Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Opinion

February 12, 2010

Generations inspired by dedication, and greatness, of ‘Bullet’ Bill Dudley

One of my favorite all-time jobs was guarding an empty building for the Department of Energy’s Morgantown Energy Technology Center. The DOE had a nine-story research facility on Chestnut Ridge Road that had been built for some kind of testing. It was directly behind the West Virginia University Medical Center. My job was to walk to a key station at the back of the parking lot and punch a key into the clock I carried, and ride the elevator to the top floor of the building shell and visit another key station. I had to do that once every other hour.

When I wasn’t making my rounds, I spent the rest of my shift sitting in a guard shanty and listening to the radio. I actually won an album by answering a question on WAJR-FM radio. The question was: “What is the maximum amount of money in U.S. coins that a person can have and still not be able to make exact change for a dollar?” Of course, the answer is $1.19, four dimes, four pennies and three quarters. When I told the dee-jay that he could do it with one coin fewer by substituting a 50-cent piece for two of the quarters, he seemed amazed and speculated that I must have a lot of time on my hands.

One evening shift as I was listening to the Gale Catlett statewide radio show, he told Jack Flemming that he was trying to recruit Jimmy Miller of Princeton at the time and he went so far as to encourage listeners in the Princeton area to talk to Jimmy and encourage him to become a WVU Mountaineer. I thought it was odd at the time that Coach Catlett would say something like that on radio, but when Jimmy Miller signed a letter of intent to play for the Virginia Cavaliers, I thought that was a good move for him. Ralph Sampson was there at the time and it looked like he was going to be one of the great collegiate athletes of that era.

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