Jim Melvin, a personal hero of mine, frequently writes to honor important people in our city as they pass from this world. I am writing to recognize one of the few people he may not have known.
Tom Bynum recently left us.
“B” was a U.S. Army veteran who worked at Cone Hospital for a while, but most importantly, he was an Aggie. He played basketball at A&T and eventually returned to the school as head trainer, a position he held for decades.
We worked together in the 1990s when I first started help take care of the Aggie athletes. No one did more with less. He did amazing things with Ace wraps and tape.
He taught me inexpensive, old-school remedies that often worked. He always had his athletes’ best interests at heart and was a father figure for many through the years. I remember one football player I diagnosed with an arthritic knee. I told B he should never play again.
He and Coach Bill Hayes convinced me not to disqualify him and we’d simply keep him “on the bench, off the streets.”
That student graduated. Now my good friend Mr. B has, too.