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Rabbit Tracks: How a basketball team of enlisted men used a little food coloring and humor to help bridge the racial divide

By Bob Smith

When I lived in Washington, D.C. back in the late sixties, I played on a basketball team with a bunch of enlisted Navy guys.  We had a game on St. Patrick’s Day against an all-black team.
Those crazy Navy guys covered themselves all over with green food color.  When we came out on the court, the black guys all started laughing at them.
One of the sailors said to them, “What’s the matter with you guys?  Haven’t you ever seen colored people before?”
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Rabbit recently entered a limerick contest with a $25,000 prize for first place. He shared one of his first attempts with his fellow Richmondites.

The Pope said at the plenum,
Tomorrow we all wear blue denim.
Our gowns are out of style,
By a long country mile.
Our goal is to dress like John Lennon.

Bob Smith graduated Richmond High School in 1957. He lives in Panama City, Fla., and contributes frequnetly to several newspapers, including the Richmond News.

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