August 2018 (1) Candygrams

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Friday, August 17, 2018---USC Football Alumni Club Salute to Troy Pre-Party

My good friends Sandy and Rex Johnston invited me to the USC Football Alumni Club Salute to Troy Pre-Party that was held in the Bashor Lounge of Heritage Hall. Trojan Candy brought my grandson Zane with me to the reception. The Football teams of 1968 (50th Reunion) and 1993 (25th Reunion) were being honored.

Zane and I arrived at Heritage Hall at 3:30 pm. I had two cameras ready for pictures and videos. We walked into the Bashor Lounge, found a center table, and Trojan Candy started taking pictures.

Paul Salata and Tim Lavin
Sitting at a nearby table were Paul Salata, founder of the NFL Draft "Mr. Irrelevant" award, and Tim Lavin, President of the Trojan Football Alumni Club.
Paul Salata and Linda Ward
Linda Ward, wife of the late Jack Ward, posed with Paul next.
Melanie Fitch and Paul Salata
Paul's daughter Melanie Fitch smiled with him.

Now, Trojan Candy walked around the lounge looking for former USC football players.

Pete Damascus, Dexter Levy, Marv Williams, and Kevin McPartland
Four players were standing together near the bar. They were Pete Damascus (1983), Dexter Levy (1982-86), Marv Williams (1979-84), and Kevin McPartland (1972-76).
John Robinson and Kevin McPartland
Next, Kevin McPartland posed with his coach John Robinson.
Rex Johnston, C.R. Roberts, Russ Decker, Sandy Johnston and Steve Fryer
Trojan Candy caught Sandy and Rex with three friends. Rex Johnston, C.R. Roberts, Russ Decker, Sandy Johnston and Steve Fryer smiled for me.
Michael Hayes and Scott Capone
I walked outside Bashor Lounge to the entryway where two Football Alumni were checking in the guests. Michael Hayes (1975-80) and Scott Capone were busy.
Ron Ayala, Linda Ward, Sandy Johnston and Kelly Capone
Back inside the Bashor Lounge, Trojan Candy saw Ron Ayala (1969-70) talking with three ladies. They were Linda Ward, Sandy Johnston and Kelly Capone. I still remember in 1969 Ron's field goal to beat Stanford 26-24 as time expired.
Ken Matsuda, Al Cowlings and Ron Ayala
As Trojan Candy circulated to the rear of the lounge, I saw Coach Ken Matsuda with Al Cowlings and Ron Ayala.
Zane and Al Cowlings
My grandson Zane wanted a picture with Al Cowlings.
Gary McArthur, Al Cowlings, Ron Ayala, Bill Redding, Dr. Bobby Jensen, Greg George, Jerry Shaw, Jim Lawrence and Fred Khasigian
Now it was time for the program to begin. President Tim Lavin asked the members of the 1968 Football Team to come up to the front. The players from left to right were Gary McArthur, Al Cowlings, Ron Ayala, Bill Redding, Dr. Bobby Jensen, Greg George, Jerry Shaw, Jim Lawrence and Fred Khasigian.
Trojan Candy had seen all of these Trojans play, because I graduated from USC in 1968, just like most of them did. In fact, I am a member of the 1968 Reunion Committee. FIGHT ON, USC Class of 1968!
Gary McArthur and Al Cowlings
I was able to take this close-up of Gary McArthur and Al Cowlings.
Mike Salmon, John Robinson, and Craig Gibson
President Lavin asked the 1993 Football Team to come up to the front. There were two members and Coach John Robinson. Mike Salmon, John Robinson, and Craig "Gibby" Gibson each spoke and posed for this picture.
Clay Helton
After the 1968 and 1993 team introductions, Coach Clay Helton came in after the team practice to speak about our current team.
Steve Fryer, Rex Johnston, C.R. Roberts, Russ Decker and Don Buford
After Coach Helton left, Trojan Candy took a picture of Rex Johnston with his friends Steve Fryer, C.R. Roberts, Russ Decker and Don Buford.
Beverly and John Robinson and Zane
As the guests were leaving to attend the Salute to Troy, Zane wanted to take a picture with Coach John Robinson. He also asked Coach for his autograph. Here are Beverly and John Robinson with Zane.
Zane and I rushed to check in at Loker Stadium and enter the gate for the 2018 Football Salute to Troy.

Friday, August 17, 2018---Disappointment...then...Elation!

My husband Jim, my grandson Zane and I arrived at the John McKay Center at 10:30 am. Trojan Candy had an inkling that the USC Football Team Pictures were going to be taken this morning around that time. I was right about the day, but wrong about the time. There were no stands for the team to stand on for the team picture. There was no one in sight! We found out that the pictures were taken at 8:45 am. My grandson was SO disappointed, and I was even more blog article this year.

Jim and I decided to let Zane stay for a while and try to get some autographs. Zane and I stood at the top of the west ramp from Loker Stadium to John McKay Center so that we could see the ramp and the front door of McKay Center. Jim waited at the bottom of the ramp to watch for players coming out of McKay Center. Then, we saw Jim talking to an offensive lineman(?). The lineman told Jim that J.T. Daniels was just riding by on his bike in the street near the ramp. Next thing, we saw Jim call out to Freshman J.T. Daniels while motioning to us to come down the ramp. Zane and I ran down the ramp. J.T. turned his bike around and pushed right up to the three of us!

J.T. Daniels and ZaneJ.T. Daniels and ZaneNaturally, Trojan Candy took a picture of J.T. signing Zane's picture. Then, I took a picture of both of them.

As I asked to interview J.T. for my blog, he said that Coach Helton told him that he can't be interviewed for another week. Bummer for Trojan Candy! But, I'll interview him at another event. Thanks for your time, your autograph and FIGHT ON, J.T.!

Zane was literally beside himself. We decided to stay for fifteen more minutes to see if he could get some more autographs. Trojan Candy was hoping that I could interview a USC football player for my blog.

Chris Edmondson and ZaneMy wish came true. I stopped a young man coming up the ramp and asked to interview him. My intuition told me that he was a football player, and I was right. First, Trojan Candy took this picture of Chris Edmondson with Zane. Then, he said that he didn't have the time, but I told him it would only take a few minutes.

Chris EdmondsonChris Edmondson, a Sophomore tailback, stayed for my interview. He is a fellow Texan from San Antonio, but Chris said that he spent a lot of time in Houston, my hometown. Chris is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Occupational Therapy. He played many sports as a young child. Chris ran track first and then changed to boxing when he was injured. He said that he really liked boxing. In middle school, Chris started playing football. He played defensive end and offensive line. More personally, his favorite food is steak and broccoli. "Pirates of the Caribbean" is his favorite movie since childhood, and Chris likes 90's Hip Hop music the best. So nice to meet you, Chris, and FIGHT ON!

Devon WilliamsDevon Williams and ZaneJust as we were getting ready to leave, another USC football player rode up right between Zane and me. I asked to take his picture. Wide receiver Devon Williams gave Zane his autograph. Next I asked to interview him. Devon, like J.T., said that Coach Helton told all the freshmen not to do any interviews. Then he posed for a picture that I can use in my blog when I get to interview him. FIGHT ON, Devon!

Now it was time for us to leave for home. Zane and I will see J.T., Chris and Devon later today when we return for Football Salute to Troy.