Jack Gilden, of Dunkirk Road, signed a contract with the University of Nebraska Press to publish his book, “Triumph and Disaster,” a story about the contentious relationship between legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas and his coach, Don Shula, during the 1960s.
In the book, Jack details how Unitas and Shula helped shape American culture through their successes and failures during a period in our country’s history that straddled social issues around the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Jack first conceived of the idea when he was a 15-year-old student attending a journalism conference at the former Colts training complex in Owings Mills.
“That’s where I heard the great newspaperman, John Steadman, talked about how the greatest quarterback and the winningest coach in NFL history did not get along,” said Jack.
That idea resonated with him for decades so he set out to discover how two people who did not care for one another personally could manage such successful and intertwined careers. He interviewed numerous legends to understand the dynamic, meeting with Raymond Berry, Don Shula, Joe Namath, Jimmy Orr, Bobby Boyd, Sam Havrilack, Tom Matte, Gay Talese, Gary Collins, Frank Ryan, Bill Curry, Dan Sullivan, Charley Winner, and Jan Unitas.
In 2018, when the book hits shelves, you can read all about it. I bet if you see Jack out and about walking his dog, Angel, you can probably even get him to autograph a copy for you. That’s my plan.
Dumbarton Middle School held its Farewell Assembly for 8th-graders June 7 at Loch Raven High School. Many students were recognized for their achievements and hard work over the past three years; however, one student really stood out for his many talents and accomplishments. Congratulations to Griffin Mekler-Culbertson, of Overbrook Road, who not only attended every day of school for all three years, but also earned straight A’s in every quarter.
Rob Ambrose, of Lanark Road, the Towson University football coach, along with John Putnam, of Rodgers Court, who is the Towson Rec Council football commissioner, John’s son, Fisher, and Fisher’s friend, Alex Sebring, hauled a ton of junk and treasurers June 3 during the annual Rodgers Forge Dumpster Day, sponsored by the Rodgers Forge Community Association.
Rob, John, Fisher, and Alex were volunteers who worked their bums off to help 245 residents unload items from their cars that had been collecting dust in garages and basements all around the Forge. The items were sorted for donation, trash, or recycling in the hot summer sun of the Rodgers Forge Elementary School parking lot.
Happy 15th anniversary to Rachel Morris and Noah Melnick, of Dumbarton Road, who are celebrating the milestone with a Groupon adventure. Congratulations, you two.
Do you have some good news? Did you recently go on an exciting trip, receive a promotion, achieve a personal goal? Do you know someone who brings joy to our community and want to clue me in? I would love to write about it.