High school exploits of Uncle Bob Foutz Revealed
Appreciating genealogy for its base accumulation of birth, marriage and death dates would be something akin to loving music by memorizing the birth and death dates of its composers.
Though that still seems to be a major component of music history curricula.
I like to say that I got started in genealogy research in order to rack up more nodes on the family tree in competition with my wife’s cousin, Carl Knutson. But what sucked me in was family history — discovering the people behind the names on the family tree, and the stories that illustrate who they were, and how they lived.
That can be pretty damn fascinating when you’re unlocking mysteries to life a hundred or more years ago. Ancestors who were essentially strangers become a bit more familiar, a bit more family.
But it can be pretty damn fun when you get around to sharing tid bits about family members you already know — or think you know — well. Digging through Newspapers.com archives has turned up a trove of printed treasure from fifty years back. Which brings us to grandparents, and parents, and … aunts and uncles.
It’s an accident of the calendar that Aunt Sally Ley’s birthday tribute is followed up by Uncle Bob Foutz’s just days later. Or, is it fortunate? For our collective amusement, say.
A search for Foutzes in the pages of the 1950s and 1960s Dover Daily Reporter returns dozens upon dozens of accounts of football and track and Little League contests and Soap Box derbies for my dad and uncles. But the Reporter paid due attention to academic life as well.
As an end on Dover’s dominant Tornado football squads of the early 1960s, Uncle Bob Foutz executed a nifty handoff from older brother Don’s record-setting exploits as runningback graduating four years prior; and his adventures as track-rounding hurdler advanced the narrative from Don’s shot-put showcases. (Anyone sense some coming posts in March, when Uncle Don will celebrate 70 years?)
But Bob blazed a trail of his own in academics, garnering some glowing praise in the Schools section, and a feature on his pending departure for Yale upon graduation.
From Sept. 17, 1965, a preview of the Dover Tornadoes football season:
A March 3, 1966, a feature on soon-to-be graduating senior Bob Foutz describes him as “quiet, self-reliant and conscientious” — qualities I guess we’ll accept as well-rounded when taken with his fondness for hitting on the football field:
A May 31, 1966 recap on the awards ceremony included seniors Bob Foutz and — from my mom’s branch — Aunt Jeanne Ley:
Wrapping up our Bulldog birthday bonanza, the Daily Reporter caught up with Uncle Bob and another local Yalie-to-be. May his 67th year be welcomed with as much excitement.