Swingin’ at La Reunion

By: qwerty53

Sep 15 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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Focal Length:26mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D70

Old friends Bob Dailey (l) and Johnny Howell (r) flank retired FSU coach Bobby Bowden and his wife, Ann.

La Reunion was the recent site of a gathering of high school friends, all who have gone on to make their stamp on the world.

Football teammates who played together at Woodlawn High School and Howard College (now Samford) in Birmingham included Bobby Bowden, Johnny Howell, Bobby Daily and Earl Langer, accompanied by their wives, Ann, Bettye, Joyce and Ann.

“We get together annually. The men golf for at least two weeks and the women shop and visit for about eight days,” said Bettye Howell, who was Miss Alabama in 1951. “We enjoy meals together and we like to dance. Johnny loves to jitterbug!”

Throughout the evening, Johnny Howell, the first principal of Vestavia High School when it opened in 1970, was spinning the ladies around to Mac the Knife and other classic oldies performed by The Whistlestop Combo.

Ann Estock Bowden and Bettye Burson Howell were cheerleaders together at Howard where Johnny Howell played end and Bobby Bowden played quarterback.

Bobby Dailey, another member from the Howard team, went on to play at Alabama under Bear Bryant. After college, he worked with Bowden’s father selling real estate and later owned a business that sold stadium seats. At LaReunion that evening he brought his harmonica to the occasion and sat in with the band for a couple of tunes.

Retired Judge Earl Langner and wife Ann were also at the table, snapping their fingers along to the music.

Throughout the years, the friends have remained close and of course, attended most every FSU game over Bowden’s long stretch as head coach—377 wins over thirty-three years. He retired in December, 2009, just after his 80th birthday. His final coaching appearance was the 2010 Gator Bowl game on January 1 with a 33-21 victory over his former program, West Virginia.

For other photos from the evening, see:



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