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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: Challenger, Space Shots, Guy Toph Award, Birthday Wishes

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy. Talk about a JFK “where were you at” moment. I remember standing in the front yard and watching. Normally on space shots, I would see a plume streaking across the sky. Obviously that wasn’t the case with the Challenger. I could see something was wrong right away. Sadly, when I went inside to watch on TV, I found out that was the case.

Speaking of space shots. I’ve never been over to the east coast to watch one, but the best I’ve seen from afar was an early-morning one while duck hunting on Lake Iamonia (just north of Tallahassee) with my father. I don’t remember which one that was, but the shot was breathtaking since it occurred before sunrise.

Congratulations to Markese Hargrove, this year’s winner of the Guy Toph Award . Kudos to The Tampa Tribune for running the entire list of winners for the award given annually to Hillsborough County’s outstanding football player. On the list were many I know as friends and others I remember watching as a kid, or covering as a sportswriter such as Billy Shields, Doug Shields, Randy Smith, Larry Smith, Mark Ely, John Reaves, Michael Bolden, Pat O’Brien, Al Lopez III, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Kenny Kelly, Keith Newman, and Derek Winter. That list brought back a lot of good memories.

Finally, Happy Birthday, Kel. You are a treasure. I love you!