Tag Archives: hal wells

My Favorite Superbowl Memory

I often think about the fun and amazing memories my parents made in those heyday times decades ago at the golf course; that story-filled era when Boulder Creek held host to a variety of the Oakland Raider contingency. From the 1960s into the next decade the team and staff would come stay at the fledgling golf links – of which dad had built the original 100 condos and club house. Some of them even had ownership on a couple of the new condos.

Dad’s group of friends in those times became part of a circle that still communicates today; and later into the 1980s the most famous of that group: John Madden, had retired from football and had started his foray into major broadcasting and video gaming. We were having a Superbowl party and John and Virginia were invited along with their core group of local friends. John had announced the Raiders Superbowl the prior year, but he had this one off.

Now, the reason I tell this story is not some semblance of any claim to something, just insofar that it is a memory I hold dearly of how my life was before the house burned down; so many thoughts and feelings that cannot be replaced nor replayed no matter how much I dream.

These two pictures survived the fire – hence the condition of how they appear. But when taking photographs like these as a teenager, I had no idea of so many things about photography and capturing famous people in ordinary moments, I was just trying to do something right for my dad right then.

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Hearing John talk during the big game about what was transpiring will be something I wish I could remember in greater detail; but several moments that day will be etched. One of them was my best friend here winning a bet. Even then I was using a Canon – definitely the days when you better get it right because it might be another two weeks before you see the results.

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Shortly after this picture was taken a fun moment of John breaking that chair in grand fashion occurred. During halftime they played golf into the arena, teeing off from the house as Todd and I chased the hits down to say who was closer to pin – would love to know the amounts being bet between the players. The Niners won that year, but I am pretty sure I listened to everything else going on in that group – lots of golf course history in these pics; Wayne Stigall, Hal Wells, Bob Lyons, the Casilli family, my dad.

I got asked this year as with most years if I have any special memories of the Superbowls…I smile and think and feel I got pretty lucky; Superbowl rings on the hands of arguably the brightest personality and career the sport has shown, sitting in my old living room as we watched the sport he coached in two other Superbowls – amazing.

As the souls started to die through the years, one in particular that loved the sport and will be a another story on another day, comes to mind. Hal Wells passed away three years ago this week, and two years later my dad – but one thing they both had in common was the love of the Raiders and of the couple that are John and Virginia. These two pics are from Hal’s funeral.

On the left are Hal and John holding a familiar trophy at the clubhouse, on the right are four of the people that were sitting in my old living room a few decades before in that first picture. As I look at these, I wonder if I will even know such friends that fifty years later they would show up at my funeral…hard thing to find.

Why the post now? Anniversaries I guess; Superbowl month, people passing, golf season starting for my son, moments in time. I know that is why I became a photographer before I even knew what that meant – moments in time.