Bill Stewart is a sports lover, and when he enrolled at Iowa State University in 1948, he started going to watch the school’s wrestling team’s matches. By the late 1950s, the school enlisted him to help at the scorer’s table during home wrestling meets.
Stewart did such a good job that, before long, he was also working the clock at football games, track and field events, basketball games, gymnastics meets and more.
His wife, Ramona, was in charge of taping the games with a VHS recorder. Bill Stewart used to check how he did by watching replays of games.
“More times than not, I made the correct call,” he says.
In 1971, Stewart was asked to work the scoring table at the NCAA National Wrestling Championships, a position he continued to hold for the next 30 years after.
It was during his tenure at the table that, after each athletic event, he began the habit of picking up a poster, a media guide or some piece of memorabilia as he left. When he’d arrive home, he’d tack the posters on the walls in his garage, and the media guides would get stashed in a crate or a drawer.
“There’s no order. I just kept filling the walls until I ran out of room,” says Stewart.
Much to his wife’s chagrin, the garage began to fill up, and she eventually began wishing her husband would get rid of some of his stuff.
Her wish has been granted.
Stewart has given much of the memorabilia to the Iowa State athletic department.
“I want whatever’s best for the University,” Bill says when asked if it was hard to give it away.
Stewart won the 2013 Great Cyclone Award, but despite his loyalty to his cardinal and gold, he really comes alive when the conversation changes to his daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“Our daughter has a fifth degree black belt in Kung Fu,” says Ramona as her husband nods his head, glowing with pride.
Maybe she’ll be added to his garage hall of fame someday soon, too.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”