Archive for the ‘Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs’ Category

Lone Star’s Portrait

May 1, 2013

Yesterday, I received n email from the son of Mary Lou Zientek with some photos attached. Mary Lou Zientek was the woman who befriended the Lone Star Dietz and his wife, Doris, in the declining years. Mary Lou managed their estates after Doris died. Mrs. Zientek died on May 7 last year. She distributed artifacts which few valued at that time to places such as Sports Immortals in Boca Raton, Florida (they were in Pittsburgh when Dietz died). She kept a self-portrait Dietz painted in the early 1960s and, one assumes, made a gift to her for her generosity. Previously, I had only seen a black and white photo of the painting See below). Her son sent me color photos. The effect of the painting is much different in color than in black and white. Color photos of both front and back can be seen below. I thank Mr. Zientek for sharing these photos with us.

Lone Star self portrait

Zientek front Zientek back

100th Anniversary of 1912 Carlisle-Army Game

November 9, 2012

Follows is the short article I was asked to write for The Torch, the monthly magazine of the U. S. Army War College, to commemmorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1912 Carlisle-Army football game:

The Cadets of West Point took the field on The Plain November 9, 1912, aiming to avenge their 1905 loss to Carlisle Indian School in the two schools’ only previous battle, also on The Plain. Missing from the second battle were the players and coaches from both 1905 teams and Major William A. Mercer, Carlisle Superintendent and Calvary officer, who had arranged that game by gaining permission from the War Department. Also AWOL in 1912 were the large crowd, dignitaries, and media interest the first game attracted. Present in 1912 were Jim Thorpe, Gus Welch, Joe Guyon, Pop Warner, Leland Devore, Dwight Eisenhower, Babe Weyand (in the bleachers), and Pot Graves, a cast surely destined for a movie.

Ominous clouds filled the sky and a cold wind blew across the field, making passing and punting risky businesses. Both sides’ emotions ran high as the combatants craved a victory. Carlisle arrived undefeated, the only blemish on their record a scoreless tie with Washington and Jefferson College, a month earlier. Army was 3-1 with a 6-0 loss to Yale. Holding the Eli of Yale to only four first downs and a low score gave the Cadets hope for success over the Indians.

Newspaper accounts after the game never considered its outcome in doubt, but those looking only at the scoreboard, at least for the first half, may have thought otherwise. The Indians bested the Cadets for most of the first half but didn’t score due to errant forward passes in the end zone. The turning point of the second quarter came when Carlisle fullback Stancil “Possum” Powell was expelled from the game for punching Army quarterback Vern “Nig” Pritchard. The 27-yard penalty combined with Powell’s ejection dampened the Indians’ spirits. Army then moved the ball forward the remaining 27 yards with fullback Geoffrey Keyes pushing the ball across the goal line. Pritchard missed the kick after the touchdown.

Momentum shifted in the Indians’ favor on the kickoff opening the second half when All-America tackle and team captain Leland Devore jumped on Joe Guyon, who had been getting the better of him all day, getting himself thrown out of the game. Army defensive backs Dwight Eisenhower and Charles Benedict knocked each other out of the game for the rest of the quarter in a failed attempt to sideline Thorpe. The Indians scored 27 unanswered points to lick Army worse than any opponent had beaten them in many years.

Guiding The White Brethren

October 26, 2012

The electronic version of the Fall 2012 edition of the magazine for the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is finally out. My article on Carlisle Indians who went on to coach other teams is on page 46 (page 44 of print version). The idea for this article came to me after attending Lone Star Dietz’s enshrinement ceremony into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is the only Carlisle Indian to be inducted as a coach. Six others, some of whom also coached, were enshrined previously but as players. It is unlikely that any others will receive this honor because no other Carlisle Indian coached as long or with nearly as much success as Dietz.

American Indian athletic prowess is getting much attention this year due to 2012 being the 100th anniversary of Jim Thorpe’s extraordinary triumphs in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Games. Anyone unfamiliar with Native Americans’ success in the Olympics can read my several previous blog entries on this topic.

Worthy of note is that Dietz and the others had great success coaching white college and professional players. Many of them, including Dietz, coached Indian teams at one time or another but the vast majority of their coaching careers were with white college teams. Having played with Carlisle and knowing the Warner System gave these men instant credibility and opened doors for them. After going through those doors, success or the lack of it was the deciding factor. After all, sports have always been a meritocracy. Performance matters above all. Carlisle players succeeded on the field both as players and coaches. The graduate system of coaching that was tried in the early 20th century limited coaching opportunities for those who hadn’t attended major colleges but numerous smaller schools welcomed Carlisle Indians to lead their teams. Although far from an ideal situation, these men were given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits and they largely succeeded.

http://content.yudu.com/A1yt4b/fall2012/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanindianmagazine.org%2Fabout-us

Line Ups for 1904 Carlisle-Haskell Game

June 20, 2012

Tex Noel recently sent me a link to a list of numerous books, programs and other football memorabilia that have been digitized and are available on-line. Included in the list was the program for the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game which was held at the St. Louis World’s Fair, in part, for the entertainment of President Roosevelt who visited the fair but did not attend the game.

Page 3 of the program contains the proposed line ups for the two teams. At first glance, the Haskell line up looked similar to the one Steckbeck included in Fabulous Redmen,but the Carlisle line up was significantly different:

Program            Steckbeck

Jude           LE   Rogers

Bowen        LT   Bowen, Gardner

Dillen         LG   Dillon

Kennedy     C     Shouchuk

White          RG  White

Exendine    RT  Exendine

Flores          RE  Tomahawk

Libby           QB  Libby

Hendricks  RH  B. Pierce, Hendricks

Shelden        LH   Sheldon, Lubo

Lube           FB   H. Pierce

Jude, Kennedy and Flores didn’t get in the game. Coaches Ed Rogers and Bemus Pierce suited up for the game.  Hawley Pierce and long-time player Nikifer Shouchuk also played. The reason given for loading up the line up was that rumors swirled around that Haskell was even recruiting white ringers for the big game. That doesn’t seem to have happened. What did happen was that some of the best players ever to play at Carlisle could be found on both sides of the ball. Some, like Archiquette had previously played for Carlisle but were at Haskell in 1904 (and would return to Carlisle in 1905). Others like Charles Guyon (Wahoo), Pete Hauser and Emil Hauser (Wauseka), would star at Carlisle in the years that followed. The two line ups amounted to a who’s who in Indian football at that time.

Carlisle Indians as Coaches

June 8, 2012

While preparing the 1911 Spalding’s Guide for printing, I noticed that some former Carlisle players could be seen in the numerous 1910 team photos to be found in that volume.  That brought to mind an old newspaper article that I can’t lay my hands on now in which the writer opined as to why there were so few football coaches at a time when Carlisle Indian School players were grabbing headlines.  I don’t recall his reasoning or conclusions but do remember having read the article.

The truth is that several Carlisle Indian School players tried their hands at coaching with varying success.  The names that come quickly to mind are Bemus Pierce, Frank Cayou, Albert Exendine, Caleb Sickles, Lone Star Dietz, James Phillips, Joel Wheelock, Victor “Choc” Kelley, Mike Balenti, and Gus Welch (I keep adding names as they come to me while writing this article).  I’m sure there were others. Given enough time to research this issue, I’m sure that I could come up with more. But I don’t have the time right now because I must get the 1901 Spalding’s Guide ready to print.

The lengths of their careers varied, but Exendine, Welch and Dietz all had long coaching careers.  Of these, Lone Star Dietz had by far the most success and, as an acknowledgement of that success, was honored by the Helms Foundation many years ago. Next month, the College Football Hall of Fame will honor him. It is highly unlikely that any other Carlisle Indian will receive this honor because only a few had long careers and only Dietz, as far as we know, had a Hall of Fame worthy career as a coach.  Also, Exendine and Welch were already inducted as players. My immediate concern is not about the Hall of Fame but with 1910 team photos that include former Carlisle players.

Follows are two of the 1910 team photos.  I’ll leave it to the reader to find the Carlisle Indians in them, but here’s a hint: both wore their Carlisle letter sweaters.  I take that as an indication of how proud they were of having been part of those great teams.

Lone Star Dietz Artwork

May 31, 2012

A question that has come up recently is where Lone Star Dietz’s artwork can be purchased, because he is in the news again for being selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, I suppose. I know of no place that his original artwork can be purchased. (I would like to find some myself.) However, some of his works can be seen on public display and others have been reproduced and can be purchased.

Albright College has four of his paintings on display: the Albright Lion, a portrait of Dick Riffle, a portrait of Lewis Smith, and an unusual collage of the Tree of Learning. Joel Platt has some of Dietz’s artwork in his Sports Immortals museum but they are not generally on display to the public. I was fortunate to find him in when I visited and he showed me a panoramic painting of Pittsburgh he had in his office. The back of the painting contained two titles, “My Pittsburgh” and “Pittsburgh Just Grew.” Apparently, Lone Star changed his mind as to what it should be called.

Most of Dietz’s artwork that I’m aware of is in private collections. A few of those found their way into an article done by Francine Scoboria for Albright College: http://www.albright.edu/reporter/spring2006/lonestar1.html. Occasionally, a reader will send me information on some as I have shared previously in this blog. Hopefully, more will surface in the future.

Fortunately, some of Dietz’s smaller pieces have been reproduced on items sold at History on High, Cumberland County Historical Society’s store in Carlisle and Tuxedo Press recently reprinted two books illustrated by Lone Star Dietz and his first wife, Angel DeCora. Yellow Star has four page-sized paintings done jointly by Dietz and DeCora reproduced in grayscale. The Little Buffalo Robe is chockfull of drawings done by Dietz and a few done by DeCora. It also has some full-page artwork done by DeCora. Tuxedo Press also created neckties using Dietz’s unique signature: http://www.tuxedo-press.com/index_files/OrderForm.htm

Lone Star Gets His Due

May 24, 2012

Tonight, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, DC holds a reception to kick off its new exhibit, “Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics,” to celebrate the athletic achievements of Native Americans on the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Stockholm Games that featured legendary performances by Jim Thorpe and Lewis Tewanima. I am attending because Bob Wheeler, Jim Thorpe’s Boswell, is to speak there. While making preparations for attending this event, I received some unexpected news.

The National Football Foundation (NFF) released its selections for induction in the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 and Lone Star Dietz was finally on the list. As blog followers probably know, Greg and John Witter, first cousins and rabid Washington State football fans, and I campaigned to get Dietz placed on the Hall of Fame ballot some years ago. Getting his won-loss record corrected was the key to getting him nominated but there were larger obstacles yet to come.

Lone Star Dietz died in 1964 and there are few people still alive that knew him. Also, he coached at schools with smaller alumni bases and less clout than the major football factories. Washington State, for example, couldn’t muster the support for him that, say, Ohio State could for John Cooper or Michigan could for Lloyd Carr. While both these recent coaches had very good careers, neither had the impact on the history of the game as did Dietz. It’s one thing to inherit a strong program and be a good steward, but it is quite another to rebuild a floundering program from the ground up, something that Lone Star did multiple times.

The closest he came was in 2006 when the selectors chose Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno instead of the people who were on the ballot. A couple of years ago, when Lone Star’s name was dropped from the ballot, I gave up all hope of him ever being selected. I didn’t even know that his name was on the Divisional ballot this year, so was shocked when I started receiving phone calls from reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

All I can say is that it’s long overdue. Although he’s being brought in through the back door, so to speak, he will finally be in. He’s the first Carlisle Indian to be inducted as a coach; the rest were as players. Whether this honor is enough to offset the many indignities Dietz suffered and mollify the Lone Star Curse is yet to be seen.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/cougarfootball/2018262997_dietz23.html

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/may/23/blanchette-wsu-legend-dietz-gets-his-due/

More About Carlisle Players in 1917 Season

April 17, 2012

The photo on page 30 of Carlisle Indian School’s starting eleven for 1917, the last team that would represent the school, includes one player who would be heard from later, Nick Lassau.  To learn more about Nick, aka Long Time Sleep, read up on the Oorang Indians of 1922 and 1923.  Note that Carlisle’s uniforms had changed to include stripes across the midriff and the stripes that had been below the elbow were moved up above the elbow to align with the midriff stripes.  Page 35 may contain the last thing written about a Carlisle team in a Spalding’s Guide: “Carlisle showed improvement over the previous year, but until they get a team of first rate caliber they will do well not to schedule so many matches with the big colleges.”

Page 41 begins the section on Foot Ball in West Virginia with the All-West Virginia Elevens selected by H. A. Stansbury, Athletic Director of West Virginia University.  It was no surprise that Pete Calac of West Virginia Wesleyan headed the list.  No other Carlisle Indians were on it, most likely due to not playing for a West Virginia school.

Page 50, immediately preceding the Foot Ball in the District of Columbia section, contains a photograph of the Georgetown University team on which the players are numbered but no legend is provided.  Number 2, front row center in a sweater, is Georgetown’s Head Coach, Al Exendine, star end on the great 1907 Carlisle team.  Georgetown was the class of DC college teams as had become the norm under one of Warner’s former assistants.

John Heisman, Head Coach of Georgia Tech, authored the Review of Far Southern Foot Ball.  So, it is no surprise that he named Joe Guyon to his All-Southern Team at half-back.  About his own team, Heisman wrote, “This team was considered by many as the best of the year anywhere.  Whether it was or not need not here be debated.  But certain is that in Strupper, Guyon and Hill it possessed three back-field men who were the equal of any other three that could be named the country over.”  He said nothing about Guyon’s brother.

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

Was Wahoo Really Present?

April 15, 2012

Beginning on page 7, Camp discussed three unbeaten eastern teams, two of which had ties to Carlisle.  Carlisle’s former coach, Pop Warner, completed his third consecutive undefeated season at Pittsburgh since leaving Carlisle after the 1914 season.  More on Georgia Tech later.

When discussing the state of Pacific Coast football on page 9, Camp gives a Carlisle alum high marks: “Washington State, with seven veterans of the previous season’s team, was again coached by ‘Lone Star’ Dietz, and under his guiding hand established a clear title to the Pacific Coast Championship…She [Washington State] would give many eastern teams a hard battle.”

On page 11, in lieu of his annual All America Team, Camp lists Honorable Mention college players.  Ends selected included Pete Calac, formerly of Carlisle, then playing for West Virginia Wesleyan.  Backs included Joe Guyon, formerly of Carlisle, then playing on Georgia Tech’s undefeated “Golden Hurricane” team.

Page 13 listed All-America selections made by other pundits.  Dick Jemison of the Atlanta Constitution named Guyon to his All-America team as a half-back.  Lambert G. Sullivan of the Chicago Daily News placed William Gardner at end on his The Real “All-Western” Eleven on page 17.  The All-Southern Eleven picked by seven football writers in the South placed Joe Guyon at half-back. And Fred Digby of the New Orleans Item put Guyon at full-back on his All-Southern Eleven as did Zip Newman of the Birmingham News.  “Happy” Barnes of Tulane did the same.  Closing out the college all-star teams on page 23 was the All-West Virginia Eleven picked by Greasy Neale, coach of West Virginia Wesleyan.  He selected his own player, Pete Calac, as one of the ends.

A photo of the Georgia Tech team appears on page 8 of the 1918 Spalding’s Guide.  Figure number 1 is Head Coach John Heisman.  That is no surprise.  Neither is it that number 13 is Joe Guyon.  The last person listed, number 22, is C. Wahoo.  From previous research, I know that is Charlie Wahoo, Joe Guyon’s brother Charles Guyon, who also used the fabricated name of Wahoo.  That all the other figures in the photo are numbered in order and that Wahoo is positioned out of order is suspicious.  So is that his figure is smaller than the others.  It’s well known that Heisman didn’t think much of him and that he used recruiting his brother for the team to leverage an assistant coaching position for himself.  Could this picture have been “photoshopped” to include him using a primitive tool available at the time?

 

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

Carlisle Indians Star in WWI

April 12, 2012

This might be considered a senior moment piece as I have no recollection of why I intended to write about errors in ads this time.  I suppose that I noticed an error or two in the ads in the back of the 1912 Spalding’s Guide so will start by looking there.  Wait a few minutes for me to do a little research….

Perusing the 1912 and 1910 Spalding Guides did not trigger my memory nor did I discover some new error I previously overlooked.  So, I will write about something that is fresh in my mind.

Due to problems in scanning the 1918 Spalding’s Guide, I have had to manually clean up many pages, many of which I could not resist reading while working on them.  Something that jumped out at me was that, although Carlisle Indian School had a very poor season in 1917, former players’ names and, in some cases, pictures dotted the pages of this volume.  And it wasn’t because the pro game was being covered heavily.  It was because so many of them played on military teams even though they were not eligible for the draft as being noncitizen Indians.

Page 4 of the 1918 Spalding’ Guide is the first page in that book to mention any player.  On that page are the photos of Walter Camp’s All-Service Eleven for 1917.  Warner elected to not list an All-America squad for 1917 because so many star players were serving in the military and that many schools discontinued inter-collegiate athletics, played abbreviated schedules, or used inexperienced players.  However, the military squads often included several former college stars in their line-ups.  The quality of the football played by the military teams was so good that the games often drew large crowds, so large that the annual New Year’s game in Pasadena was played between two military teams.

The photograph on page 4 for player #6 was that of William Gardner, a star end on the great Carlisle Indian School team of 1907.  It matters not that Camp misspelled his name as Gardiner because he had Carlisle and Camp Custer right.  It is well known that Army Capt. Gardner served at Camp Custer and played on its team.  Camp made no mention of Gardner’s play but, on page 5, listed him at end on his ALL-AMERICA SERVICE ELEVEN, First Eleven.  Camp also placed him on his ALL-SERVICE SECTIONAL ELEVENS, Middle West Eleven on page 11.  At about 34 years of age (ages are uncertain for people of that time), Gardner was long in the tooth for an athlete of that era, having last played at Carlisle in 1907.  But he did play some pro ball for Canton in the years leading up to America’s entry into WWI.  Perhaps, Walter Camp was making up for his snub of Gardner in 1907 when he left the Indian star off his All America Team.

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>


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