Review: More Than Rivals
`More Than Rivals` is a steady-paced biography of Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon, written by Ken Abraham. It's a true story about two guys who grew up on the opposite sides of the tracks, and how they became best friends. The story takes place in Gallatin, Tenn. in the 1960's.
This book was written in dedication of: Anna Bransford Ligon (mother of Bill Ligon), Jimmy H. (Bo) Sherlin, Jr. (brother of Eddie Sherlin), Dan P. Herron (former principal of Gallatin High School), and Professor John V. Malone (former principal of Union High School).
In the 1960's Gallatin, Tenn. had no problems with African Americans. It was a small town and everyone just stayed in their own territory. In 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared schools should be fully integrated several white folk balked at this Brown V. Board of Education ruling.
In 1963 Gallatin was probably the first to have a mix of white and African Americans playing a game of pick-up basketball. The game began in a backyard with a make-shift basket, goalpost, and inexpensive ball. Soon moving to the local school gym.
Bo wanted to make some money so he worked for a carnival man. The first day he worked he rode to town with his boss to pick up some much needed carnival items. On the way back they were involved in a major accident, killing everyone except Bo. However, Bo would have to use a wheelchair.
I like the Bible verse quoted in the book. `Men may look at the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.` I was impressed with how the white coaches took on a black player, not by his color, but by his skill.
I think this is a great book and should be required reading in 9th grade.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for my honest review. I am not an Amazon Affiliate.