, we are shooting this violation of the copyright law directly to Dedra Grizzard because the original typescript of this column would be a superb addition to the Bryant Museum.NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW FOR CALLING YO' MAMA
from the Sunday, March 2, 1986 issue of THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS
ATLANTA- My mother complains when I go for a long time without calling her. She says when I call it makes her sleep better. But I get busy and forget.
That is not uncommon, I suppose, when our parents no longer play the integral roles in our lives they once did.
I was at Point Clear, Ala., recently, speaking to a group of South Central Bell executives. At dinner, some of us were swapping stories about the Bear, Alabama's late, great football coach, Bear Bryant.
A gentleman who handles the advertising account for South Central Bell was recalling when Bryant was hired to do commercials for his South Central Bell account.
"What he was supposed to say at the end of the commercial was, 'Call yo' mamma,' as only he could say it.
"But we were shooting, and he just ad-libbed a line. He said,'Call yo' mama' and then he added, 'I wish I could call mine.'
"We never would have asked him to do something like that, but it worked out perfectly."
One of the Bell executives carried the story further.
"Soon after the commercial began running," he said,"my secretary came in and said there was a customer on the line that just had to talk to me."
"I was pretty busy, but I figured if she were being that persistent, I should talk to her."
"When I got her on the phone, she asked 'Are you the one responsible for the Bear Bryant commercial on television?"
"I sort of wanted to ask her how she liked it before I took responsibility for it. But I said,'Is there any problem'
"She replied, 'Gracious, no. But I just wanted to tell you a story:
'My husband and I were sitting watching television the other night, and we saw that commercial for the first time. We were very moved when Coach Bryant said, "I wish I could call mine."
'I got right up and called my own mother, and we chatted for a few minutes. I forget to call her sometimes, and she gets worried about me.
'My husband's mother is still alive, too. I asked him why didn't he call his mother, and he went straight to the phone and called her.
'They must have talked for 45 minutes. I'd never known him to stay on the line with anybody 45 minutes, much less his mother. They talked about old times, and he told her how much he loved her.'
"I said to the woman," the executive continued, " that her story was really heart-warming and I appreciated her passing it on.
"She said, 'You haven't heard all the story yet. Less than an hour after my husband hung up from talking to his mother, she died. He never would have had that conversation with his mother if it hadn't been for Coach Bryant's commercial
The other guests at the table sat quietly when the man finished the story. Then, a woman spoke out and said,"God, that makes me want to get right up and call my mother."
It made me feel the same way. It was late when the dinner was over, so I had to wait until the next day to do anything about it. We had a nice talk.I don't have to hit you over the head with the message here, do I?
LEWIS GRIZZARD http://lewisgrizzard.com