Immortalizing a Legend

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I suppose it's fitting that a story on memorializing Army football legend Doc Blanchard is the first story I found after returning from my Memorial Day in California.
Doc Blanchard's hometown of Bishopville, SC will honor its hero with a trio of statues depicting Blanchard as a young boy, as an Army football player and as an Air Force pilot.

The plan was unveiled at Bishopville's Opera house on Memorial Day, and the official dedication will take place on June 13th.

I'm not excerpting it because the article is a must read for Unbalanced Line patrons, with a touching story of how the plan got off the ground and a nice bio detailing Blanchard's football and military careers.

This article out of Sumter, SC has a couple more stories about honoring Blanchard, this one focusing on Doc's humble nature.

What most impressed me about Blanchard in that short time I asked him questions and he gave me his responses was how unimpressed he was with himself. Blanchard, who passed away last year at the age of 84, was 77 years old at the time and that was probably about the 100,000th interview or so he had given about winning the Heisman Trophy in 1945, being a three-time All-American and being "Mr. Inside" to Army teammate Glenn Davis' "Mr. Outside."

He answered my questions earnestly and was very cordial, often displaying a dry sense of humor. Blanchard pointed out that it was actually the second time he had been honored by Bishopville.

"They honored me when I came home from West Point. That was in 1944," Blanchard said. "I guess I'm getting the longevity award this time."

I can't think of anything more appropriate for the Army great than to be immortalized in his hometown, and a credit to Bishopville - meeting class with class, Blanchard's hometown could not bestow a better honor just as Blanchard could not have been a better hero.



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