Recently, in Corpus Christi, it was my privilege to say a few words at the memorial service for James “Bear” Brown who passed away at age 69.
For all the new comers to the Karnes County area the passing of the “Bear” will be of little import, but for those of us who lived and worked there in the 1950’s, the name Bear Brown will bring back memories of perhaps the best football running back to play the game in that area.
Bear was a student of who, after completing my classes, became my friend as so many others have also done. Bear was a very colorful individual...not because of the color of his skin, but because of the color of his character and his personality.
As a sophomore in high school, Bear became the leading high school scorer in the state. He was slowed down quite a bit due to an automobile accident junior year, but he bounced back with vigor during his senior year. Few who were there could ever forget the 72 yard run he made in George West to win the game after time had expired. I will always remember it as one of the greatest runs I have witnessed. With all the twists and turns reversals of direction, Bear probably covered a hundred yards before he crossed that goal line that night.
Bear was also great in track. Once I asked one of his coaches how fast Bear could really run. He reply was, “who really knows. He always runs just fast enough to win.”
After high school Bear played at New Mexico State for a year, then transferred to Texas A&I to finish his career. His legacy of football greatness was later passed down to his two sons, who later in life starred at Calallen High School.
Robert K. (Bob) Blomstedt, Ph.D.