Dan Jenkins, the poet laureate of Fort Worth, said he wasn’t feeling very funny Tuesday.
Instead, said the noted author, journalist and Boswell of Billy Clyde Puckett, “I’m feeling grateful.”
Below and behind Jenkins lay the green expanse of TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. As Jenkins, 87 years young, explained, this was where he grew up, where he watched his beloved Horned Frogs play and where he first discovered that he wanted to be a sportswriter.
In a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, TCU formally named the press box in Jenkins’ honor.
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“Awards are great,” the honoree said, “especially when you’re vertical to receive them.”
Jenkins, a 1953 graduate of TCU, wrote more than 500 stories for Sports Illustrated and is the author of 24 books — and counting. His latest, “Stick a Fork in Me: A Novel,” was feared by followers who presumed the title meant that the book was Jenkins’ last.
“No,” he assured after the ceremony. “I’ll always be writing a new book.”
In delivering the ceremony’s invocation, O.S. Hawkins deftly blended in several of Jenkins’ book titles, from “Semi-Tough” to “Dead Solid Perfect to Life Its Ownself.” The aforementioned Puckett was a central character featured in several of the author’s works.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte credited Mark Cohen, associate AD for communications, for spearheading the move to honor Jenkins.
“This is actually embarrassing,” Jenkins joked, as he leaned over to cut the ceremonial purple ribbon to the Dan Jenkins Press Box.
“An honor like this,” he said, “especially when you reach this stage of my development, I do take as a very encouraging sign.”
Gil LeBreton: @gilebreton