Cothren has plenty of stories to tell

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 1999

Too many stories, not enough space. That’s the problem former Ole Miss great Paige Cothren ran across while writing &uot;Walk Carefully Around the Dead,&uot; a tribute to former Ole Miss freshman coach Wobble Davidson.

So the Amite County native and former Natchez High football star has penned a new book, &uot;An Academy Called Pain.&uot;

&uot;There’s the old theory about no pain, no gain,&uot;Cothren said. &uot;It was a little bit tougher in athletics.&uot;

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Cothren will be at Cover to Cover Books Sunday, Dec. 12, to sign his new book from 1:30 p.m. until he finishes signing.

&uot;So many guys came to me and said ‘I wish you would have gotten this story in,’ and there were other stories I wanted to tell of what it was like to be a freshman back in the ’50s,&uot;Cothren said. &uot;There was the M Club Iniation and other things like that.&uot;

One particular story involves Cothren’s former teammate, George Rhodes.

&uot;George was probably the strongest man to play football in 1949,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;He actually loaded logs by hand. Buster (assistant Rebel coach Buster Poole, Cothren’s uncle) went down there to scout him in Sturgis and came back and told Coach (Johnny) Vaught if he had not gone down there and seen it for himself, he wouldn’t have believed it. George would pick up one end of a log and put it on the truck and then pick up the other end.&uot;

Cothren sold 3,000 copies of &uot;Walk Carefully Around the Dead.&uot;

&uot;That book belongs to Ole Miss and they haven’t really promoted it,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;I&uot;m going to take it with me on my signings.&uot;

Cothren said he has already sold 1,000 of the new book from bookstores who have accepted orders.

&uot;The toughest part for me – and it’s almost like playing ball – is that you get psyched up for it some days and it’s tougher to get it done on other days,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;On days when I’m in that mode, I can’t write enough.When I’m not, I have to push myself and then it still doesn’t sound right.&uot;

Cothren said one of the most enjoyable parts of writing a new book was getting new stories.

&uot;It was great fun visiting with people again,&uot; he said.

And a lot of former players take pride in the stories.

&uot;All of the older people want their culture remembered and they want to preserve that culture because it’s disappearing.&uot;