November and December 2008 Candygrams

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Sunday, December 28, 2008---A Christmas Carroll

My husband Jim and I volunteered at Heritage Hall today, even though all classes are finished. The day was so beautiful...such bright sunshine!

The first thing I noticed were the four sheets of paper that were displayed on each entrance door. Each sheet listed the “Dead Period” for the sports of football, women’s volleyball, cross-country and basketball. The notice means that no one with any ties to USC can speak with any possible recruits in any of these sports.

Now, I have a Christmas Carroll story to tell you! As soon as we got to the desk, we saw a gentle looking man standing there. The man asked if it was possible to get Pete Carroll’s autograph. He said that his sister, who lives in Texas, is an ardent USC fan. He had just bought her several USC articles of clothing at the bookstore. I told him that he could go upstairs to the Football Office to see if he could get Coach’s autograph. A few minutes later, he came down with a picture (unsigned) of Coach Carroll that the secretary had given him. Knowing that Coach would be getting out of a team meeting sometime shortly, I showed the man to the staircase that Coach always takes to his office. The man thanked me, and I went back to the desk. I was hoping that Coach Carroll would give him his autograph, but I also knew that he might be in a big rush since practice was starting soon. A few minutes later, the gentleman came back to see us. With a big smile on his face and delight in his eyes, he exclaimed, “He signed it!” Coach Pete Carroll had signed his picture!!! What a beautiful person Coach Carroll is, to give a few moments of his time to a complete stranger. What a beautiful Christmas Carroll story!

Later, I was able to thank Coach Carroll for giving the man his autograph. My husband also complimented him on his interview on “60 Minutes.” If you missed last Sunday’s CBS segment called “A Different Kind of Coach,” you MUST SEE it by clicking here. It clearly demonstrates how wonderful a person and teacher Coach Carroll is. He is the best teacher I have ever met, and I can say that because I am a retired teacher.

Joe Houston came to the desk to give me a big hug. He didn’t have time to take any Trojan candy.

D.J. Shoemate also stopped by the desk and took some Trojan candy.

Mark Sanchez walked briskly through the lobby but still managed to smile and wave. I wished him good luck in the Rose Bowl.

All three players were rushing to get to the first Rose Bowl practice.

Our dear, tall friend Mamadou Diarra came to see us just after he waved and said hello to his friend Malik Jackson. Malik was going down the stairs to the basement. Mamadou took some Air Heads and some gum. He is a communication major and will have three more basketball seasons of eligibility. Fight on, Mamadou!

The L.A. Times writer Gary Klein spoke with us briefly as he passed through the lobby. Gary had just left the men’s basketball practice at the Galen Center and was rushing to get to the football practice.

About football practice...The practice field was too wet from yesterday’s downpour, so the team practiced on the artificial turf in the Track Stadium. Talk about an open practice! There were at least three referees at the practice.

Football team practice

Taj GibsonAs we were all packed up to leave, Taj Gibson walked by the desk. I frantically reached in my box to get his favorite gum, Bubblicious Watermelon Wave. I also dug up the San Francisco Chronicle that I had gotten the weekend of the Stanford-USC football game up north. The Chronicle had a large color picture of Taj. The Trojans beat UC Irvine in Los Angeles on that same Saturday. Taj’s face lit up like magic with a big smile, and his eyes gleamed, just like a little kid in a candy store! I gave him the article. Too bad the (UC)LA Times doesn’t see fit to publish an article or picture of Taj.

On a happier note, Fight On, USC! Beat the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl!

Merry Christmas to all...and a Happy 2009 New Year!

December 12, 2008---Busy, Busy

When my husband Jim and I came to volunteer at Heritage Hall, my sister Pat and brother-in-law Dudley, who arrived earlier, told us that it was busy all morning with tours, fans, and football players walking throughout the lobby. The players were preparing for their 4:30 pm practice with meetings first.

Zack HebererOffensive guard Zack Heberer came by the desk for the first time. He is a Junior majoring in Public Policy. Fight On, Zack!

D. J. ShoemateWide receiver D. J. Shoemate also came by for the first time. He took an Airhead and a piece of gum. D.J. told me that he is undeclared in his major. Fight On, D.J.!

Our friend Joe Houston came by to see us. He is happy that we are going to the Rose Bowl because the entire USC team gets to suit up for the game. FIGHT ON, TROJANS! Beat Penn State!!!

Five football recruits walked around the lobby. Their high school coaches accompanied them. They must be on their official visit. Hope that they are all going to be Trojans!

On the patio, two band members were practicing to become the next drum major. The Spirit of Troy will live on!

North Oxnard WarriorsAs we were packing up, the North Oxnard Warriors, a youth football group, came into the lobby. Carlo Godoy (top left in the picture) said that the boys are 6 and 7 years old and are coached by his grandfather Sal Godoy. Coach Carroll had invited the Warriors to attend today’s practice. Carlo’s father (Sal Godoy Jr.) was a USC alumnus in Architecture, had helped establish the USC Mexican American Alumni Association, and had started the first scholarship for a Latino student at USC. Once a Trojan...Always a Trojan!

December 11, 2008---Rey Maualuga Wins Bednarik Award!

Big Congratulations to Rey Maualuga for winning the Bednarik Award. Rey was chosen as the best defensive player in the entire nation! FIGHT ON, Rey, in the NFL!!!

December 7, 2008---Men’s Water Polo Wins NCAA Championship!

Men's Water Polo Championship bannerBig Congratulations to our Men’s Water Polo team for winning the 2008 NCAA Championship! Our Trojans went undefeated 29-0! FIGHT ON!!!

December 5, 2008---WE Both Saw Them!

I saw them out of the corner of my eye. Two orange jackets entering Heritage Hall. I told my sister that they might be here representing the Orange Bowl. Then I called them over and asked if they needed directions. They said they came to see Mike Garrett. Before my sister and I gave them directions, I asked if they were here representing the Orange Bowl. Both men said that they were and that USC can still play in the BCS National Championship game. That is, if Missouri beats Oklahoma, Alabama beats Florida, USC beats UCLA by a whole lot of points, and lastly, USC leap-frogs over Texas! With that statement, the two men in orange jackets were directed upstairs to see Mike Garrett.

Now, about the WE in the title. Guess you thought the WE was my sister Pat and I. NO! A short time after the Orange Bowl representatives went upstairs I saw Brian Cushing in the lobby. I gave him the 11/25/2008 LA Times sports page that had a Gary Klein article about Brian and his dad, Frank Cushing. I asked him to give it to his dad. Brian told me that his dad will not be attending the UCLA game tomorrow. Then I asked Brian if he saw the two men in orange jackets. He grinned, said that he saw them, and then rolled his eyes upward when I told him that we still have a chance to go to Florida! The WE in the title is Brian Cushing and myself, Trojan Candy!

The story continues. When the two gentlemen in the orange jackets came back to the Heritage Hall desk, I asked one of them if I could take their picture. They agreed and told me their names are Ford Gibson and Luis Boue. Ford told me that they are volunteer community leaders in Miami, who serve on the Orange Bowl Committee, much as we have volunteers who serve on our Rose Bowl Committee. Ford insisted that I put on his orange jacket so that he could take my picture. Then, I took their picture by the BCS glass football. Ford told us that they will attend the USC-UCLA game tomorrow. He said that USC and Oklahoma were the two “most fun teams” to play in the Orange Bowl, and that Pete Carroll is one of his favorite people. Wonder if Ford and Luis can vote in the Harris Poll?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Special team playersHeritage Hall was so busy today with many school tours. Students from Merkham Middle School stormed the desk to take football, basketball, women’s basketball, and baseball posters. THEN, later there was an onslaught of USC football kickers and specials teams. They all took candy at the same time! THEN, EVEN LATER punter Joe Houston came up from the basement to get more Airheads. THEN, EVEN MORE LATER Joe came back upstairs, came to the desk, took a big variety of candy, put it in both his pockets and fists, told us he was fulfilling orders from players downstairs, thanked us, and went back downstairs!

A young man came by the desk for the first time and took a piece of Trojan candy. He told us that he works downstairs in the training room. I asked him that when he comes back upstairs, to bring us some GOSSIP! A few hours later, the trainer came up from downstairs, waved to us from the door, and told us, “Nothing juicy today!”

Jerry and Marc TylerAs we were talking to Jerry, a 1980 USC alum, Marc Tyler came to the desk. Marc smiled and took a red Airhead. Just then, Jerry said that he was Marc’s relative although this was the first time they have met face to face. Jerry told Marc that Marc’s aunt is married to his first cousin. The two talked about family, but were interrupted by Pete Carroll. Coach told Marc that he needed to talk to him for two minutes. I managed to get Marc’s picture before he rushed upstairs. Jerry told us that he works for the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation and that he came to Heritage Hall on his day off. His nephew is Az Hakim, who was a wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams in 1999-2003. What an athletic family!

Our friend Juan Figueroa came by to see us. He said that his youth volleyball team that he is coaching is doing well. Juan said that the kids are funny. We offered Juan a choice of four packages of Bubblicious gum. He promptly smelled each one and with a big smile on his face, took the most fragrant one. What a discriminating keen sense of smell!

I was able to wish good luck to Patrick Turner (Where was his side-kick Damian Williams?), Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, and Mark Sanchez. Beat the Bruins!

The Heritage Hall Pep Rally

Guess who? Cary HarrisIndeed, beat the Bruins!!! The pep rally was lively! Instead of sitting on the Heritage Hall desk, I boldly walked among the football “Giants.” Some players posed for me! Dr. Bartner shooed me away from the center, but I stayed by the Heisman Trophy cases, getting what pictures I could. Cary Harris had the privilege of holding the sword while directing the band. He hyped up the team! Then Coach Ken Norton worked the team into a frenzy! He yelled, “FIGHT ON!!!”

A big THANK YOU to Ben Malcolmson of USC Rips It for allowing me to include this picture he took of the Heritage Hall “Beat UCLA rally.” Do you see Trojan Candy taking a picture of Rey Maualuga?

November 21, 2008---A Genealogy Visitor

Fred FreundenthalGene Freundenthal's commemorativeFred Freundenthal from Modesto came by the Heritage Hall desk today after stopping by the SID Office. He was seeking information about his brother, Gene Freundenthal, who was the NCAA Champion in the pole vault in 1958. Fred told us that his brother Gene was the first left-handed pole vaulter to clear a world record 15 feet. This was in the era of the Swedish steel pole before the fiberglass pole was developed. Fred told us that there is another famous Freundenthal in their family. His cousin, Dave Freudenthal, is the governor of Wyoming! Then, Fred left to walk to the USC Track Office to find out more information about his brother. Good luck, Fred!

Some tours came by. One was the Early College High School in Costa Mesa. It was High School Journalism Day on campus. Three young ladies in that group who were from Fountain Valley came back to tour Heritage Hall on their own. There may be some future Trojans on these tours!

Mark Sanchez walked by, waved and said, “Have a good weekend!” He is letting his hair grow longer! I wished him a “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Aven WrightAven Wright came by for some Trojan candy. He likes Air Heads and Harry & David chocolate mints. Aven is a triple jumper and long jumper on the track team. He is a Senior majoring in Economics, and he is interested in the fashion industry. After graduation, Aven told us that he wants to work in New York or abroad. Fight On! Aven!

As we were pulling our carts on the way to our cars I saw a young man coming our way. I didn’t look to see who it was since I was talking to my sister. Then we heard his “Hi!” It was Taylor Mays with a big smile on his face. I wished him a “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Then, coming out of the track stadium, were Patrick Turner and Damien Williams. Both of them said “Hi!” with big smiles on their faces! I wished them a “Happy Thanksgiving” also!

November 13, 2008---New and Old Friends

What a busy afternoon at Heritage Hall!

New Friends!

Kyle MooreJunior defensive end Kyle Moore came by the desk for the first time today and took some Trojan candy. He said that the team is leaving tomorrow for Palo Alto. I asked him to sack the Stanford quarterback for me. Kyle turned around with a big smile before he went upstairs and told me, “I’ll sack Pritchard three times for you!” I responded with an equally big smile. Fight On, Kyle!

Duron SylvesterWalk-on sophomore Duron Sylvester came by the desk for the first time also. He is from Culver City and is a business major in management and economics. Duron likes Rolos!

Ricky Rosas and Adam GoodmanFullback Adam Goodman, a red-shirt junior, came by with Ricky Rosas. Both of them took some Trojan candy.

Safety Shane Horton stopped at the desk for the first time. When he reached for a piece of Trojan candy, I saw his swollen, wrapped right middle finger. He told me that he hurt his finger before the season started. Shane also said that his younger brother Wes Horton is on the team too. Take care and fight on, Shane!

As the special teams players, defensive players and running backs waited for their meeting with Coach Todd McNair to start, they lay down on the plush cardinal and gold SCcarpet. Periodically, one player at a time would come up for more Trojan candy.

Finally, Coach McNair came to the desk for some Trojan candy. Then he called all the players into the meeting.

Old Friends!

Men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd came by the desk with a big smile. I asked him if he wanted a piece of candy? a piece of gum? Coach Floyd said, “I better not!” Then, I said, “Chocolate?” as I put a new bag of assorted Kit Kats, Nut Rageous and Take-Fives on the counter. Whereupon, Coach Floyd stopped in his tracks, came back to the desk, opened the bag himself before I could retrieve a pair of scissors from my bag and dug in for his candy! A fellow chocolate lover!!!

Taj Gibson rode by on his bicycle on the Heritage Hall east terrace, but didn’t come in. Next week, Taj. Beat UCI on Saturday night!

Alex Stepheson came by the desk, and I asked him if he had heard from the NCAA yet? He said, “Not yet, but maybe in a couple of days.” Fight On Alex!

Now, for old football friends.

Mark Sanchez didn’t take any Trojan candy. He went to lie down on the rug with the other players who were waiting for the meeting to start. Mark was reading something. Homework? Game plan? He does both so well!

Brian Cushing walked by but didn’t want any candy, as usual. He smiled when I wished him good luck on Saturday. Fight On, Brian!

Taylor Mays took some Starburst candy. He would only take one piece even though I offered him the entire bag. As he walked away to attend the meeting, I told him, “Good luck!” He turned to me and said, “Thank you!” Fight On, Taylor!

Kicker Joe Houston comes by to see us every week. He loves Airheads. As I stood by the desk, he took requests for Trojan candy from his teammates lying on the rug. Then he threw pieces of candy to each player. Can he be a future pitcher on the baseball team?

Our day ended with loud whoops and hollers coming from the players’ meeting in the auditorium.

Fight On Trojans! Beat the Cardinals!

November 6, 2008---Thursday, not Friday, at Heritage Hall

Stefanie EndstrasserThursday started with a National Champion USC golfer stopping by the Heritage Hall desk. Stefanie Endstrasser was on the way to a meeting. She is from Austria and is majoring in business. Fight On to another NCAA championship, Stefanie!

Beau Brett and Ron WeyA freshman baseball player, Beau Brett, came to Heritage Hall and met a friend, Ron Wey. Beau will play 1st base for USC. His friend Ron came from Arkansas with several friends. Ron played basketball at USC from 1961-1964. Since then, Ron has coached basketball at Louis Pasteur and Sweet Water USD, and then he entered the banking world. One of Ron’s friends was Tim Helder. Tim took some Trojan candy. He is a Washington County Sheriff near Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Rey Maualaga came by the desk twice. Ron and his friends said “Hi” to Rey the first time. The second time, I asked Rey if he wanted a piece of Trojan candy. With a big smile that lit up his face, Rey said “No, ma’am.” What a GENTLEMANLY Trojan. But, he is not so GENTLE on the football field!

Our friend Taj Gibson came to the desk for some gum. He said that he can chew it during practice. See you next week, Taj.

Another men’s basketball player, Alex Stephenson, walked by the desk, but did not want any Trojan candy. He told me that if he eats candy before practice, it makes him tired. I asked Alex when will he find out from the NCAA if he can play for USC this year without having to sit out a year. Alex told me that he will find out on Tuesday 11/11/2008. With a big smile on my face, I held up two crossed fingers on each hand, and Alex, with an equally big smile on his face, did likewise!Football players

What a sight to behold! Several football players were lying face down on the plush Heritage Hall rug. Were they meditating? No, they were just resting, waiting for a team meeting. As I walked by, a head with a big boyish smile popped up and said, “Hi, Candy!” It was Joe Houston! After replying, “Hi,” I looked up to the second floor and saw Coach Pete Carroll peering down at the players and chuckling. Coach and I both knew that ...Kids will be Kids!