There are times memory fails me. I find it most in the search for words and spellings. And peoples’ name. Sometimes even people.

But there are some who never leave my memory or my heart.

Mack Brown is one of those people.

My son played football from junior tackle through college. In those years he had many coaches; head coaches, assistant coaches, position coaches and strength coaches.

But never a coach like Mack Brown, head coach for the Tulane Green Wave, New Orleans, LA.

We first met Mack in our home. He was there recruiting our son to Tulane. He was “Coach” to the players, but from the first handshake, he was “Mack” to us. We were pretty nervous, but he made us comfortable in our own home.

Games were played in the Superdome in New Orleans. Before signing an athlete, parents are invited to the college. The truth is parents are wined, dined, showed the sights and given the best seats at a football game. Ted made his own choice-he played for Tulane and graduated with two degrees. With the guidance of his coach.

Two years before that, the first time we shook hands, he said, “Never fear, I will take care of you boy. I will keep in touch, and you will be privy to anything going on, good or not so good.”

And he did just that. While he promised not to tell us of a serious injury, he had the doctor call us. So he kept his promise to both of us.

He wrote notes, which I still have. I ended up writing back. We had several years of keeping in touch.

From Tulane he went to the North Carolina Tar Heels. He was recruited by the Texas Longhorns and became the Tar Heels hero. It only took one mediocre season to turn the tide. Coach Brown was out.

For those, including our family, who know his excellence as a coach but more importantly as a man of honor and honesty.

We followed his career on TV, coaching and more recently as an announcer for college games. I said once he doesn’t look happy. He should be coaching. Guess what? He is coaching again for the Tar heels! Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

He may have been my son’s coach and mentor, but he is my friend. I’m writing him a letter — it’s been several years. I have no doubt I will get an answer

New Orleans is the epitome of southern cooking. In the several times we have been to New Orleans, the food was so memorable, true to the south, and so darn delish! One of our favorites and easy is:

Jambalaya

Ingredients: 1 pound spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices (slice on the bias), 1 large onion, chopped, 1 small green pepper, chopped, 3-4 minced garlic cloves, 2 cups uncooked rice, 1 box or can chicken broth (32 ounces), 1 can 14-1/2-ounce stewed tomatoes, chopped not drained, 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, 2 t Cajun seasoning, hot sauce to taste, 1 pound raw medium shrimp, unpeeled or peeled and deveined (your choice) and 3-4 chopped green onions.

Directions: Saute onions, peppers and garlic in sausage pan drippings, add rice, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is done, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Cajun seasoning and hot sauce. Add shrimp and green onions. Serve with biscuits. Enjoy.

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