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Mort and Tom
Mort and Tom Meschery

Excerpt from Striking Through the Masks

On Tom Meschery

For a time after he retired, he had coached in the short-lived American Basketball Association and then was an assistant coach with the Portland Trailblazers, where I met him in the 1970s while I was on a reading tour of the Northwest. Although he had been one of the more aggressive players in the league, known by fans for his combative ways, off the court he was a poet and a gentle, gracious man who took pride in his Russian ancestry. Even though we met only several times a year, we were close enough to consider ourselves Slavic brothers, and Tom had even suggested we take a trip to Russia together with his friend, the famous sports radio announcer Bill King, and our wives.

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