Remembering Woody Woodward

Dear Friends and Family of Woody:

Herbert Clifford “Woody” Woodward of Raleigh, NC died on October 28, 2021 at the age of 75. Woody was born on February 19, 1946 in Winchendon, MA.  He is the son of the late Herbert Elmer Woodward and Alice Ruth Woodward.   

Woody is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jeanette Caroll Woodward, his brother Jimmie Allen (and Robin) Woodward of Bella Vista, Arkansas, his sister R. Gayle (and David) Snyder of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, his brother, David deJ Woodward of Honea Path, South Carolina, his son, Michael Scott (and Julia) Woodward of Raleigh, North Carolina, his grandsons Graham Tennyson Woodward and Marshall Emerson Woodward, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.  

Woody graduated from Grimsley High School in Greensboro, NC.  He also completed some college coursework through the University of Maryland’s extension program in Bitburg, Germany.  

Following high school, Woody served in U.S. Army Special Forces including two tours in Vietnam.  After leaving the military, he worked as an instructor at the North Carolina Outward Bound School.  Woody then moved to Bitburg, Germany where he started an outdoor education program for military dependents known as Project Bold.  One year later, the program transitioned to Berchtesgaden, Germany and continued for another 33 years.  

After four years in Germany, Woody and his family relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he developed and ran an outdoor adventure treatment modality for the McLeod Addictive Disease Center.  Woody founded Charlotte Outdoor Adventure Center, a business he ran for a number of years.  Woody then took a position as the Director of Park and Recreation at Long Beach on Oak Island, NC.  Woody transitioned back to Charlotte and worked for the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department for 16 years until his retirement.

During retirement, Woody was an active volunteer in his community.  He was a member on the Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee and Stonebridge HOA and served on the Board of Bridge II Sports.  Woody also volunteered for Outward Bound and was especially involved and passionate about Outward Bound’s Veteran’s programs.

Woody’s true passion was spending time with his wife, traveling to see friends in Washington State, New England, and Italy, watching his son play hockey weekly in an adult beer league, ordering fun gadgets from Amazon Prime, and doing anything involving his grandsons.   

Online condolences to the family may be made at http://www.MitchellatRMP.com.


The Globetrotters Came to Town

by Allen Dale Olson

When I returned to Porter County, Indiana, in 1956 after a tour in the Army, I came as an assistant basketball coach at the high school where I had played and graduated. The percentage of African-Americans in the county hadn’t changed much, and not at all in my high school. We were still a white farming community, though suburbanization and ultimately town and city status were on the way.

One evening I got an interesting phone call from a coach in another county town. The Harlem Globetrotters were coming, and the caller had been tasked with forming a team to play them. I don’t know who organized the event, but I knew that it was for a charity and that the Globetrotters were the hottest name in basketball in those days.

Because I hadn’t played much during my Army tour I declined to suit up for the game unless some unforeseen emergency hit the roster – nearly all former college players working as coaches in various area high schools.

The game was in Boucher Gymnasium in Valparaiso, the county seat. The Globetrotters were an all-Black superstar team who played the game as entertainers but with such skill that hardly a foe ever beat them. They had even beaten professional teams in Chicago and Green Bay.

Their names suggested their showmanship: Meadow Lark Jones; Goose Tatum, Nathanial Sweetwater Clifton, and so on. These players were the first to dunk, the first to fire from three-point range or even to bounce in a basket or two. Their fakes and no-looks and baffling dribbles not only revealed uncanny skill but also evoked never-ending laughter and applause.

Our team, with the discipline of college experience, tried to keep calm and for a while seemed to give the Trotters a real game. But in the end the head fakes, body blows, and clownish antics carried the evening, and the visitors won by some twenty points, a close game for them.

Formed in the 1920s, the Globetrotters were something of an advance party paving the way for African-Americans to enter major professional sports leagues. While racial integration in 1956 was not fait accompli, those Porter County families and the Globetrotters interacted with humor and good will.  There were friendly taunts and outrageous dares, as the Trotters did their part in their unique way to further the Civil Rights movements of post World War II, and the white families who supported them provided evidence that the movement’s  time had come.

This is a promotional video from that year, but not from the game I wrote about.


I was blind, and now I see

Tim Craig

I grew up a military brat, in playgrounds and schools on Army bases all over the world, with children of every nationality, every color & creed, every race & religion, in a musical theater family, performing arts, and concerts, and shows in playhouses all over the country, where all the kooky, crazy, misfits go to be themselves. I was hopeless. I was destined to grow up color-blind. I couldn’t tell one color from the next, there were too many of them to count! I thought “normal” meant to be unique & different, and the more eclectic & eccentric the person, the cooler they were to me?

I remember the very day my father tried to take my blindfold off, as if it were only yesterday. It was 1976, I was 11 years old, living on an Army base in Wurzburg, Germany, and my father had received his orders to transfer to Ft Bragg Army base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It’s a day that will be forever stuck in my social memory. He sat my sister and I down in the living room, and began to tell us about what it’s going to be like moving to the “South” in 1976. He showed us tapes of the Martin Luther King riots where people were yelling and fighting, police dogs were attacking people, and there were fire hoses being sprayed on women and children. I was so confused and I didn’t understand. I asked him why they were doing it? His answer was only that because they were “different”. I was too young to understand racism, or discrimination, or the civil rights movement, and I was certainly never exposed to anything like that growing up? So, I just put my blindfold back on and forgot all about it, as if I had never been told.

We moved to Ft Bragg in 1977, and I was right back in my comfort zone, living in Normandy Heights on Ft Bragg Army base, back in the schools, and the playgrounds, and the DYA, and playing sports on another military installation, surrounded by kids of every color & creed again. Finishing the 6th grade at Bowley Elementary School, then 7th & 8th grade at Irwin Jr High School, right on the base as usual. Nothing had changed? All was the same! So, I quickly forgot everything my father had tried to warn me about, had tried to prepare me for, and with my blindfold tightly fashioned over my eyes, I went on to public school at Reid Ross High School, in Fayetteville, and off the sheltered facade of military base living and growing up with other Army brats of every color and creed, from all walks of life. You would think this is where my blindfold fell off, but you would be wrong. Read the rest of this entry »


Brat Bus Driver

I was just reminded of was the young enlisted men who drove us to school. I can just imagine how they felt, like “I joined the Marines (or whatever) to be a big tough guy, not to drive a bunch of brats around!”

They probably prayed no one they saw on leave would ask them what kind of job they did! Some of them were very nice, but some got real annoyed.

I remember one day, in 1960-61, at Camp LeJeune, the driver kept yelling at kids to stop sticking their arms and heads out the windows, but kids kept doing it.

Suddenly, he pulled the bus over, came down the aisle and yelled “The next time I see a piece of flesh sticking out of a window, I’m going to come back and RIP IT OFF!” I didn’t see one kid stick anything out of a window for the rest of the ride home!

—Darillyn Lamb Starr


Remembering the Brats that died on 9-11 this Patriots Day.

Brat Friends,

As we commemorate Patriots Day today and remember 9-11, let’s not forget the two Brats that were killed on that Day of Infamy:
-Rodney Brown, an 11 year old Navy Brat who was on American Airlines Flight #11 that slammed into the Pentagon, where his father worked as a Navy CPO;
-Kip Taylor, an Army Brat whom went to school overseas in Berlin and Heidelberg whom was an Army Major on duty in the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight #11 crashed into the Pentagon.
How are Rodney and Kip remembered? In a number of ways!
Today Rodney and Kip both have benches in their memory at the Pentagon Memorial. Both Brats have been featured in previous editions of OVERSEAS BRATS (OSB) magazine. The Army promoted Kip to Lieutenant Colonel posthumously. Kip is remembered by those that went to Heidelberg and Berlin High Schools. Kip is also on the OSB Brat Memorial because he died while serving his country. At the all-Brats event called Homecoming 2010 held in the Washington, DC, Brats attending the event went to the Pentagon Memorial and paid homage to the memory of Rodney and Kip.
*********
Joe/OVERSEAS BRATS