The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

January 8, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Carl Cather fixed West’s first two nose breaks

MORGANTOWN — I recently received a couple of emails from a local retired well-known Dr. Carl Cather Jr., which I’d like to share with readers.

In commenting on a recent column about Hall of Famer Jerry West breaking his nose as a West Virginia University basketball player against Kentucky, Dr. Cather remembered, “He (West) did it again, and I fixed it a second time,” both times at the original Morgantown Ear, Nose, Throat Clinic, of which he was the father.

As an 84-year-old alumnus of both WVU and the Harvard University Medical School, Dr. Cather has been a close follower of the Mountaineers in all sports as well as a helper in medical areas.

He also earned high accolades for his work at both major hospitals, as well as his E.N.T. clinics, for many, many years.

As for Jerry West, the greatest basketball player in WVU history (from 1957-60), he went on to star 14 years with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association after graduating here.

West, a Kanawha County native, was a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard who finished his incredible playing career with a total of nine breaks of his nose.

“After the two that I repaired, I cautioned Jerry that more might follow during his professional career,” Dr. Cather recalled.

He was right!

o o o o o o

James “Buck” Harless, one of the longest and most generous among all WVU financial supporters, died on Jan. 1, at the age of 94, in Kermit.

The Mingo County native not only was a major financial contributor to the university’s athletic program but to other more important areas, including the Department of Medicine.

Harless also became widely known as the owner and operator of coal mines in southern West Virginia and a noted businessman.

One of his most recent donations reported was for the betterment of the WVU College of Law. I don’t know of anyone who has been more highly respected as a donor to the institution.

“Buck” Harless deservedly has earned numerous honors from WVU. Those included induction into the Order of Vandalia and the Mountain Honorary.

He also was selected as Most Loyal Mountaineer and has an honorary doctorate from the university.

Harless was elected into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, too.

That’s a colossal collection of tributes to a most generous man who started out as a young coal miner and worked his way up to a coal and lumber giant in southern West Virginia.

“Buck” Harless certainly will be missed!

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Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.
    However, he told me he faces knee-replacement surgery. So he’s going to find it necessary to give up bowling during a period of rehab. Hart has competed in an amazing total of 45 U.S. Bowling Congress tournaments during his outstanding career.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-Mountaineer track star dies; WVU athlete arrests may be concern

    I’ve learned belatedly that James Gordon “Jim” Dial, an outstanding men’s track and field sprinter at West Virginia University during the late 1940s, has died.
    He was a native of Huntington who earned All-State first team status. The Huntington High star led all scorers in the state Track Championship meets in both 1946 and ’47.

    July 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Jedd Gyorko running and taking batting practice now

    A report on the internet at this week’s start indicated that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko might be ready finally to rejoin the San Diego Padre’s starting lineup.
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    July 16, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU hopes to boost season-ticket sales

    West Virginia University’s season-ticket sales for football are the lowest in nine years just two months before this season’s first home game.
    That will be on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Towson State. The Big 12 portion of the schedule follows.

    July 10, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: San Diego Padres’ Gyorko remains on disabled list

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
    • Jedd Gyorko still is not active with the San Diego Padres. The former West Virginia University standout has been on the baseball’s disabled list for just over a month and hopes to return soon.

    July 9, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: It had to feel like ‘Ol’ Home Week’ for the Tricketts

    It might have felt like a bit of “Ol’ Home Week’ to West Virginia University starting quarterback Clint Trickett.
    His parents, Rick and Tara Trickett, were in the Morgantown area and stopped by to spend some time with Clint. They still live in Tallahassee, Florida.

    July 3, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU football season-ticket sales approximately 26,000

    Stringing together some odds and ends about sports that may be of interest to you:
    • West Virginia University season-ticket sales for the 2014 football campaign have reached approximately 26,000. That’s some 2,000 since the count of 24,000 when the renewal deadline was reached.

    June 27, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: USA Today has WVU 78th in football countdown from No. 128 to No. 1

    Like Las Vegas oddsmakers, USA Today’s sports writer Paul Myerberg doesn’t rank West Virginia highly in that newspaper’s early college football predictions in a copyrighted piece.
    In one of its thorough pieces, USA Today analyzed West Virginia in its No. 78 ranking among 128 college teams. That’s what is called a countdown from No. 128 to No. 1.

    June 24, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Las Vegas oddsmakers not kind to WVU in early listings

    Not long ago, I guessed that the West Virginia University football team will go 6-6 during the 2014 football season.
    That was based strictly on a hunch. It would show at least some improvement over last year’s pitiful 4-8 finish.

    June 22, 2014

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