2009-07-22 / Front Page

Godfrey tells tales about UGA

by Terry Toole

Bill Godfrey tells some of what he remembers at UGA. Bill Godfrey tells some of what he remembers at UGA. The Colquitt Lions Club was royalty entertained at their bimonthly meeting on July 15.

Lion Luke Clearman opened the meeting by asking Tail twister Billy Kimbrel to offer a prayer. Clearman then led with the Pledge to the Flag. He then turned the meeting over to Dr. Joe Grimsley

Dr. Grimsley introduced the speaker as one of Colquitt's star football players at the University of Georgia in the late 1950s, Bill Godfrey.

Godfrey started by admitting that he was originally from North Carolina, but the best thing he ever did in his entire life was marry Lola Jean Kimbrel of Colquitt. He said that he may not have been born in Colquitt, but the people here are his people, and he feels like he is one of them.

He told of how Lola Jean was a Georgia cheerleader and how they got married in the 1950s. Ty, their oldest son, was born while they were at UGA.

Bill started his stories by telling when Ty was born in Athens. He said the nurse came out and told him that he was the father of a fine 11 pound boy. Bill had already been advised that if it was a boy to have him circumcised.

He stated when the nurse told him he had a boy, Bill asked, "Have you castrated him yet?"

The nurse replied, "I hope not!"

"I mean, circumcised," Bill came back.

Godfrey admitted that he and Colquitt teammate, Billy "Headhunter" Roland, did not use their brains as much as their brawn. "If Coach Wally Butts told us to knock down a brick wall, we would try to knock it down. I lost several front teeth doing what the coach said, not to mention other damaged body areas," Godfrey said.

"Now other 1959 teammates like Fran Tarkenton and Pat Dye would run around the brick walls. Guess that was why they were named All-Americans," he continued.

Another tale he shared was about the great 1959 SEC Championship Team that almost didn't have any players.

Francis Tarkenton, Pat Dye, Charlie Britt and several of the other players got together and said they were tired of Coach Butts cursing them out on the field. Tarkenton said they were all going to FSU if he didn't quit cursing the players.

"Coach Butts got word, and the team made me the spokesman to go talk with him. When I walked into his office, the coach jumped up in the air, and before he hit the floor, he cussed a blue streak, and I was the only one there,"

Godfrey said. Then I looked at the Butts and said, 'Coach, I don't know what I'm doing here. I'm going back to Paine Hall.'

All the players stayed and won the 1959 SEC Championship game."

Godfrey told several more tales like when Dean Tate kicked him out of school, and Coach Lumpkin went up to North Carolina and brought him back to school to live with him and his family. "He was like a father to me. He was a wrestling champ, and he beat the devil out of me almost," remarked Godfrey. Bill confessed that he was bad to drink anything, and Coach Lumpkin gave him two gallons of shine to drink while watching the hen house for foxes. "After seeing 40 foxes and a herd of elephants, I decided to stop drinking," he joked.

He also contrasted how times have changed at UGA. He said he kept a shotgun and several beagle hounds in the room with him at Georgia. That was before he married. He even hitchhiked back to North Carolina with a shotgun, two beagles and a suitcase. It took about five hours.

Godfrey told several more Georgia stories and then a few after the meeting closed about Eloise.

Some things you can't put in print, but if you want a good, fun program, not especially for a church group, I would recommend Bill.

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