His name was Bernard Hulin, we called him “Bird”.
He played on the Base Basketball team in Edzell, Scotland.
We were a listening post for the U.S. Navy.
It was a former RAF Base during WW II.
Thus, RAF Edzell.
We went to the Edinburgh Festival in September. It is a wonderful celebration of the arts which lasted a week or two. Now it is about a month long celebration.
Part of the festival was a basketball tournament. There were about eight teams in it and half were U.S. military teams.
Maybe it was the closest I came to being a celebrity athlete. People actually asked us for our autographs.
Anyway , we stayed in some sort of
“pension” in Edinburgh. We had very few beds for a large basketball team. Paul Pruitt and I shared a bed with “Bird”.
I thought it would be ok but Bird slept deeply and kept hugging Paul and I. In the morning we said, “Bird what’s up with that?”
He said, “Sorry man I thought you were my wife.”
“That’s ok Bird, but don’t do it tonight.”
Bird was African American and had kind of a sleepy look, like “Sleepy” Floyd, a player for the Baltimore Bullets. He was a good man and we were all good friends.
From Scotland I went to Guam and we played a lot of basketball there, intramurals between divisions.
Bird showed up in Guam and sought me out.
He was a radioman and his division didn’t have a team. He asked if he could play on our team and of course I said Yes.
He was a good player.
We had a kid from Tennessee named Brank , and after Bird showed up and after practice he said, “I ain’t playin with that nigger.”
Bouchard, my assistant coach and I both said ,”Listen asshole, we’d much rather play with Bird than you anytime. Got it?”