Wednesday, November 7, 2018


LSU's 1910 football team
2001.031.013;Katherine Poole Antrobus collection

The Planters’ Press shared the following incident in its October 27, 1938, issue.

“Deputy Sheriff Ira Harbuck paid off a football bet Monday at noon when he trundled a wheelbarrow in which the winner of the wager, Jimmy Swords, was riding from the front of the Court House up through the town of Benton and back again.”

“The two had bet on the outcome of the State University-Vanderbilt football game, played last Saturday night down in Baton Rouge.  Being a staunch Centenary fan, Ira naturally couldn’t see LSU at all.  Well, he lost.”

“Several of their friends contrived to borrow a wheelbarrow and ‘dress it up’ in LSU’s colors.  A placard reading as follows: ‘I won, he lost’ was prepared and Jimmy carried it proudly as the bet was being paid off.”

“The big crowd attracted by the novel ‘stunt’ proved about as embarrassing to Jimmy as to Ira, for ‘tis said that Ira managed to make the ride a most uncomfortable one what with finding all the holes and rough spots from the Court House up town and back.”

“One pleasant diversion during the affair took place at the D.H. Stinson home.  Tax Assessor T.J. Caldwell, a graduate of LSU, and an ardent football ‘rooter’ for the Tigers, stopped the parade to call his ‘Friend Dewey’ outside ‘to see what happens to fellows who bet against LSU.’  When Dewey appeared with a shotgun the Tax Assessor’s dignity deserted him and he flattened himself out on the sidewalk in nothing flat, to the amusement of all present.”

“Since that time the Assessor hasn’t been so active in promoting football bets—in fact, he’s declined to make a similar wager with Health Director H.N. Barnett, a loyal Vandy man, who’s betting Tennessee upsets the Bayou Tigers this weekend.”

For more light-hearted Bossier humor that appeared in the local newspapers, visit Bossier Parish Libraries History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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