Roasted – Texas Style by Duane R. Ethington

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Roasted Texas Style

by Duane R. Ethington

“I’ve never felt so much love in one room before. This is what its all about.”

This quote from Roastee super star RAYMOND MC CALLUM just about sums up the general feeling of this GARY LEE LIVING LEGENDS CELEBRITY ROAST of Raymond and Remembering of Demetrius Havanas weekend held at the beautiful Paradise Ranch just outside of McKinney, Texas on Saturday September 23rd.

Nowhere in my personal 39 years of experience in the martial arts have I quite experienced exactly the feeling that I received as part of this memorable evening.

The occasion was the 11th of Gary Lee’s magnificent roasts and, perhaps, the best of all, thus far.

Sponsors backing Mr. Lee’s project abounded. There are too many to list them all but each one was vitally important to Mr. Lee. Some of the sponsors were Ranger Boats, Inside Kung Fu Magazine, Black Belt TV, Dr. Steven Parker, Sybaris, Hotels and Spas, NAMPA, Black Belt Magazine, Roy Kurban’s American Black Belt Academy, Denver Marine, World BlackBelt, Gold Rose, MAIA, Scott Knudson and Mangosteen-Jack.

 The weather was very cooperative for all the planned events, which included a soft ball game, volleyball, horseshoes and some special full contact bouts to kick the electrifying evening’s events off.

A nasty storm in nearby Dallas kept some of the folks away but two hundred plus still was on hand for this great milestone in American Sport Karate annals.

Gary Lee, the Hawaiian with a super heart and greater love for Sport Karate went all out to make everything as perfect as could be for the roasting of Mc Callum, who is among the Sport Karate elite fighters of all time.

An abundance of sponsors who believe in Mr. Lee’s projects were backing it 100%. The list is too long to include everyone but some were Ranger Bass Boats, Century Fitness, Shaolin Brand, Lone Star Graphite Rods, The Maston Walker Band, Ring Star, Advocare, Macho, Dr. Ted and The History Generals of The Sport Karate Museum.

This great event would have stood on its own two feet even without the added marvelous announcement in the evening’s structure.

Gary Lee took this occasion to announce another of his dreams coming to fruition; that of the National Sport Karate History Museum which is being built in Sugarland, Texas and will be open to the public forever more.

 “I just want a place where sport karate can be preserved for all ages and where the new martial artists can come and see just where their roots began.” confesses Mr. Lee . “Of course, it will be a place where all martial artists, young and old, will be able to come and savor the real history and see all about the real people who are responsible for the growth and accomplishments of this tremendous sport and art.”

All the particulars are not in place, as yet, but the museum will be housed in a tremendous building and will eventually be as good as any of its counterparts of other sports such as baseball, football, golf or tennis. Some of the things Mr. Lee says the folks can look forward too are walking down a place, for example, like Mike Stone Lane or Bruce Lee Drive and perhaps go to view all the things in the DUANE ETHINGTON LIBRARY. (Yes, Mr. Lee let the cat out of the bag that this old warrior will be so honored with that happenstance. I am undeserving but words cannot express my appreciation for such a magnificent jesture).

They streamed in throughout the day to meet and greet one another. The old and new martial artists mingled and exchanged hugs, handshakes, cards and old war stories. There was picture taking and autograph signing and an abundance of memories and war stories abounding..

 Although, sadly, some of the giants of Texas martial arts were missing (these included Allen Steen, J.Pat Burleson, Skipper Mullins and Keith Yates) there were still celebrities galore gracing the head table and the audience. Super stars in their own rights, ROY KURBAN, JEFF SMITH, JOE CORLEY,STEVE PARKS,BILLY SMITH, JAMES TONEY, TROY DORSEY, TIM KIRBY, TED GAMBORDELLA, ISHMAEL ROBLES, LARRY CASTER, ROYCE YOUNG, MICKEY FISHER, MIKE MC NAMARA, DARYL STEWART, RUDY SMEDLEY and so many, many more were on hand to pick on and honor Raymond Mc Callum. JIM HARRISON and MIKE ANDERSON, both ill, sent their best to Raymond.

Before the magnificent spread laid out by former Dallas Cowboy, RANDY WHITE’s All Star Texas Bar-B-Q was enjoyed by all, the afternoon featured some old time, blood and guts-type full contact bouts featuring Garrett Lee and Chance Turner. The bouts were fast and furious with five second ground fighting, total points plus a special ‘in your face’ three point play – a Raymond McCallum special of sweep, attack and loud Kia – making the high octane bouts even more exciting.

During the meal, film clips of Raymond Mc Callum and Demetrius Havanas were enjoyed by all.

Special awards were presented to pioneers JACK WHITE, BILLY BRAMMER and GERALD WALRAVEN.

 Legend KEN KNUDSON’s son, Jodie and grandson gave out special platinum and 24 karat gold roses to many new Living Legends inducted during the evening, who included ISHMAEL ROBLES, JEFF SMITH,ROOSTER MACHEN, JOE CORLEY, DUANE ETHINGTON, ROY KURBAN, MICKEY FISHER, LARRY CASTER, RUDY SMEDLEY AND TROY DORSEY ALONG WITH RAYMOND MC CALLUM.

 Also in loving memory of the great HOWARD JACKSON the Howard Jackson award was presented to Dr. REGGIE COCHRAN and SHARON (JAXON) WELKER, Howard’s fiancé, received a Howard Jackson award in his memory.

The evening was assured success with the outstanding roasters of McCallum, which included ROY KURBAN, LARRY CASTER, TIM KIRBY, ISHMAEL ROBLES, DUANE ETHINGTON, MIKE MCNAMARA, BRIAN DUFFY, STEVE DOSS, MICKEY FISHER AND RUDY SMEDLEY with a beautiful letter being read to Raymond, which was written by super star KEITH VITALI.

 As with every other Living Legends event, this one had something special. RAY GOMEZ found part of a mat that Raymond and Greek use to work out on, had all the black belts sign it and presented it to Raymond. McCallum, almost at a loss for words was overcome by tears as he smiled his familiar smile and said “This is what it is all about. I’ve never felt so much warmth and love in one room before.”

All in all, Gary Lee, his family and all those who helped him deserve great kudos for an outstanding event, the memory of which will live in the hearts and minds of a great many people for a very long time.

 I, personally, can’t wait for the 11th Living Legends to become a reality.

 I sincerely wish all of you can be there, as well.

 Aloha and Mahalo.

 Duane R. Ethington

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