“Sherman is Sherman,” I accidentally coined the phrase when describing, to a former Auburn teammate, how our mutual friend and teammate Sherman was doing. Immediately, the teammate understood and giggled. Everyone who knows Sherman understands. Keep reading . . . you’ll understand too.
I’ve known Sherman Moon since 1971. In those days of yesteryear, we were competitors for the same position on the football team at Auburn. We remained competitors on the field, but friends off the field. Forty years later we lived one street from each other. Our visits consist of football debates, reunions with teammates, parties at our neighbors’, and enjoying Sherman’s BBQ. The man can throw down on a grill.
Sherman, then and now, always has a smile for you.
You see; with Sherman the glass is always half full. Smiling, laughing, talking, talking, and talking until you reluctantly have to interrupt or ask for a break.
“Oh, Okay TG,” he’ll say, and relinquish the floor for a few – a very few – minutes before jumping back in. He’ll throw his head back and take you on another one of his verbal journeys. Upbeat, head held high, and fun. That’s Sherman. Rain or Shine. Sickness and in health, stage four cancer not withstanding. My phone chimes and there’s his familiar voice on the phone, “Hey TG, what you up to?”
Sherman beat prostate cancer. He got ahead early in that game, recovered, and came out with a victory. The carcinoid tumor he’s been battling for the last three years has proven to be a booger that, even Sherman has to admit, has tested his mettle. The cancer has metastasized into his stomach, liver, and lymphatic system. Doctors in the US have thrown their hands up and cried, “No Mas!” But you didn’t get to be a teammate on the Auburn teams of ‘72, ‘73, and ‘74 without a lot of courage and fortitude. We’ve never backed down from a good fight.
I have not once heard him complain. I’ve not once seen him in a bad mood.
Several former teammates, who have occasionally run into him, call me and ask, “Is Sherman still sick?”
“Yes,” I reply.
“I saw him, and he was as upbeat as he’s always been,” they counter.
“Sherman is Sherman,” I respond.
Sherman says, “I have Cancer. Cancer does not have me.”
My friend Sherman is on his way to the Netherlands for treatments that, over the next few months, will cost him upwards of $70,000. With all the debate about Affordable Health care in the US, there is little doubt that remaining healthy and finding cures is expensive. In Sherman’s case, it has cost him dearly. He and his wife have lost their income and their home. His final chance at a Hail Mary pass, to regain his health, needs assistance.
Sherman’s teammates and friends are lining up at his side.
Sherman reluctantly agreed to have his story told and to have others solicit funds for him. Nineteen thousand dollars flowed in instantly from family and life-long friends. Next up, was a benefit golf tournament that included a dozen former teammates, some who had not seen him in forty years.
Teammates drove to Florida’s Fort Walton Beach from Mississippi, Tennessee, Central Florida, and Auburn, AL. Sherman made a brief appearance and took pictures with his friends. Then he took off for the airport, leaving for his trip to the Netherlands and the first of four treatments. His teammates and other golfers raised another $8,000 that day.
In Sherman’s honor, we laughed, reminisced with some great Sherman stories, and realized how special we are that Sherman came into our lives. Those who hadn’t seen him in many years marveled at how fun, positive, and upbeat Sherman was.
Just like always.
Sherman is Sherman.
**Want to support Sherman and Vicki Moon?**
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PO Box 2077
Fort Walton Beach FL 32549
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