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Old 04-22-2016, 09:10 AM   #1
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Daily Craig: The old daze

A friend I really don't know posted a picture on Facebook yesterday and it rang a bell with me. One bell not currently ringing in my head. The picture was of a long gone restaurant in Houston, Sonny Look's. It was on W. Main near the south loop. Sonny was always there and he was a big sports fan. His restaurant was home each and every Tuesday during the lunch hour for the local media. We ate free. This is something every restaurant owner should know. If it if free or free light we will be there. Athletes or coaches or someone with some event to promote showed up too and we did the "FREE AD" thing.

One Tuesday early in the summer of 1982 Photographer Rick McFarland and I were at Sonny's when we got a page from Ch. 2. That was never a good sign. We are in sports. Paging someone is a murder or flood story. The Astros had just fired Mgr. Bill Virdon. The team and it's former mgr. were in San Diego. Leave it to owner John Mcmullen to fire his mgr in the middle of a road trip. The station sent Chopper 2 to get Rick and me. It landed in Sonny's parking lot. It took us, minus plane tickets or luggage or tooth brushes, to IAH where we got a ride to Los Angeles. From there a prop commuter plane to San Diego. The pilot asked every passenger how much they weighed. I took this as not the time to lie.

We finally got to then Jack Murphy Stadium and looked for any one with a Houston uniform. We got Alan Asby. Pretty good. WHERE WAS THE FIRED MGR? According to Ash he was in the pressbox. What? Yep, Bill was sitting in street clothes in the visitor's side of the Padres press box. I got the interview, got the tape to a courier and we had the story. We were the only Houston TV guys there. It just goes to show a free meal could turn into A BIG STORY.

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