Friday, May 13, 2011

petro stations road side diners mid century barnstorming womens basketball and love on the road

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  • Petro stations, back  gravel roads, no super highways, roadside diners and motor lodges. Life on the road to a different town everyday took a lot of moxie. One man and a car full of young women just out of high school traveling  to play basketball against men winning 80 % of the  schedule. Uniforms were sometimes washed out in a sink in the locker room and hung out the windows of the car to the next game. Sunday's were always double booked to bring in the workers and their families. The car had a full length rack with THE WORLD FAMOUS TEXAS COWGIRLS FEMALE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS  on both sides.  There was another women's team on the road but the Cowgirls filled more arenas  to capacity  and  and opened for the NBA when they could fit it into their   map covered schedule coast to coast. Abe Saprestien also booked the Cowgirls to tour with his Trotters. The Cowgirls theme was also much stronger and more appealing (the other team owned by a guy from Mo dyed their hair red and called themselves Redheads. They were sold to another guy at sometime.) Hovland's Cowgirls provided a spectacular  professional athletic  adventure from game open to close. The sexy western outfits and international performers that provided the traveling halftime acts and  Satchel Paige or Goose Tatum traveling with the Cowgirls gave them a professional  requisite that was respected and expected by greats Eddie Gottlieb, Abe Saprestein, Red Auerbach, Joe Lapchick . The team that was developed by Dempsey Hovland also ranked as the supreme team  largely reflected in his professional experience in sports, Hovland was a member of the House of David Basketball team and  manager of one of the teams. Managed, created, coached or owned. The Texas Cowgirls basketball team. The NY Harlem Queens basketball team, The Caribbean Kings  baseball team, The Havana Giants, baseball team, The Harlem Chicks basketball team,The American Indians basketball team and had partnered with Jack Doc Kearns the famed Jack Dempsey manager. Satchel Paige  and Virgil Trucks were employed by Hovland . Hovland was 100 percent a professional and expected nothing less from his players.  I am the daughter of Dempsey and Florence. I lived the era first hand in person.  I will be available to lay history before the eyes of readers, of the greatest female barnstorm basketball team in history .LhO The Cowgirls ha  ifeC

  • The teams basketball games were played October through Spring. An average of 160 games per year . That is double the schedule for NBA teams. The first transportation was a station wagon with just enough players packed in to fill the roster at first my dad travelled every game with them for a decade.In  the early years he had his infant son laying across the laps of the basketball players as a single father. The infant was my oldest brother Dennis who is now 60. Often traveling by night on unmarked back roads as soon as a game was over to the next location. My dad gave up the  car keys to Leona Evans who had been a childhood friend of my moms who became HS basketball rivals when my moms family moved from Winthrop Arkansas to Gilham Arkansas and played on separate H.S. basketball teams. Leona made the traveling Cowgirls basketball team at 19. Leona returned to Ashdown where she still lives today. We talk on the phone. she has told me when she got the letter to try out for my dad's team by referral of my mom, she was sitting on the front stoop watching an occasional car drive by the dirt road in front of her house wondering how she was ever going to get out of the hills of Ashdown . The Texas Cowgirl gave her the opportunity to play basketball at a level she thought would stay a dream traveled the world and took over as driver when my dad fell in love with my mom and would ride in the back seat with his arm around her, after a few yers of a crush and then courting  Leona would adjust the mirror to peak at my dad with his cheshire smile as big as a teenagers in love while he courted her over the years until they married on the road in Provo Utah. The teams transportation upgraded over the years to vans ,international airport limousine and  motor coach.  

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