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Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014

"Racehorse" and a flying object

Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009, at 4:18 PM

How many of you remember when fast-pitch softball was played back of the old Flat Creek School?

I mention this to tell a story about the late Wayne "Racehorse" Haithcote. Did you know he played for a pretty good Flat Creek team and was a pretty fair player, except for one problem?

The night I first learned of this I was in high school and playing for a men's team, the Bedford County Coonhunters. We even had a mascot, caged of course.

I played third base and quickly learned I was in the line of fire, Wayne's fire. While I was wondering why all the spectators sitting on the upper rows of the third base bleachers were suddenly climbing down in a hurry, I didn't learn why until one of them warned me to be careful because Wayne was coming to bat.

It seems Wayne had a bad habit of letting go of the bat. The bat usually went over the top of the bleachers or into the wire in front of the bleachers and on that night narrowly missed our caged coon.

He always took a mighty swing at the ball and, believe me, when he let go of his bat that identified flying object was dangerous.

After seeing this happen a couple of times I probably would have been wise to have joined those fleeing spectators.

There's a million stories about Wayne, the policeman. I thought some of you might enjoy a story about this part of his life.

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I went to school with his son and visited his house many times. He was a good man and I am sorry that I found out about this late and was unable to pay my last respects.

R.I.P. Mr. Haithcoate.


-- Posted by HorseGentler on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 2:51 PM

What great stories. Thanks for starting the conversation, Bo.

-- Posted by kentflanagan on Sat, Aug 22, 2009, at 9:23 PM

We have lost a wonderful man. What I hear people saying is the same thing I thought of when somebody told a Racehorse story, he sure rasied a lot of us in my generation............

-- Posted by Black Swan on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 10:25 AM

Thanks for the memory Bo! You and the Cheif covered alot together. If you knew him you had a funny story to tell he was so comical,caring and very fair. He wasn't always by the book, he wrote his own book but it was probably more effective than the real one. I love reading these storys wish someone would put together a book of them, I was at the funeral home and each person I talked to had a different funny tale to tell. We will miss him.

-- Posted by Thatsmystory on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 10:03 AM

Having been a "guest" at the old city jail a time or two, I have some very fond memories of "Racehorse". He was a fine police chief. He always treated people fairly, even if they were on the wrong side of the law. When he spoke with me through those bars, he did so out of concern for myself and my family. He tried to warn me about the road I was traveling as a young man. However, like so many others I failed to heed his advice. Mr. Haithcote was a very decent human being.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 9:50 AM

Racehorse caught me and a buddy of mine drag racing on the street behind the old Central High football field. At the other end Racehorse was waiting for us. When he found out who our parents were, he gave us a good talking to and let us go. Several years later, I saw him and asked why he let us go with a warning. His answer: "I knew your parents and I was worried that they would probably hurt you if they knew". He was right. I will never forget him and I never used my dad's car to drag race again. I also learned that even teenagers deserve a break now and then. Thanks, Racehorse......

-- Posted by chs61 on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 7:31 PM

We used to get Wayne to chaperone Tony and the Playboy dances at the American Legion and one of my fondest memories is of him putting on a Beatles wig. Wish I could find the picture I made of that. It would be a good Tuesday post.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 6:08 PM

That is a good story Bo, and those are the kind of thinks we should remember when someone has passed.

Yes, I remember playing fast pitch softball on that field but I never played with or against Wayne. He was several years older than I was.

I hesitate to tell this story but it was comical to those of us who were there. One night I was summoned to the City Jail to retrieve a relative of mine from the drunk tank. He was really in no shape to be released. As we were leaving as we passed the desk area my relative said "wait just a minute". I asked what the problem was and he said "I am going to whip Racehorse's sitting down place" (or something like that). Well it was obvious that he could not have hit the floor with his hat, and with just a little urging from me and one of the policemen there we were able to persuade him that would not be a good idea. Even now I smile every time I think about it.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 4:38 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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