Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

Convergence

The news that Adolph Rupp-era Kentucky All-American Ralph Beard has passed away calls back memories of the time I saw him at Louisville's storied Hotel Seelbach, which I wrote about in the early months of this journal. At the time I didn't recognize that Beard's involvement in a notorious college basketball point-shaving scandal that led to his being banned from the NBA made the location of my encounter especially rich. The Seelbach, you see, figures in The Great Gatsby, a novel in which the 1919 Chicago "Black" Sox scandal plays a role. When I saw Sherman Alexie deliver the keynote talk at the University of Louisville's annual literature conference last year, he kept coming back to the image of F. Scott Fitzgerald's ghost wandering the halls of the Seelbach, where Alexie was staying. I also didn't realize back in 2004 how deliciously ironic it was that Beard was accused of shaving.
Tags: history, literature, sports
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