Fall, Football and Friendships

By Ralphine Major


For years, it has taken place on the third Saturday in October—the highly anticipated football game between Tennessee and Alabama. It is almost impossible to watch a Tennessee-Alabama game without being reminded of Beth, my longtime and dear friend.

Beth and I were classmates at Gibbs High School. In the early seventies, we were freshmen at the University of Tennessee when Coach Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide came to Neyland Stadium for a game with the Tennessee Volunteers. UT led much of the game; but in the end, Alabama prevailed. Beth was a huge Bama fan and for good reason. Her uncle, the late Ken Donahue, was the defensive coordinator for Alabama. But for his love of football, the talented Donahue probably would have been a Gibbs graduate, too. Instead, he walked from Corryton to Central High School so he could play football and would often catch a ride. Gibbs did not have a football team in those years. Donahue went on to play for General Neyland at UT and later served on Johnny Majors’ staff at Tennessee after coaching many years at Alabama. Tennessee fans may remember the talented Donahue who designed a brilliant defensive strategy for Tennessee when they played Miami in the Sugar Bowl, and Tennessee won. Beth and I worked on the high school yearbook staff at Gibbs under the direction of the late Edgar J. House, yearbook sponsor and business teacher. Later, Beth transferred to the University of Alabama to pursue her home economics degree and follow in her mother’s footsteps as a teacher.

After losing to Alabama for 15 straight years, Tennessee was long overdue for a win. The 2022 season will long be remembered for that victory. Tennessee versus Alabama—college football at its best!

Words of Faith: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (KJV).


For the children on your Christmas list, give the gift of reading! Join Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, and her family on their trip to Hawaii, a beautiful paradise where some people want to escape to this time of the year. “Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, Goes to Hawaii” is available at Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, and from our publisher at www.jancarolpublishing.com. For autographed copies e-mail ralphine3@yahoo.com. Also visit www.majorbooksofjoy.com. Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, is a registered trademark.