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Monday, September 24, 2007

Response from a Hetzel Fan

Sometimes it takes a year or two, but this came in my inbox from a Richard Mullin last night with regard to a 2005 listing of the #10 event in Wapella History, Wilfred Hetzel appears in Wapella.

Wilfred Hetzel was a frail fellow in his 60s and 70s whotoured the country doing a basketball trick shot program forhigh school and Middle schools during a 47 year career. Hepromoted himself as the world's record holder for continuousfree throws - 110 baskets one after another! He would appearbefore the students wearing a sweat suit, but after beingintroduced, he always got a laugh when he'd move to the edgeof the gym and drop his pants. The sight of this 100 lb.wrinkled guy, with snow white hair, wearing shorts, neverfailed to amuse. He'd make baskets in any way one mightimagine! He'd lay on his back, balance the ball on the solesof his feet and kick the ball into the basket. He'd face theopposite way and throw the ball back over his head into thebasket. He'd stand on one foot while balancing the ball on theinstep of the other foot, then kick the ball into the basket.He'd switch feet and repeat it. He'd face the basket andbounce the ball on the floor in front of him -- right into thebasket. Shot after shot. Occasionally he'd miss one of theshots. In that case he'd try it over and over until hesucceeded. What a show. What a character. What an experience!Behind the scenes, and unknown to the children,Wilfred was an excellent planner as well as an excellent scammer. He had a country-wide mailing list and he'd schedule his appearances within a given area. He'd travel by bus from one stop to another. A school official would travel to a bus station or other school to get him. He'd use a copy machine or ditto machine to run off flyers in the school office -- begging postage from the secretaries -- sending advertisements to local schools stating the dates that he still had available. He'd be treated to a meal in the cafeteria. Sometimes the Student Council provided funds for an over-night motel stay. The ride to the motel, nearby school or bus station was the last you'd see of him until the next year's advertising flyer would arrive!

Thanks for the nice note Mr. Mullin. Also noted, the only word that rhymes with Hetzel is Pretzel.


Anonymous said...

Quetzal is a type of bird found in Central American which also has skinny legs and which also rhymes with Hetzel. Does the Mod need a fact-checker like PTI?

Moderator said...

If that is your kind of fact, I will stick to fiction.


Anonymous said...


The attached link takes you to a picture of a Quetzal.

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