"Sure I remember," The Bear replied. "I just want to see what it is he's takin', that's all." And he came into the sweat-box and started examining all the things about Coach Bryant. It was like Huck Finn attending his own funeral.
Pig reported about which of the items he had already put in his Cadillac. "O.K.," The Bear said, and he started searching the walls himself. He already looked a whole lot younger than when he had stepped into the place. He didn't even look as hot anymore. "Here!" he called out. " SEC coach, alltime. Now that's not a bad thing, either. Alltime SEC coach."
House and Thornton couldn't agree more, and hurried to get the SEC citation off the wall. "And Coach of the Decade. National. Where's that?" The Bear asked. "Let's find that one." The three of them started searching for that award, too, but it just couldn't be located anywhere. You just cannot believe how much stuff is jammed into those memorabilia rooms.
At last, Thornton tried to help out. "How 'bout this, sir? The Arkansas Hall of Fame certificate?"
Look out. That was the wrong thing to say.
"No sir!" The Bear thundered. He wasn't mumbling any now. "Why it took them five years to put Hutson in, and he was a better player than anybody else even walked across Arkansas. They asked me to speak that year, and I flat wouldn't do it. No, sir. Then it took 'em another ten years 'fore they put me in. They had girls and ever'thin' else in 'fore me. No...sir!"
So much for the Arkansas Hall of Fame. They all went back to searching for Coach of the Decade. "Wait, I got one," The Bear suddenly cried. "The Kentucky Man of the Year. Why, you know what? I got that when Alben Barkley, who was from Kentucky, was the Vice-President of the United States."
So everybody abandoned the Coach of the Decade hunt and got into looking for the Kentucky Man of the Year.
And just for an instant there, glancing about, The Bear found himself face-to-face with an old picture of himself—young and strong and handsome, curly-haired and clear-eyed, and he didn't know anybody was watching, and he couldn't help but peer at himself. Hell, he sees his countenance all the time. It's on just about every product in the Heart of Dixie. But this was different. Old Coach Bryant just couldn't help but share a moment with young Coach Bryant.
And a smile creased his lips. Still being a coach at 68, still being Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant is better even than being a legend in your own time. In a couple more weeks, two-a-days would be starting again, and the world would be young once more, and Alabama true.