When you speak of officiating, in Genesee County and the State of Michigan, it is inevitable that Fred and Charley Briggs names will be mentioned. They were the consummate referees. I had the honor of playing, coaching and hiring them during my life. It was always a pleasure and relief when they would walk onto the football field, basketball court or a baseball/softball diamond.
In my mind, I knew the game would be conducted in a professional manner and respect would be used by players, coaches and spectators. Everyone knew and respected them. They exhibited patience with players, understanding with coaches and exuded knowledge of the rules to spectators.
Fred and Charley were so well liked I had to hire them in an athletic capacity upon their retirement from officiating. They were placed in the position of working for the Athletic Department of Kearsley Schools. They not only were greeters of officials, worked in the press box and even had to be a fill in official in an emergency. Never a problem, they could do it all.
Kearsley Schools thought so much of the Briggs Boys that Fred was honored with a private program for his family on his retirement and Charley was honored as a Grand Marshall at homecoming.
It is only fitting that men of their stature be given the recognition of Hall of Fame Member. In my eyes they were always outstanding ambassadors for athletics.
Retired AD Kearsley High School, Holy Rosary High School
As reported by the Flint Journal: They all had stories to tell, experiences to share.
The events dated back 70 or more years and the veterans told them like they happened just yesterday.
About 90 World War II veterans -- along with many of their spouses, families and friends -- filled the Flint offices of The Flint Journal-MLive on Thursday where they were recognized for their service and had a chance to meet and greet other veterans.
The open house was part of the MLive Michigan Honors project that aims to recognize surviving WWII veterans in Michigan and document some of their stories.
And their stories are worth telling.
The lesson that Charlie Briggs, 91, of Davison learned from his time serving in India during WWII was simple.
"I was glad to get out," Briggs said. "I learned that I live in the best place in the world. They are very poor over there. It was a terrible place to be."
Charlie was awarded the GCCOA Jim Massar Award in 1992.