By Darrel Wheeler
Family, friends and local dignitaries filled up the Jacobs Center last Saturday night in order to pay homage to a southeast San Diego community legend.
Joyce Gibson and Shirley Wallace spearheaded the salute for their dear friend, Herbert Earl Woolridge and the Mountain View park boys.
The life and many contributions of Earl Woolridge were recognized by his peers, professional colleagues, former and current basketball students. Thanks to the generosity of his friends, Coach “Wool” will have to make room in his trophy case for the many plaques and certificates that he received on Earl Woolridge tribute night.
“I’ve been knowing him for over fifty years and he has always been very concerning towards others, he definitely deserves this ceremony of appreciation. He has always been a very kind-hearted person. “Wool” always thinks of other people; he and the park boys, they have a special bond that can’t be broken,” Camilo Demery Williams said.
People journeyed from Indiana, Arkansas, Los Angles and Texas to celebrate with Mr. “Wool’’ and the Mountain View Park boys.
“There are three major events that I attended in my lifetime; the most major is the Juneteenth celebrations in Texas, then the Million Man March, and this event is the third,” life-long friend Kenny Tucker said.
He added, “I came all the way from Texas to be here and I’m so glad I didn’t miss this. This is the greatest event that I’ve ever attended in San Diego.”
Music, food, dancing, prayer, jokes, laughter, hugs, tears and life lessons were all part of the Earl Woolridge and the Mountain View Park Boys special evening.
“This was really a special tribute because we got together while we are still alive, and we celebrated life tonight. I appreciate everybody for showing up and I really enjoyed myself, I hope every else did too. I’m truly honored,” Earl Woolridge said.