Under the better-late-than-never category … a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today for NBA Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond.

It will take place at the Summit Lake Community Center at 380 W. Crosier St. The featured speaker will be one of his former Cavs teammates, Bingo Smith.

I’m almost certain this establishes a new world record for length of time between a death and a memorial service.

The man died on July 16. That would be 75 days ago.

Part of the problem was that Nate became a full-fledged San Franciscan, living his final 53 years in the City By the Bay, and he told relatives that, when the time came, he didn’t want Akron to make a big deal over his death.

Although he never forgot his roots, the 6-foot-11 Thurmond fell in love with San Francisco when he joined the Warriors in 1963, his team for the first 11 years of his lustrous career.

In any event, the wait was worth it, because this is a man whose life deserves to be celebrated.

As I noted a few days after his passing, he was as nice a guy off the court as he was fierce on it. And he was a beast on the hardwood.

The second-best basketball player Akron has ever produced, the Central High and Bowling Green grad more than held his own against some of the biggest legends in basketball history — Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I will remember him just as much for his off-court demeanor, his quiet dignity and his respect for everyone he encountered.


A reader wanted to know where he could see the highly touted tunnel-boring machine that will gobble up enough Akron earth to create a 6,240-foot-long tunnel 27 feet in diameter.

It’s the key piece of equipment in the zillion-dollar project that will create a giant hole underneath downtown Akron to temporarily store sewage and stormwater. The tunnel will run from West Exchange Street, just north of Cedar, to near the Mustill Store at West North Street.

City Hall spokeswoman Christine Curry says the tunnel-boring beast, dubbed Rosie, is being built in Solon. She will be disassembled and brought to Akron in pieces, then reassembled. (Rosie, not Christine.)

Rosie is likely to begin working in the spring of 2017.

You won’t see much of her because she will be spending her time anywhere from 70 to 160 feet below ground.


Reader Randy Fleet had some inside information about a story that appeared a few days before Saturday’s Akron marathon.

The piece featured a photo of a marathon runner who was going to attempt to set a Guiness World Record by running the entire 26.2-mile course in less than five hours while toting a heavy stockpot, dressed as a chef.

“I got the jump on the front-page news item about Helen McWilliams’ world record attempt,” Fleet wrote.

“My daughter-in-law Terry told me she will be aiding in Helen’s endeavor. The outfit is some non-breathing material and Terry will help keep her hydrated.

“But there is something about this that doesn’t seem quite right. Is it legal for someone to run around Akron’s streets with six pounds of pot?”

Nice line.

Helen dodged the authorities long enough to run into the record book.


Reader William E. Swinhart sent a photo of a changeable sign in front of a church in Barberton and wrote, “Thought you might enjoy this.”

I did. You will, too.

The sign at First Church of Christ, presided over by the Rev. Jeremy Klein, reads:

“Thou shall not steal unless you’re an Indian on first.”

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31