Another brick in the wall

Sep 5, 2009, 12:03 PM |

Upon walking up to the front door of USCF HQ in Crossville, Tennessee, one sees inscribed bricks on either side of the walkway. The one I recall most vividly is donated by former Georgia State chess champion, Bob Joiner. Matter of fact, the inscription tells you that he won the tournament in 1969 with a score of 5-0.

I learned to play in 1966, when my father taught me. He beat me the first few games, so I purchased HOW TO PLAY CHESS, by Fred Reinfeld for a quarter and read it before playing again. I surprised my father by winning, so he wanted another game. When I won again, my father became enraged, sweeping the pieces off of the table. I beat everyone in the neighborhood, then stopped playing to continue playing baseball.

Some years later I learned one of my cousins, Carl Hendrix, had worked with Bob at Southern Airways, before Bob became a prominent public defender in Atlanta. I've often wondered what would have happened if I had met Mr Robert Joiner upon first learning chess.

Like me, Bob also played serious backgammon, winning many tournaments. He came by the House of Pain after retiring from the law, playing in the Tuesday night fights. He didn't do well and has not been seen since. I hope he finds his way back to our world.

If I ever get to the point I have an extra $50, I intend on purchasing a brick, upon which I will inscribe: Atlanta Champion, 1974-76, winning the 1976 tournament 5-0. I would like it to go right below Bob's brick.