THE NIGHT WORTHINGTON HONORED DOW NELSON
by Linda Nelson Mrukowski
January 20, 2014
My parents and I moved to Worthington in 1943 when Superintendent, H. C. McCord, hired my father as a teacher and head football coach for Worthington High
School. It turned out he also taught 4 different subjects and also coached JV basketball, track, and baseball. Teachers wore many hats back then.
My mother use to tell how she would put me in a stroller and walk from our house at 51 W. Granville Rd. to the football field (which was at the Evening St.
location, right behind the original high school (now the MAC) every Friday night, so she could cheer for Dad and the Cardinals. As I grew up, I never missed a game home or away.
I loved when Dad’s players would visit the house. They were like celebrities to me and I had a crush on all of them.
The basketball games were fun memories, too.
Ray Heischman was the Varsity coach and my Dad coached the Reserves. Games were played at the gym on E. Granville Rd. formerly Worthington Elementary, and currently Kilbourne Middle School. I remember fondly sitting with my childhood friend, Tommy Heischman, underneath the scorer’s table and watching our dads’ teams win lots of games. In 1949 we had one of the best WHS teams ever, making it to the State Finals! We lost, but the town was still so proud of those players and their accomplishments.
There were many championships, undefeated seasons, and honors that the Cardinal football and baseball players garnered under the direction of my
father. He was beloved by all of Worthington and on Oct. 2, 1958, after a basketball game, the town paid him tribute.
The gymnasium at WHS was filled to capacity and after the final buzzer of the Mt. Vernon game, the lights dimmed and spotlights searched the audience for my Dad. He was totally surprised, when they spotted him and Harold Hill announced on the loud speaker: “This is your Life”, Dow Nelson, a program that made the front page of the Worthington News and the Columbus Citizen Journal. There was then a procession of his parents, former players, teachers, my mother, and me (a Varsity cheerleader). There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and especially in the Nelson family. Thanks, Worthington, for honoring my father. It was truly a night I will never forget.
Front Row left to right: Dow Nelson's daughter Linda (author of this memory); his parents Dr. and Mrs. D.L. Nelson
of Athens, Ohio; and his wife Millie,. Standing: Dow Nelson and at the microphone Harold Hill. Former players, assistant coaches, faculty, and Superintendent H.C. McCord seated behind Dow.