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Long-time UK fan has special connection/memory with Allen Feldhaus Sr.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Getting to interact/connect with so many University of Kentucky fans is a real bonus for doing this blog.

Consider this recent e-mail I got from Bill Ryle, a long-time UK fan:

“I don’t know if you remember but about a year ago I wrote you about growing up on a farm next to Allen Felhaus’ family in Boone County. I don’t get on the computer much, but do thoroughly enjoy all you writings. I am really looking forward to the group we have coming in this fall.

“I know your site is not for such things, but since I have been seeing a lot of things about Dominique Hawkins, I have a request.  I would love to get in touch with Allen Sr. It has been over 50 years since I have seen him. If you ever have a chance to talk to him or Allen Jr, could you let them know I would like to speak with them.

Now I don’t know any of the three sons but did enjoy watching Deron play at Kentucky. My wife and I went to the SEC tournament the year Kentucky won it at Baton Rouge. Don’t remember the year that was. Please don’t go to any trouble doing this. And if you are ever in Owensboro let me know.  I will take you to Moonlite Bar-B-Cue Restaurant. I’m sure you have been there.  My favorite restaurant in Kentucky. We’ve only lived here seven years but go there frequently. Our son, Bill Jr came here on a baseball scholarship in 1974 and stayed  We love this town.”

Naturally, I sent this e-mail on to Allen Feldhaus Jr., Hawkins’ coach at Madison Central. It was no surprise he replied promptly.

Feldhaus wrote: “I just called dad and shared your letter with him.  He remembers Mr. Ryle.  Dad said he used to pick him up a lot of days when dad was hitchhiking home from practice. Dad said Mr. Ryle probably is around 80 years old.  Thanks for sharing this Larry.”

Again, nothing quite like the memories of UK fans or the connections former players feel with the fans.

And when or if I am in Owensboro again, I definitely will have lunch/dinner with Bill Ryle at Moonlite.

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10 comments

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  1. Jimcats

    Any of us old enough to remember seeing Deron play still have to love him. He was the “enforcer” on that smallish team and protected and supported his all-American team mate, probably at the expense of his own stats.

    One of my WORST memories of UK comes from a game at UGa where, right from the start, Georgia went into that danged 4-corners stall. UK decided to just let them. So, after going to great lengths to get to that game, we (wife and friends) sat and watched nothing for most of the night. Never felt so cheated at any game before or since. Wasn’t something the players could help however. No one was more happy than I when “the shot clock” came into being.

  2. King Ghidora

    I gotta go with the Rusty Fork Cafe in Elkhorn City as the best eatery in the state. You really have to want to get there though. It’s in the far SE corner of the state about a rock’s throw from Virginia and deep in the mountains. It’s right on the track to Breaks Interstate Park though so we’ve been there many times. You wouldn’t think it to look at the place but their food is as good as it gets.

  3. Larry Pup

    Great piece here Larry V enjoyed. Mr. Ryle is right about Moonlight. Great place to eat while in Owensboro.

  4. TrueBlueJohn

    King, I have lived in Pike County nearly all of my life, but that is the first time I ever heard of the Rusty Fork Cafe. If it is as good as you say, I am going to have to make a special trip to Elkhorn City.

  5. King Ghidora

    Better look quick John. It’s on 80 heading up the mountain toward the Breaks. It’s only about a quarter of a mile from the Virginia border. I do have to say I haven’t been down that way for about 5 years now so it may not still be in business. But it was going strong the last time I was there and it had been operating for about 10 years before that. Still places to eat come and go quickly at times.

    They serve genuine hillbilly style cooking there so you might find it strange compared to most everything else these days. It’s an acquired taste I suppose. I grew up eating that way and I’m guessing that if you’re over 40 you have seen a good bit of it too. Let’s put it this way though. It won’t win any awards for being “heart healthy” or anything like that. I couldn’t eat that way every day now. I’m not active enough. That stuff is for hard working people who burn up a lot of calories. Still there’s nothing that tastes better IMO. I don’t want to talk it up too much or down too much so I don’t influence your expectations more than I already have. Just be prepared for some real down home, not for flat landers, cooking. You won’t see any possum on the menu but you won’t see too much in the way of diet food either.

  6. TrueBlueJohn

    Sounds like my kind of place. I have eaten my share of soup beans and cornbread in my time. Thanks for the tip.

  7. Larry Pup

    The Rusty Fork Café is still in business. There number is 606-754-4494. I just called them. They are open until 9pm. I plan to check them out too if ever in Elkhorn City. King you are gonna make me drive and spend my money. My kind of eating for sure. TrueBlueJohn let me know how it is. You can find them on the internet.

  8. Larry Pup

    Rusty Fork Café, 105 Patty Loveless Dr, Elkhorn City. Like he said right on the VA line near the Breaks State Park

  9. Roy

    I played with Allen Sr. Many great memories. Allen once broke Jerry West’s nose and thus became the enforcer on the team. Always sent in to rough someone up even though he was given that title stricklly by accident By the way Jerry came back with tape holding his nose in place and scored 38 points

    1. larryvaught

      Roy, great story about Allen Feldhaus Sr. and Jerry West. I had never heard that

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