A point of interest regarding the photo you see above and the central figure therein, one Mr. Timothy John Radford of Derry, by way of Londonderry, by way of Texas, by way of Arizona, by way of, originally, my hometown of Newport, NH: He’s missing his original top front tooth.
I say that not to belittle him in any way, but instead to point out one of many things he and I have in common.
I’m not going to get into an emotional retelling of our youth, as I believe I covered that during a previous post, found here. But I will say that a coincidental fact of our best-friendship is that, in fact, we both have a single replacement tooth, front and center.
Here’s his story: At a baseball practice many moons ago, Tim was an infielder, his twin brother Tom an outfielder. While hitting fly balls to his defense, Coach Larry Carle inadvertently looped one in between the two brothers. The catcher at the time, Paul Skarin, took note, and began doing his job: calling for the appropriate fielder to make the play. Except that in doing so, he called out:
“Raddy! Raddy! Raddy!”
Problem. Both are nicknamed “Raddy.”
You can probably guess the result. “Raddy” went for the ball, and “Raddy” went for the ball, and as that ball landed innocently nearby, the two brothers collided at full speed, and when the dust cleared, Tim’s tooth was embedded in Tom’s chin.
(I suppose this is not the time or place to point out that at the local hospital, they actually stitched up Tom’s chin without realizing they had left a few small pieces of Tim’s tooth, and only after reviewing an X-ray realized that they needed to call Tom back in to unstitch and retrieve.)
So that’s Tim’s story.
My story? I shot my own tooth out with a BB gun.
Let’s move on.
We share a lot of history, the Raddies and me, which is why it was wonderful that Tim was able to make his first (certainly not last) Hoops For Heroes appearance last night, along with HFH veterans Linda Radford (his mom) and Wanda Santti (his cousin).
The last time Linda and Wanda took to the court was two months ago. Things were much the same this time — a steady pace and 1,500 made free throws — with a couple of bonuses. Wanda brought a blueberry coffee cake for our family as a Thanksgiving offering, and they brought along little Timmy, too.
He may not be able to hitchhike to Worcester (inside joke … sorry), but he sure can lead a team of rebounders, and so he did.
The total, following the 3,000 made free throws between last night and this morning: 518,007 down, 481,993 to go to 1 million made foul shots.
Thanks, Wanda. Thanks, Raddies. See you soon, Thomas.