Precious Memories: Dementia has taken its toll on former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, but family and devoted friends stand by the beloved coach.
An excerpt (full article found here):
Music seems to make him happy, too. About a year and a half ago, a friend named Billy Barnes came over to the house to play guitar and sing a few songs. Barnes played old Baptist hymns and barbershop quartet tunes — Daisy Daisy, give me your answer true. Music he knew Dean liked. But nothing seemed to get through. Dean was getting restless. Barnes asked if he could play one more song.
After every basketball game, win or lose, the UNC band plays the alma mater and fight song. The Carolina people stand and sing. Barnes knew Dean had heard the song thousands of times. He started to play.
Dean jumped to his feet. He waved at his wife, Linnea, to stand with him. He put his hand over his heart and sang from memory:
Hark the sound of Tar Heel voices
Ringing clear and true.
Singing Carolina’s praises,
Hail to the brightest star of all
Clear its radiance shine
Carolina priceless gem,
Receive all praises thine.
I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I’m a Tar Heel dead!
So it’s rah-rah Car’lina-lina, rah-rah Car’lina-lina, rah-rah Carolina, rah, rah, rah!”
A touching, poignant and all too real picture of a great man, a basketball legend - slowly slipping away. A must read, not just for Carolina fans but for all those who have experienced this horrible disease and its relentless march forward within someone you love.