Tubby's Fond Memories for the Coach Raymond Blanco Tribute were submitted on March 26, 2021 and posted by Ed Dugas.
His Fond Memories of Coach Faulkinberry are below those of Coach Blanco.
Coach Raymond Blanco
All through History, there are many stories about Phantoms that engage in places and lives, a reality or Myth?
I had a Phantom in my life.
My first encounter was in the early 1960’s. I was attending Hanson Memorial High School, playing football under Coach Richard McClosky who was known to hype up his players for the big game. I was warming up for the Friday night game with Catholic High of New Iberia. This was always the big rival between the Christian Brothers Schools. I was deep in my warmup and out of nowhere, a crazed man runs onto the field, grabs me by my shoulder pads, looks me straight in the eyes and asks, “Are you going to beat my ASS tonight?” Startled I looked at him and said “Yes Sir”, and then he let out a Banshee scream as he ran back to the Catholic High sidelines.
UN be knowns to me, I had just experienced my first encounter with my Phantom.
Fast-forward 2 years; I was living the “Harry High School” Dream life, a pair of Levi Jeans, Cowboy boots and a football letterman’s jacket. I was fortunate enough to have several colleges talking scholarships to me. I had just about decided on attending Tulane University, literally the night before my visit with the coaches in New Orleans, my father told me a coach from USL wanted to speak with me.
My second encounter with my Phantom took place. I knew right away that my Phantom had done his homework for he made me realize that my first love, Agriculture, was not in the books at Tulane. Three weeks later, I signed with USL and changed my life forever.
The next 4 years my Phantom was in my life 24/7, however, 2 years later an old High School football injury caught up with me and my USL football days were over. I immediately went in to a fog not knowing what was next. Once again, my Phantom appeared and cleared my fog leading me on a clearer path. He offered me a staff position and the next 2 years I had experiences that gave my life long lessons on how to survive the world.
In 1969 I graduated in Agriculture, moved back home and began my dream of teaching Agriculture.
Fast-forward 20 years, I was in a barn behind Blackham Coliseum, judging a district poultry show, when unexpected, my Phantom appears again, but in the form of Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. In a barn full of chickens, she walked up to me and said, “I want you to come work for me at the PSC”. Coach and I think you would be perfect for the job, I looked up at her and said “Kathleen, I can’t even spell PSC”. She laughed and said your Agriculture engineering experience, people skills and the fact that you can retire in 2 months would make it work. Once again, my Phantom did his homework and my life took a new direction.
Fast-forward five years, working the PSC business, I was enjoying my new job “even having to deal with my crazy Phantom”. When one day my Phantom appeared again. Commissioner Kathleen and my Phantom sat me down and asked me to consider taking the position of Secretary with the PSC in Baton Rouge. Another change of direction in my life.
I was very fortunate the five Public Service Commissioners elected me to serve in that position and with that, another lifelong worth of lessons handed to me.
Fast-forward 20 years, the experience, knowledge and friends that I have gained over at the PSC gave me the ability to provide a great life for my family and me and it all started in the early 60’s with the Phantom “Coach Raymond Blanco”
My Phantom was always by my side in good time and in the worse times of my life and it is hard to explain how Coach Raymond played a major role in my life.
There is no way to truly ever express my gratitude and thanks to “Coach Raymond Blanco”
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Tubby's Living Memorial for the Russ Faulkinberry Tribute was submitted on 5/18/2017 and posted by Dr. Ed Dugas that day.
Russ Faulkinberry’s Living Memorial, Lawrence “Tubby” St. Blanc – Football 1965-67, Student Coach & Manager 1968
“A FOOTBALL HOMERUN”
I had the privilege of both playing football and serving as a student assistant to Coach Russ Faulkinberry and his coaching staff in the late 60’s.
I received many great lessons in life during that time, many which I still practice today. If I had to choose one attribute which he displayed, it would be HUMILITY.
If one was to look up the definition of Russ Faulkinberry, it would read “walk softly and carry a big stick”. And that sums up Coach Russ’s idea of HUMILITY.
I would like to recall for the readers of this tribute one of the most clear lessons in HUMILTY I have ever witnessed.
However, before I relate this story I must lay out a couple of facts that were in place at USL in the late 60’s.
First, the football team played their home games in McNaspy Stadium and practiced on the adjacent baseball field which had a four foot chain link fence and a large hedge growing behind it, which served as a fence for Baseball and privacy for football practice.
The second thing and I guess it may not be politically correct today, but I must define the “Turd Squad.” These were football players who had screwed up - it could be anything from missing a class, goofing off during study hall, missing curfew, grades, and on and on. You get the picture.
This group had the privilege of having extra workouts before, during, and after normal practice times. This group ranged from rookies to veterans with no discrimination.
I can tell you from personal experience that the members of the “Turd Squad” knew every bleacher seat in McNaspy Stadium from bottom to top on a first name basis.
Now that I have provided these details, I can move on to the Humility Saga. As a student assistant, one of my many jobs was to set up the practice field and all that went into it making the practice run smoothly.
One afternoon Coach Russ informed me that the next afternoon we would be hosting some high school seniors for try outs. I was to set up the practice field for the drills and inform the “Turd Squad” that their services would be required for the tryouts.
It turned out that the next afternoon there were about 20 young men who showed up, one in particular set up a strange situation for he had brought his own pep squad, family, friends, girlfriend and so on and they would cheer and clap whenever he ran a drill.
Now Coach Russ was observing the try outs from his usual perch, a 12 foot tower. On a side note, from where I stood I always thought that we should have had a red light on his caps so that the airplanes on approach to the airport wouldn’t hit him.
Be that as it may, I could tell right away that this display by this young man’s entourage was eating away at Coach Russ.
As the try outs went on I could see more discontent growing in Coach. Finally, I got the high sign and I went over to the tower where Coach told me to set up the Peak-A-Boo drill and make sure the ringer was set for Elvis.
Now the ringer that day just so happen to be my roommate. He was an all-conference veteran with a head as hard as a five sack concrete mix and could coil and strike you like a six foot rattle snake.
The Peak-A-Boo drill consisted of four tackling dummies laid about five yards apart to form three holes. The try out would get the football and run, faking, and moving trying to get past the would be tackler while choosing a hole to run in.
As I was instructed I made sure that Elvis got the ringer for his tackler. The young man came up for his attempt, unknown to him that he was facing the ringer. The young man started out with some pretty good moves, then he chose his hole where the ringer met him head on. The hit was so hard you could hear it in Abbeville. The ringer drove through the young man and before the coach could blow the whistle, the young man had been deposited over the fence and in the hedges.
Stone silence came over the field and I thought the young man was a goner. As I started over to him the silence was broken by a deep voice from above, the word simply was “Homerun”. It was heard throughout the field.
The young man eventually pulled himself together and walked over to meet his followers, riding off into the sunset and never to be seen at USL again.
One thing for sure this young man learned two things that day, put your high school letterman jacket in the closet, forget about your All-State trophy, for you are with the big boys now, and the second thing he learned was a life lesson in Humility.
I know without any doubt that young man took a different look at his life after that day. It truly must have been a humbling experience for him, it sure was for me.
Coach Russ Faulkinberry - A Coach and a Teacher. God Bless Him!!!