Summer Cheer(s)

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

As fall approaches, take a look at two topics which I think you will enjoy:

First – An update on a former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter

and

Secondly Both a celebration of the fourth birthday of the Benedictine Brewery and St. Michael Taproom at the Mount Angel Abbey and a recollection of the “foundation” of that inspired enterprise back in 2017

*****

Godfather…..!

When one sees or hears the term above, the image usually crossing the mind is either a pizza or for Baby Boomers, Marlin Brando in his unforgettable role of Don Vito Corleone in the three-time Academy Award winning film The Godfather (1972) uttering his memorable threat:

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse!”

(# External Photo Attribution at the end of the Post – #1 and #2 above)

For those in the Northwest who have an interest in sports and have followed their teams and related issues in the print and broadcast media, the name Dwight Jaynes comes to mind.  Dwight for many years has been known professionally as “The Godfather.”  And for good reason. 

In 2010 he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and has been named Oregon Sportswriter of the Year five separate times. In 2013, he was named Sportscaster of the Year  – the first person in Oregon to win both awards.

Linked in

The Godfather  #3

He’s also co-authored two books, The Long Hot Winter: A Year in the Life of the Portland Trail Blazers (1992)  with former Blazer coach Rick Adelman and Against the World: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Portland Trail Blazers’ Chase for the NBA Championship (1992) with fellow journalist Kerry Eggers. (#4 – #5)

He had been working for Comcast SportsNet Northwest and not regularly on the air since 2011, when the trio of Dwight, Chad Doing and former Trail Blazer, Antonio Harvey hosted a talk show on radio station 99.5 The Game.

Dwight and I have periodic lunches and at one in July, he seemed energized and told me that “Something is in the Works”.  He then added that if he revealed anything, he’d have to shoot me. The Godfather had that Brando look of malice in his eyes when he mumbled this utterance, so I did not press him further. 

 (As an aside, we ate at the McMenamins’ Wilsonville Old Church – a nice establishment that I will cover in a future post.)  

The next day, it was announced that Dwight and Chad would be back together (“Chad & Dwight Ride Again In Rip City” from 3 – 6 PM each weekday on Rip City Radio 620. #6

Now, admittedly I’m biased, because I named Dwight as one of my Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter in 2016 and I love his historical grasp of NW Sports. 

Chad Doing also has a great radio background including a stint as a sports radio host in San Francisco as well as an interesting history including working as an Alaska Airlines flight attendant for three years.   He’s worked his way up in the radio profession and seems to be a genuine nice-guy with a broad knowledge of sports – especially the Trail Blazers.

“Doing, who lived 27 years in the Pacific Northwest before moving south, came up through the radio ranks in the Portland market, starting by doing high school football for Vancouver’s KVAN. From there, he got an internship with KFXX, at the time the market’s lone all-sports station, and moved up to board operator, then to reading sports updates.

In 2008, when a second all-sports station, KXTG, opened, he moved over, first as a behind-the-scene guy, then just four weeks in, taking over on-air on the morning show, along with Gavin Dawson and, later, Dwight Jaynes.”  (Oregon Live 3/24/15)

You should check them out at https://ripcityradio.iheart.com/featured/travis-demers/  These guys complement each other really well and they cover a broad range of topics. 

On the first few shows Dwight talked about meeting both Bill Russell and Vince Scully, they reminisced about Portland wrestling and had good discussion about recent Blazer issues such as the potential sale and the unwise decision to have Blazer TV broadcasters call the games remotely rather than traveling with the team.

Note:  About one week afterwards, the Blazers reversed this decision:

“Team president Dewayne Hankins joined Portland’s Rip City Radio 620 to discuss the decision with hosts Chad Doing and Dwight Jaynes on Monday. And during the interview, Hankins quickly acknowledged the Trail Blazers heard the backlash and responded accordingly.”   (Awful Announcing.com)

The Godfather is also known for the integrity of his written and spoken opinions through the years and taking deserved shots at Management when it’s deserved, be it that of the Blazers, written or broadcast media execs, referees, etc.

Chad and Dwight are more focused on sports then the rambling and almost irrelevant babble on their Portland competitor in the same timeslot.  

Happy Birthday to the Benedictine Brewery – Thanks be to Father God!

I’m proud to be part of the history of this wonderful Brewery on the grounds of the Mount Angel Abbey and one of only three Benedictine breweries owned and operated by monks in the US.  The Brewery and Taproom under the guidance of Head Brewer, Fr. Martin Grassel has thrived even during the pandemic and Fr. Martin and his trainees brew a robust group of beers. (#8 -14)

I still remember the wonderful community gathering (about 125 monks, priests, seminarians, Abbey staff and volunteers from the Mount Angel community) at the structure raising on a cloudy and cold November 11 2017, when we started the morning with a cement slab.  

By the end of the day, there was a structural frame with six bents ( two-dimensional transverse rigid frames and the building blocks that define the overall shape and character of a structure) using 14,000 board feet of Douglas Fir timber harvested from the Abbey tree farm. 

That day was also the occasion of the first prayer in the Benedictine Brewery and Taproom – held at noon before we ate and in lieu of the standard noon-day prayer in the wonderful Abbey chapel.  Fr. Vincent Trujillo, O.S.B., the Prior of the Abbey,  led the service which was “uplifting” – very consistent with the theme that day!  (#15 -19)

The monks sang and were joined by the other participants. Before getting back to work, we feasted on a spread of delicious barbecued chicken, baked beans, potato salad and green salad – all of which boosted the energy and spirits of the workers. (If the videos, don’t have arrows to start them, click your mouse in the center of the photos)

As stated in my Beerchaser post entitled: “The Benedictine Brewery – Beam Me Up”:

“There were 305 pieces of wood that were joined for the structure.  Besides the 14,000 for the structural components, another 11,000 board feet of lumber was used for the siding  and the tongue and grove boards for the top of the structure.  It will also be used for the actual bar in the Taproom.  It took seven truckloads of logs for the Brewery and Taproom and additional load that went in exchange to the plywood mill.  

Besides the source of the wood, there was another unusual aspect of the construction process:

The timber was harvested, cut, dried, milled using mortise and tenon joinery, which is secured with wooden pegs — an age-old traditional craft — and prepared for a seamless, no-hammer, no-saw construction.”  http://www.capitalpress.com/Orchards/20171113/unique-brewery-raising-at-abbey

The volunteers that day know that their labor would be “captured” in the structure for its duration based on the fact that all were encouraged to sign the pegs that secured the bents before they were put in place.  Thebeerchaser eagerly participated.

It was a truly remarkable day of spirited and spiritual effort by the entire Community and portended the success of what has become a NW regional destination spot with a devoted constituency for Fr. Martin’s beers.

As you will see from the video below in which the largest timber section – 80 feet in length, requiring forty workers was raised, Jonathan Orpin, the President of New Energy – the contractor for the structure raising – was the equivalent of land-based coxswain for his “crew” team.  His enthusiasm and energy was inspiring to all present.

Fall is one of the best times to visit the St. Michael Taproom surrounded by the Abbey’s hop fields. 

Try what has become one of the most popular brews – Hairshirt IPA ( 7.1 ABV | IBUs 56).  As one reviewer in the site “On Tap” stated, “I feel so penitent while drinking this.”

Although the Brewery’s website countered this on Father’s Day stating:

“This Father’s Day, why buy dad another tie when you could buy him a hairshirt? Taking its name from a garment worn as an act of penance, Hairshirt IPA is now available for the first time for sale in bottles, and drinking it is hardly a penitential experience.”

So let me indulge you.   Cheers and here’s to guilt-free drinking!  #20 -21)

External Photo Attribution

#1. Wikimedia Commons:   (http://File:Godfathers Pizza – Hillsboro, Oregon.JPG -) Wikimedia Commons icensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. Author: M.O. Stevens 8 September 2012

#2.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlon_Brando#/media/File:Marlon_Brando_publicity_for_One-Eyed_Jacks.png)  By None visible/Paramount Pictures – Publicity photo for the film One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Public Domain.

#3.  Linked-in (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dwight-jaynes-68956b6a/overlay/photo/)

#4.  (https://www.amazon.com/Against-World-Behind-Scenes-Championship/dp/0915611678/ref=sr_1_1?crid=GJB72IUBR6L&keywords=against+the+world+dwight+jaynes&qid)

#5.  (https://www.amazon.com/Long-Hot-Winter-Portland-Blazers/dp/0671748521/ref=sr_1_1?crid)

#6.  Dwight Jaynes Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10160255999956894&set=basw.Abpv_1MIIzZM8NJkopm-)

#7.  Linked-in (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-doing-35477868/)

#8 – 14.  Benedictine Brewery Website and Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BenedictineBrewery)

#15 – 17.  Benedictine Brewery Website (https://www.benedictinebrewery.com/) Courtesy Brother Lorenzo.

#18. New Energy Works Website (https://newenergyworks.com/)

#19 Benedictine Brewery Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BenedictineBrewery/photos/a.168624736681758/)

#20 Wikipedia Commons (http://(Ivan the Terrible’s cilice 02 by shakko – Cilice – Wikipedia)  By shakko – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16218870.  Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Tucker William (Billy) Main – Beerchaser of the Quarter

The 1967 Oregon State Beaver Giant Killer Player Recognition Awardees – “Brothers and Timeless”

Rest in Peace – Duane “Thumper” Barton

After the initial publication I am adding to this post.  I am saddened to report that my fraternity brother and member of the 1967 Beaver Giant Killer Team, Duane “Thumper” Barton, passed away at the age of 73 on May 14th from Alzheimers Disease.

Duane played fullback and his brother, Gary, later played quarterback for the Beavers. They were star multi-sport athletes at Baker High School and both graduated from OSU as did their younger brother, Ronnie.   Duane was enrolled in the Navy ROTC program and flew for the Navy after commissioning and then had a career as a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

Gary and Duane, besides being great athletes, had wonderful voices and were key members of the SAE team that won or placed highly in the annual Inter-fraternity Council Sing for several years.

Duane and Gary – first row – second and third from right at the IFC sing.

Gary stated that memorials for Duane can be made on behalf of the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Our newest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Billy Main, was not only a football teammate, but both were enrolled in the aviation division of NROTC and got their private pilot licenses while in college.

Billy (Rabbit) wrote this this tribute to “Thumper” yesterday and it eloquently conveys why Duane was loved by his teammates.

Duane Barton was the back-up fullback to Bill Enyart in 1967 and 1968. He knew Buff well in that they were roommates when the team traveled.

He was physically very different: Enyart was 6’4, 235 Duane was 5’8 and 210. Duane came from Baker, Oregon and was one of the great players from eastern Oregon that were part of that GK team

He was nicknamed “Thumper” ‘…..the provenance of that nickname is unknown

Duane was the purest essence of the spirit and ethos of those teams…TEAM

He was a skilled and proficient runner and blocker, and had Buff gotten injured, we lost very little. Absent Bill Enyart, Duane was a solid replacement in the backfield. Under different circumstances, he would have probably had a more extensive football career. He was loved and respected by all of his teammates.

My real friendship with Thumper was grounded in the US Navy ROTC Flight Program in which we were both enrolled. As I remember, there were the only 3 members of the GK team roster in the Navy at that time. (Rus Jordan was the other.)

Duane and I learned to fly together at the Corvallis airport. We also were in the summer Navy summer camps in Los Angles and Pensacola. We were together on Aircraft Carriers that summer: the USS Randolph and the USS Lexington.

During that summer in Pensacola and when we had a few days leave, Thumper suggested we jump a freight train and see where it was going. He was always pushing to try something new. (I talked him out of it)

USS Lexington (CV-2)

He was a skilled pilot and eventually flew on active duty, followed by a career with Alaska Airines.  Thumper had an outrageous sense of humor and was constantly pinching your ass when you weren’t looking, then laughing like hell.        RIP, Thumper

Gary Barton gave this account of how Duane got his nickname:

“The Thumper nickname came from the Disney movie Bambi.  If you recall there was a cute little cottontail named Thumper living in Bambi’s forest.   Among the burly football jocks at OSU, Duane was like their Thumper, both in size and perhaps even more so in personality.  (However, he also gave one a memorable ‘thump’ when he hit you on the football field….)

******

Some readers might ask, “Why don’t you stick to the bar and brewery reviews on your blog and what’s this Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter?”   The response – pretty easy.   I have loved writing about the history, bartenders, regulars and distinguishing characteristics of each of the 375 watering holes I’ve visited and reviewed since starting Thebeerchaser in August, 2011.

The memories cheer me up during this lockdown and make me yearn for the safe reopening of these establishments.  And all of them deserve and need our patronage and support.  That said, another joy derived from this hobby is telling the story of some remarkable individuals or groups – most of whom I’ve known personally or met through this blog.

Attorney Jack Faust

These former Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter, besides their memorable stories, have contributed to society through their heroism, athletic achievements, civic work, dedication to their careers or otherwise.   All of them possess either a great sense of humor or noteworthy personal traits that have made them or would make them great Beerchasing companions.

Rugger, Rafter, Rider and Lawyer, Jay Waldron

I’ve highlighted my former law firm colleagues like Jack Faust and Jay Waldron.

The Godfather – Dwight Jaynes

Then there’s NW media personalities such as Amy Faust and Dwight (The Godfather Jaynes) and SOLV co-directors Jack and Jan McGowan. 

The list also includes military veterans with exemplary service to their country like the late Col. Terry McKinsey (USMC Ret.), Viet Nam era heroes such as Doug Bomarito, Steve Lawrence and Jud Blakely and my brother Capt. Rick Williams (USN Ret.).

The late Retired Colonel Terry “Spike” McKinsey

There’s even the legendary crew of the USS Constitution for their 1798 War Cruise and for you Seinfeld fans, don’t forget the “celebrated” corporate tycoon, Art Vandelay.

Art Vandelay – A Legend in Latex….

Click on the links over the names to see the individual stories noted here or on the tab “Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter” right below the blog header above.

2020’s Second Quarter “Honoree”

The newest BOQ has something in common with one of the former – Craig – The Dude – Hanneman.  Both were Pac Eight Football stars for the Oregon State Beavers under legendary coach, Dee Andros.

The Dude – on the right during the Everest climb

The Dude achieved new heights in 2012, when he became the first former NFL or NBA player to successfully scale Mt. Everest.

Since in 1967, freshmen did not play on the varsity, Craig was on the Rook Team while Billy Main was a key figure in the renowned OSU Giant Killers team – one of the most fabled stories in the annals of NCAA Football history.

As an OSU sophomore, I had the thrill of seeing the Beavs beat an OJ Simpson – led USC Team 3 to 0 when the Trojans were rated No. 1 in the nation.

Bye – Bye,  OJ…

But that was only a small part of the overall narrative – notice the moniker is Killers rather than the singular.

The full story can be seen by either reading my blog post in which I paid tribute to that team’s achievements

https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/

Or you can read another former OSU alum and Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, the aforementioned, Jud Blakely, who put together a wonderful website which would make any sports historian tip his or her hat.

The picture at the left is Blakely receiving his 1967 promotion to Captain and the Bronze Star for valor in Viet Nam from General Garretson, Deputy Commandant of USMC and on the right is Col. Bronars’, Jud’s CO during his first six months in Vietnam..

https://www.oregonst67giantkillers.com/

“Tucker William (Billy)”

Billy Main made his mark at Oregon State through his athletic achievements and his other activities.  He also had a very successful career in the hospitality industry (which started as a “swamper” or night-time janitor at the Beaver Hut – a legendary watering hole for OSU students.)  But how did he get to Corvallis from his roots outside San Francisco in Lafayette, California?

Billy was named after his Uncle Bill who played for the Cal Golden Bears and went to the 1948 Rose Bowl under College Hall of Fame Coach Pappy Waldorf.   His dad also played football for Cal.   Waldorf coached at Cal from 1947 through 1956.

Legendary Coach Pappy Waldorf

The 1946 team of his predecessor went 2 and 7 and Waldorf’s first year, the Golden Bears compiled a 9 and 1 and lost only to USC.  The next two years, his teams went to the Rose Bowl and although losing both times, the turnaround was remarkable.

Memorial Stadium at University of California

He started the tradition of commenting on the game and complimenting the crowd for their support after every home game in the balcony over the northwest gate of the stadium. He continued this tradition through his last home game in 1956.

Billy was an excellent high school athlete playing basketball and football and for the first seventeen years of his life, there was no doubt in his mind that his college home and athletics would be at Berkeley.

“I played basketball like I did football,” Billy told me.  “I was always the first guy to foul out, but they always had me guard the other team’s best player.”

His desire was to go to Cal when he graduated from Del Valle High School in Walnut Creek in 1965, and Jim “Truck” Cullom the Offensive Line Coach recruited him.   Cullom had played football at Cal and remembered Billy’s dad and uncle.

However, the Cal Athletic Dept. advised him to go to junior college first because his grades didn’t meet the standard. (Actually, he met the criteria for an exception, but Cal. messed it up – something they undoubtedly bemoaned from 1967-69.)  His dad told him to look at other college options, so he made a trip up to Pullman to check out Washington State.

Coach Paul Valenti

Fortunately for the Oregon State Beavers:

Main’s basketball coach, Doug Pederson was a friend of Oregon State Basketball Coach, Paul Valenti, that contact got the Beavers in the door.”   (They both played basketball for OSU in 1942)     (The Civil War Rivalry by Kerry Eggers. Page 237.)

Assistant Football Coach Sam Boghosian showed up at one of Billy’s basketball practices.  “I saw this fierce looking guy looking at me practice from across the gym,” Billy said.

A visit in the gym from Assistant OSU Coach Sam Boghosian

Dee Andros had been an Assistant Football Coach at Cal and started his tenure as Head Football Coach at Oregon State in 1965, where he became known as “The Great Pumpkin.” (He was 5’10 and weighed over 300 pounds.)

Boghosian came to the Main’s house to recruit him for the Beavers.  Billy then took a Greyhound Bus up to Corvallis.   “Wayne Valley, a tackle on the team showed me around campus and I really liked it.”

A great read by Kerry Eggers

Another quote from Kerry Eggers, wonderful book The Civil War Rivalry demonstrates the respect and love Andros’ players had for their coach.

(Eggers, an OSU alum, was a columnist in Portland for 45-years, is the author of six books and a five-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year Award.  Any OSU or U of O fan should read this book!)

“‘I sat down with the Great Pumpkin, and it was one of those moments,’ recalled Main…..’We chatted about my pop who was on a destroyer in World War II.’  Dee said, ‘Billy we want you to come to Oregon State.  I committed on the spot. The Pumpkin had a special gift.  He inspired us in that it is difficult to define.  It was magic.'”  (Page 237)

Main was red-shirted for the 1966 season – with a November birthday, he was young and they wanted him to use the extra season to “bulk-up” and help the scout team scrimmage against the Varsity during practice.   Billy also explained:

 “I was a sophomore and was red-shirted  because of Bob Grim, from Red Bluff, maybe Oregon States greatest wingback, my mentor, and a spectacular athlete and role model.”

Bob Grim – mentor and role model

But the year of the Giant Killers in 1967 has to be the most memorable.  Quarterback Steve Preece and Billy were fraternity brothers and best friends at the Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji)  house, but the entire  team was an extremely close knit group.

Fox and Rabbit – Fiji Fraternity house at OSU

According to Preece, “Dee convinced us that we’d only win if we were a group playing as one…Everybody believed it.” (Eggers – The Civil War Rivalry – Page 195)

The option – Preece and Main – frat bros and teammates..

That team attitude was deeply ingrained and made a lifelong impression.   In one of the last e-mails we exchanged for my research for this post.

Ingrained a Team Attitude

Billy wrote:

“Don, please make sure you focus on my other teammates as we go forward.  I remain to this day, in awe of many of them; Jesse (Lewis), Dude (Hanneman), Preece, Foote, Vanderbundt, Houser, Didion…the list goes on and on.”

(Note:  This request is honored if you view my past post about The Giant Killers and will be the case as future posts on Thebeerchaser will continue the story of the Beavers of that era.  That said, this post is primarily about Billy Main and you will understand why as you continue reading.)

Jud Blakely – At Dee Andros’ parents’ gravesite in Oklahoma in 2005

Based on his extensive knowledge of the Giant Killer Team, I asked Jud Blakely to write a few paragraphs about Billy and the team.

Jud first met Main in 2003 when Blakely was considering writing a screen play on the Giant Killers and he used Billy as a resource.  A long-time friendship developed which continues as evidenced by our trip to Corvallis in 2018.

“Okay, so, Bill Main…who entered this world listed as Tucker W. Main…and…you guessed it; the W. stands for “William. Then William made the predictable journey to being ‘Bill’ before it made the slightly less predictable journey to being “Billy”…and Billy Main is how Tucker’s vintage pals know him and address him.

By “vintage pals,” I mean legends in their own right such as Steve Preece, Jon Sandstrom, Mike Foote, Tom Greerty, Jess Lewis, Gary Houser, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Mayes, Mel Easley, and the Rest-In-Peace squad of Bill Enyart, Roger Cantlon, Donnie Summers, John Didion, etc.  Thing is, though, they mostly called him “Rabbit”…and (mostly) they had nicknames, too…

…and so, Preece was “Fox”…Cantlon was “Deer”…Sandstrom was “Grape Eyes”…Bill Enyart was always “Buff” and never “Earthquake,” and on and on.  This was the nature of OSU’s 1967 Giant-Killer football team that caught lightning in a bottle…the fabled and legendary squad on which Billy “Rabbit” Main electrified fans as a star wingback when he was but 18 years old.

(Billy got the name “Rabbit” and Preece got the nicknames “Fox” from their fraternity brother Jeff Wissler.)

Blakely continues about his friendship with Main:

“Bottom line—I’m blessed to be one of Billy Main’s 14 thousand-2 hundred (and 52) friends…

but

I’m estimating here because the count goes up every week.  When it comes to friendship, Billy Main is, like, nearly the size of a South-Pacific atoll that morphed into a nation.  The reason he’s so rich in friends?  It’s as simple as hearing, ‘Hey, I’m thinkin’ about you. ‘How are you?'”

(Note:  I asked my friend of fifty years, Blakely to write a short paragraph or two to use in the posts about Billy.  You will see from this post and the next that’s comparable to asking him to read and summarize a magazine article resulting in him sending a synopsis of Winston Churchill’s six-volume The Second World War.  What he wrote was eloquent and with feeling, but when I kidded him about the length, he responded, “Once I got going, I was too lazy to stop.”)

Janet Williams and Larry and Mariellen Rich in 2019. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in  2019

I was the beneficiary of friendship and living with eleven of the members of the team during the Giant Killer era in the SAE House at OSU.  They included my 1970 classmates, defensive back starters, Larry Rich and Don Whitney.

Other SAE’s footballers during those years were Craig Hanneman, Jim Scheele, Chris Wahle, Clyde Smith, Don Welch, Jim Blackford, Roger Cantlon and Gary and Duane Barton.  They were not only great athletes but outstanding individuals.

Oregon Alpha Chapter of SAE in 1967

Billy’s solid family roots which were a key to his character can be demonstrated by this story on radio broadcasts while he played for OSU.  He told me:

“They didn’t broadcast OSU games in Lafayette, so my Pop and mom drove up I-5 to Etna, California (near Weed) several times each season .  Pops went into the radio station which didn’t carry the games either and asked the manager, ‘Where’s your tower?’  It was up in the Siskiyou Mountains near the Oregon/California border.   They drove up high enough to get the KEX broadcast from Portland and had picnic lunches while they listened to the game.”

At 5′ 11″ and weighing 188 pounds when he was a freshman, Billy was not a big guy compared to his many, if not most of his teammates, but he had a reputation for being a  fierce competitor.  (“I was born in November so was always smaller than my teammates in school which helped shape my attitude.”)

One of Main’s eight catches against the Huskies.

In the Andros Power T Offense, he was a running back and wide receiver who was named to the Coaches’ Second Pac-8 Second Team.  Notwithstanding his size, he was also a skilled blocking back for his fullback Buffalo Bill Enyart. 

A true utility man, Main even was the holder for field goals and extra points for part of the 1968 season.

He became holder, when safety Larry Rich was converted to the kicker after the regular kicker, Mike Haggard was injured. Starting in the Washington game, this newly initiated duo went 5 for 5 in PAT’s in the Beaver victory.

Newly converted holder and kicker, Rich and Mains

Kerry Eggers relates an incident in his book during the 1968 Civil War game with Oregon to show Rabbit’s toughness. The Beavs won that home game 41 to 14 at Parker Stadium.

In the Civil War the year before at Autzen, the Giant Killers, who were nationally ranked, had to make a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Ducks who went into the game with a 2 and 8 record.  Billy Main said of the ’68 game:

“‘We’d remembered what happened (in the Civil War) the year before when we had our heads up our ass and almost lost.   Everybody was ready before the game. You could feel it….’

Fox calling a play

Oregon was poised to “take out” Preece on Oregon State’s patented option play.  Preece had broken a shoulder the previous season, and opponents that year took shots at it.  Early in the game, U of O defensive end, Dennis Gassner cold-cocked him.  Main saw it.

“Billy told me, ‘Run that play again,'” Preece recalled.  “I ran it again and Main goes flying by me and hits (Gassner) so hard I thought he was going to kill him.  He’s standing over him screaming, ‘Don’t touch my quarterback again.”  (Civil War Rivalry – Page 196)

Eggers: Award-winning reporter and author (and OSU alum…)

Given the scenario above, one has to chuckle at Billy’s description of his demeanor in the continuing description of this incident in Kerry Eggers’s book:

“’We had a slight altercation,’ Main acknowledged.  ‘I was uncharacteristically agitated – I was more of a lover than a fighter (emphasis supplied) – and Gassner was pushing because Fox (Preece) has the marginal shoulder. 

It came close to shoving with lots of mouth.  I was ready for a dust-up.  But we were seriously restricted by the Pumpkin’s code of behavior – no fighting, just do your job.”

Main – the portrait of a Lover – not a Fighter….!

So Beerchaser followers, you have the first part of the Tucker W. Main story.  Stay tuned for the next post and the story of Rabbit’s naval service, return to Corvallis and subsequent career and family life.  You can see it at:

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/05/25/the-oregon-state-giant-killers-and-billy-main-part-ii/

Giant Killer Duane Barton