:
 •No. 1-A tire suddenly losing air and having to be replaced (a wire was coming through it).
•No. 2-The air conditioner suddenly quit one very warm evening (actually on Saturday, and it was hot and humid). We made a call to our favorite heating & air man (Todd, our son) and was relieved when he answered, but deflated when he announced that he was at a Cardinals game and for some reason, he didn’t want to leave and rush home to our AC.
However, he did come over when he got home, diagnosed the problem and had it running in just a few minutes. He had the part we needed on hand, so, again, we were relieved.
•No. 3-Bill drove the Jeep to work, leaving me with the Mini-$-saving-little-bitty car, which would not start when I needed to go do my Partyline radio show. A hurried call to Bill to come and get me was answered, but …
•No. 4-On the way into Vandalia, we first got behind a tractor and couldn’t get around, then we ran into road construction (we didn’t actually “run” into anything) with one lane moving slowly. And, oh, yes …
•No. 5-Our weed-cutter went on the blink and at this point, we need our weed-cutter almost worse than our car.
Still, the good things far outnumber the bothersome thing, and we don’t say, “Why Me?” (because we might hear a very authoritative, loud voice say, “Why Not ?”) We were just glad we could get things taken care of.
Homestead Visitors
Don and Jill Henkins and little Miss Emily Gatewood of Decatur visited the Homestead on Sunday for a belated celebration for Bill’s birthday and Father’s Day. They took us out to dinner at Denny’s in Vandalia and presented Bill with a gift card for Dairy Queen.
Coming & Going
A Journey to 5 Feline Farms
On June 21, a group of local ladies journeyed to Charleston for a tour of 5 Feline Farm. They observed the several vegetable gardens, coy pond and a new addition this year, two educational gardens.
Also on the tour was the fruit orchard and the bee hives on the farm.
The farm is owned and operated by a former Brownstown resident, Julia Miller, and Donna Cooner of Paris, Ill.
After the 45-minute tour, the ladies enjoyed lunch, then watched a video of the farm’s start and its progress through the years it has been in operation.  
The ladies all received a jar of blackberry or raspberry jelly made at the farm,
Those taking the tour were: Donna Boggs, Marsha Hipsher, Terri Braun, Connie Anderson, Marsha Wodtka, all of Vandalia; and Karen Hunter and Betty Miller of Brownstown.
Anyone interested in taking the tour may contact Betty Miller online at 5feline

Leave a Comment