Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on November 12, 1976 · Page 55
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 55

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Friday, November 12, 1976
Page 55
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Athlete Takes Care of Blind Man Continued from First Sports lonely at nights, so I got conned into stopping over every night. "Right now he's got two dogs and he treats them just like his kids. Timmy is 14 and that's pretty old for a dog. He says 'When Timmy dies that will be the end of me. I'll have nothin' more to live for.' I change their water and feed them and let them outside for awhile." Blackwell's daily deeds have expanded, so that now he feeds Leo, whose diet is limited. "He has to have eaten more submarine sandwiches than anybody else in the world," said Blackwell. "I go to the bar down the street and get him two every day. Sometimes my mom will fix a roasf and I'll bring him some roast beef sandwiches. But the next day he's back eating those subs. He' really woofs 'em down." Leo's house is a disaster. The walls have yellowed from his heavy smoking and the windows are so dirty it is impossible to see through them. Leo cannot see because he has glacoma. Blackwell claims that a doctor says there is really nothing wrong that can't be fixed by an operation. "Three years ago he was all set to go to Ann Arbor and have an .operation on his eyes," said Blackwell. "He had a friend who was going to drive him and he was just waiting for another lady to come over and watch the house until I got out of school. "She never showed up and he never went to Ann Arbor. He still has the suit he was going to wear hanging up in the living room. "I guess he's just learned to accept being blind. He has enough money to pay for an operation but he just doesn't want to set out the gappers (money), and leave his house and his dogs." LEO GETS APPROXIMATELY. $275 a month from governmental agencies and Blackwell does all of his banking for him. Out of that money Blackwell gets paid $1.25 a day from Social Security. . "He does all right financially," said Blackwell. "I think that may even be why he won't do anything about being blind he gets a few extra bucks a month for that. "Come to think of it, he even makes out on me. He asked me if I wanted a raise last year but what the hell, if I ever needed any money he would lend it to me. "His schedule revolves around mine so much that if I'm going to be busy all day, I have to go over there at 8 a.m. Sometimes I might not get back until 2 a.m. "Then he's really depressed because his dogs haven't been outside all day and he hasn't eaten since the morning. So if the bars are closed and I can't get any subs, I'll go downtown and get him a couple Coney Islands." Because Leo is bed-ridden, there is a bucket Blackwell has to dump daily, and a lot of paper bags to get rid of.. . Actually, seeing Leo and the house for the first time is an experience in itself. He is spread out and covered up on the sofa, so frail and pale one might wonder if he is alive. "I had a doctor that wasn't really qualified as an eye doctor," said Leo. "He was just an ordinary M.D. and I lost my sight. It just seemed to go overnight. It's a terrible thing. It's just a case of something you have to accept no matter how much you don't want to. "But you can't beat Morris. He really a good boy. He takes good care of me. He's very dependable. He's always here when I need him." LEO SAYS THAT HE was the Supertendant of Service (bell captain) at a number of downtown hotels where he got to know the stars of the theatre and the sports worlds. "Yeah, I knew them all," recalled Leo. "That Fanny Brice had a foul mouth. She used to wait at my desk in the morning f o r Raymond Hitchcock to go for a walk. And Mae West ... she was another nice person. "But that Ty Cobb had to be the cheapest guy around. He never tipped anyone. Not like Babe Ruth he was the greatest." There have been times over the last four years when Black-well has had to go on overnight trips with the Wayne State football or baseball teams. So he began breaking in two of his younger brothers for the days he can't be there to take care of Leo. "If he knew I was getting married next June he'd go crazy," said Blackwell. "He met Maureen (Blackwell's fiancee) but she won't go in there anymore. A couple of years ago Leo said we could move in with him when we got married but Maureen wouldn't go for that. ' "It's pretty depressing to go in there and see him like that day after day but the guy has got to laugh sometimes and I try and clown around with him. "Some of my buddies have gone in there with me and when they come out they say, 'Damn, Morris, you're a saint . . . you're headed for heaven for sure.' "But I look at it like there's a lot more I could do for him ... if I only had the time." DETROIT FREE PRESS Fridav. Nov. 12. '76 Chris Wins, Rosie Loses in Wightman LONDON - (UPI) - Chris Evert, getting what she ailed "my greatest thrill since winning Wimbledon," helped the United States to tie Britain, 1-1, Thursday in the opening singles matches of the 48th Wightman Tennis Cup. Evert was forced to fight all' the way to down Virginia Wade, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. But the U.S. No. 2, Rosie Casals, playing with a pain-killing injectin for an injured leg muscle, dropped the second match, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, to Sue Barker to allow Britain back even. "It was a really tough match," said Evert. "I didn't Saints' Owner, 2 Players Fined by NFL HOUSTON - (UPI) - The National Football League has fined New Orleans Saints owner John Mecom Jr., quarterback Archie Manning and tight end Paul Seal for misconduct at an Oct. 3 game with the Houston Oilers, it was disclosed Thursday. No fines were levied against the Oilers in the Louisiana Su-perdome brawl that began between Saints receiver Tinker Owens and Oilers defender Zeke Moore. Mecom was fined a reported $3,(100 for a postgame exchange of words with Oiler assistant coach Ed Biles. Manning was fined $500 for leaving the bench and shoving an official. Seal was fined $259 for shoving an official. think I'd won until the last point. It's my greatest thrill since winning Wimbledon." "Virginia has given me much, harder matches than I've had for the last months and it really made me play hard," she said. The United States hopes to take the lead in the best-of-seven competition today when Terry Holladay of La Jolla, Calif., takes on Glynis Coles in the third singles match. But Casals said she would see a doctor before deciding whether to play the first of the two doubles with Evert against Wade and Baker today. PLAYING in front of a capacity crowd at the indoor Crystal Palace Stadium, Evert and Wade went to 3-3 in their third set before the Briton looped two forehands over the baseline and then missed a smash to drop her service and allow Evert a 4-3 lead. The world No. 1 accepted the chance gratefully and took the next two games to put the United States one up. Casals disclosed after her match that she took an injection to help some painful pulled ligaments in her left leg. The disclosure explained much of her failure to follow up her 6-1 first set win in which she allowed Barker just eight points. Barker, winner of the French Open in. June, gradually wore down the San Fran-discan with her powerful flat forehand and took control of the match. Love Letters Go Ahead and Bet on Ohio State ( And Vll Clean You Out) BY GEORGE PUSCAS Wrt Press Extcutlve Sports Editor The love letters of a sports editor: "Ho hum. The same old tired script U-M waltzes through the patsies but chokes on the tough big ones. It'll be the Buckeyes again on Nov. 20." DICK GATES, St. Clair Shores I'm encouraging all my friends to take that same attitude, Dick. Then I will clean 'em out, strip 'em of their fool's money, and have myself an expense-free holiday season. "It never ceases to amaze me the way you writers jump on Bo Schembechler whenever U-M loses a game. While it's true Michigan is not ia Ohio State class and is not likely to be very soon, a 9-2 or 8-3 record is a lot better than Michigan used to have. "You win or lose with people and U-M's personnel is not as good as Ohio State's. How could it be . . . Michigan does not produce the high school players that Ohio does, and the best players in Ohio go to Ohio State, and the rest go to Michigan and Notre Dame." SKIP NEILSON, Pleasant Ridge Wow, you walk around saying things like that in public? Good luck to you, very much. "I think that Michigan should be named Team of the Century." PAUL E. ORTO, Wyandotte Which century? "Are you surprised to hear that The Bird chews sugarless gum?" BUD STARWAS, Flint Actually, I hadn't thought about It at all. But now that you know, doesn't he sound like he's talking to his gum? "For the first time in the history of Livonia St. Michaels, the girls won the CYO volleyball title with a record of 18-2. It took a lot of hard work and team play, so couldn't you find a little tiny space to give our girls some recognition for a first-time championship?" MAUREEN BARRES, ANGIE COL-LERENO, PATTY MAHER, Livonia Well, why not? Let's have an LL salute for co-captains Barres-Collereno-Maher, and champion teammates Eileen McCarthy, Kel-ley Kernohan, Sue McVeigh, Denise Virant, Carol Celski, Jody Nelson, Mary McCusker. Gerri Petrik, Mary Stroia, Renne Oberti, Renne Durvage and Noreen Mariotte. How's that! "I think that Charlie Finley has always tried to do some good for baseball and now he has got a terrific slap in the face and pocketbook. Bowie Kuhn hasn't heard the last of Charlie, believe me." JOHNNY CHISEL, Detroit. Far from building monuments, baseball will dig deep holes for the Oakland A's owner, John. Charley does what's best for Charley. "Having been an offensive lineman for a good number (jf years, I enjoyed your bit on the art of football 'holding (Sunday, Oct. 31). To answer your question regarding ex-Lion tackle Lou Creekmur he is vice-president of labor relations for Ryder Truck Rental in Miami, Fla., another 'jock' doing well." JOHN FRECHETTE. Toledo Oh. Well, okay. But he can't scare me, I'm in the union, I'm in the union . . . ""The Lions will still need a quarterback when the season ends. Dan Pastorini of Houston wants to be traded. Could you please make Russ Thomas aware of this." TED PACIFIC, Fremont He was . . . before the rest of us. But, unlike you, he does not figure quarterback-ing is the Lions' one great need of the moment. I agree. (Dandies, eh? Those smart, dashing LL lapel pins are gifts to all whose sparkling thoughts appear here. Send your sports beefs or bouquets to-Love Letters, Detroit Free Press, 321 W. Lafayette, Detroit, Mich. 48231). Fever Nearly Costs Borg Quatrerfinal Spot STOCKHOLM (UPI) Bjorn Borg of Sweden, playing despite a slight fever, Thursday squeaked past Briton John Lloyd, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6, to enter the quarter finals of the 1976 Stockholm Open. The 20-year-old Wimbledon champion, the No. 2 seed, said if his temperature rose above 100 degrees Friday he would withdraw from the $155,000 tournament. Borg said he had not consulted a doctor and did not know why he was ill. Top-seed Jimmy Connors of the United States defeated Hungarian Balazs Taroczy, 6-4, 6-2, but the Forest Hills champion's antics did not amuse the center court crowd that included Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Sylvia. During a ceremony between Connors' and Borg's matches, the King presented his country's Davis Cup team 1975 champions with the Royal Swedish Medal in the eighth degree. The last singles match produced the biggest upset when unranked Byron Bertram of South Africa defeated No. 4 seed, Argentine poet Guil-lermo Vilas, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6, Dayton DELUXE 78 4 PLY POLYESTER WHITEWALLS Dagton SHOW TIRES 71 f 71 G 7 e 7i N 71 J 71-I 7- U $364 K $77.67 $J9 IS 15 $31.44 15 $3?.1 15 $34.0 mm Plus f I T liom SI 74 to S3 08 INTER URBAN 78 4 PLY NYLON WHITE WALLS i 7! -14 J37 U f 714 $3 09 G 7114 129 17 G 78-1 S -$39 93 H 7-IS $31 it I 71-15 $34 4 I! Plus F E T Irom $1 74 to $3 08 NO BLEMISHES MOUNTING AVAILABLE STORES IB Imported Blinded Scotch Whisky 10 Proof O 1975 J. W. Dant Distiller Co., NX, N Y. Are you secure enough to drink J. W. Dant Scotch? Or do you think a high price and a regal label mean good taste? With J. W. Dant, you can get the smooth taste of a high-priced Scotch. Without paying for a regal label. And like a high-priced Scotch, J. W. Dant is imported. So don't be impressed by price. Be impressed by great taste. At the right price. J. W. Dant. 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