Actually, my first exposure to a famous sports figure was when I went to work for Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro, who gained much fame and notoriety playing tackle for the University of Southern California between 1943-47, a tremendously successful career partially interrupted by service in the US Navy in 1945. I joined Ferraro’s staff in 1972 as an administrative assistant, working in his press and community affairs department. It was during that time that I also got to know Ferraro’s close friend and fellow teammate, Jim Hardy, the former USC and seven-year NFL quarterback who led USC to consecutive victories in the 1944 and 1945 Rose Bowls. The Trojans beat Washington in the 1944 game, 29-0, and Tennessee in 1945, 25-0. He was the Rose Bowl MVP in 1945. Jim was serving as a member of the LA Coliseum Commission when we first met at that time in 1972. According to Oldest Living Pro Football Player Still living web site, Hardy (at 90) is still alive!
"While working for John Ferraro, I also was appointed as member of the board of directors along with NFL great Rosey Grier on Mayor Tom Bradley's "Project Heavy," a program designed to help inner-city youth. Rosey (who was one of the members of Los Angeles Rams' "The Fearsome Foursome" along with David Deacon Jones) was also one of my guests on my TV show ("Bienvenidos") on KNXT Television, Channel 2."
The Boy Scouting organization held many fund raising events, including a joint venture with the Los Angeles Raiders football team, and its twice-winning Super Bowl coach, Tom Flores. Flores the first Mexican American to quarterback a professional football team, while becoming the Oakland Raiders first slinger in 1960. Flores coached the Oakland Raiders to one of its Super Bowl Championships in 1981 and repeated that feat in 1985 after the team moved to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, the Boy Scouts of America connected with the Los Angeles Raiders to hold a fund raising golf tournament and named it “The Tom Flores Celebrity Golf Invitational.” The event featured one NFL super star being included in each foursome sold to various corporate sponsors. It became an instant hit and raised millions of dollars for the scouting program.
Another Heisman Trophy (1965) winner Joe had the privilege of knowing and working with was USC running back Mike Garrett, when both served on the Hollenbeck Business Police Council board of directors, the parent company of the Hollenbeck Youth center, founders of the Los Angeles Inner-City Games. This was during Garrett's tenure as Athletic Director of USC, where he was appointed in 1993. Unfortunately, due to NCAA violations, Garrett was released in 2010. Nevertheless, he was a legendary athlete and a great civic leader.
“I met Deacon at the Hyatt one night and we hit it off right away. We sort of partied together until the wee hours of the morning. We never saw each other again until 1988 while participating at the Tom Flores Celebrity Golf Tournament. Obviously he didn’t remember that first evening, but we partied again for many years thereafter.”
Joe became close friends with legendary defensive end Ben Davidson. They first met at an event in Irwindale sponsored by his client the Miller Brewing Company. Being that Davidson was born and raised in the East Los Angeles community (and he spoke Spanish); they both hit it off real quickly. However, it wasn’t until Big Ben became a regular at the Tom Flores Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament that their friendship grew stronger.
Davidson was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Avis (née Wheat) and Benjamin Earl Franklin, Senior. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, but did not play football in high school; because of his height (6 feet 8 inches), basketball and track were more to his liking. While attending East Los Angeles Community College, he was spotted by the football coach and asked to join the team. He was subsequently recruited to play at the University of Washington where he flourished as a member of two Rose Bowl winning teams and gained entry into professional football. Davidson was selected in the fourth round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but was traded before the season started to the Green Bay Packers.
Senator Watson, who was currently campaigning for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, immediately brought her campaign to a halt and converted her office into an emergency food and supply center. " "As her campaign press deputy, it was my responsibility to book her on as many media outlets as possible to giver her and her dear friend Jim Brown the opportunity to speak to other community leaders to promote peace and calm." While Jim Brown, the Hall of Fame running back for the Cleveland Browns has been hailed as the number one football player in the history of the NFL, few fans realize that he has been a civic and community leader in Los Angeles for many decades. Brown, who also made his presence felt in the motion picture arena, founded Amer-I-can, an organization designed to enable individuals to excel in academic achievements.
"One thing is certain, we will never stop working toward achieving one of our major goals, which is to get Tom Flores inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame!"