The best of Furman Bisher

2000: The death of a beloved son


'I saw him take his first breath in life and his last'

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First published: April 19, 2000

Let me tell you about Roger Bisher, the athlete. It won't take long because the career was short.

He was well-built for a kid. Looked like an athlete. Could run like a deer. He had a coachable attitude. So the Pop Warner coach at Chastain Park talked him into coming out for the team. His brother Jamie was already a player. Roger looked like a natural. He pitched in with moderate enthusiasm, then discovered that the coach knew all about machinery, so while the others practiced, Roger talked machinery with the coach, who enjoyed talking machinery with Roger, and football got lost.


'May your holiday be rich in blessings and love'

First published: November 24, 2011

Well, we're now into our third season of what is comically referred to as "retirement" --- and I can tell you this: There's nothing retiring about it.

The phone still has to be answered. The garbage has to be taken out. Norman (that's the cat) has to be fed --- then let out --- then let back in. The bird feeder has to be refilled.


1950: First column for Atlanta Constitution

Bisher 2

Let's spar a few rounds

First Published: April 16, 1950

Last New Year's Night the boys in the back room at Brook Hollow Country Club were getting their kicks from songwriter Harry Revel, who between songs specializes in soothsaying on an amateur basis. It was Dallas, Texas, and the Cotton Bowl was in season. What the man who wrote "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?


1990: Ponce de Leon Park

A tree played center field

First published: May 10, 1990

(In the days of the Atlanta Crackers baseball club, a large magnolia tree stood in center field, on a terrace rising just above the playing level. Until the latter seasons at Ponce de Leon Park, when a scoreboard blocked it out, the tree was in play. Only Eddie Mathews, then a kid of 19, ever hit a ball into the tree, the story goes.

1990: Atlanta awarded Olympics

Tortoise beats the hare

First published: Sept. 18, 1990

TOKYO -- You'd probably better take this sitting down. Find a chair. Take a cold drink of water. Brace yourself. Clear your head.

Citius, altius, fortius, Atlantius.

You have just become the parents of the Olympic Games. Not just any old Olympic games, but the 100th birthday Games. The 1996 Olympic Games, the centennial year of rebirth.

1980: U.S. hockey win in Olympics

The Miracle on Ice

First published: Feb. 24, 1980

Lake Placid, N.Y. -- Calm yourself. This doesn't mean the Russians have pulled out of Afghanistan and called Jimmy to say they're sorry. The hostages haven't been told to get packed for home. The oil crisis hasn't improved a gallon's worth. We still have inflation as fat as Blue Boy. (A seat to watch this event cost $67.

1986: Remembering Ty Cobb

The Georgia Peach

First published: Dec. 14, 1986

Tyrus Raymond Cobb was probably the greatest baseball player who ever lived. But the first inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame isn't even memorialized in his hometown.

Ty Cobb thought he had come back to Georgia to live out his years, on a mountain overlooking Narrows, where he was born, or where Narrows had once been.

1981: Boxer Joe Louis

A great fighting man

First published: April 22, 1981

Joe Louis became Barrow again Tuesday. In death they returned the name by which he began life and returned the body to the soil. The beginning and the end were of contrasts as broad as a chasm, and reflect the American legend. Joe Louis Barrow came out of a sharecropper's cabin in east Alabama and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, a ground sacred to Americans who come here to honor their military dead.

1951: Shoeless Joe Jackson

Left with clear conscience

First published: Dec. 9, 1951

Shoeless Joe Jackson was a plain and simple man who thought in plain and simple ways. He stood out from his kind only by a remarkable athletic instinct, and an extra sense that made him one of baseball's great hitters. Fact is, they say he was the greatest natural hitter that ever lived.

But without a bat in his hands, he had a weakness.


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