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Nah, That Couldn't Be Him

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One night, late in 1962, I was trying to go to sleep while listening to music on the radio. A guy and a gal were singing some song I had not heard before, and the guy sounded just like a friend of mine from high school, but I decided that was not possible. The next day, I learned that the song was “Hey, Paula”, and the guy was indeed high school friend, Ray Hildebrand. I first met Ray in 1956 when we were on the football B team together in Harlingen, Texas. I had not seen or talked to him since 1958.


Ray played basketball for Howard Payne University and their team came to Texas A&I in early 1963 for a conference game so, I went to see him play. While he was not on the active roster for that game, he had traveled with the team anyway. At that time, “Hey, Paula' was at or near the number one song in the country. We sat together in the stands watching the game and catching up. There was no social media, internet, MTV, etc., in those days so the fans at the game had no idea that there was a celebrity in their midst. I've often wondered how they would have reacted had they known. Oh yeah, Howard Payne won the game.

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