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Hastings recounts moments spent with Jarman

Tues.| 2-21-24 | SPORTS

Rampant Lines class of 2020 Jack Hastings

     How do you encapsulate the memory of a legend, someone who was larger than life, in just a short editorial? This is what I keep asking myself as I sit here trying to write this story. I have so much to say, yet I can not find any words. 

     Everyone knows the legend of Marvin Jarman: over 1300 consecutive basketball games coached, one missed football game since 1972, and countless hours spent at Guy Smith Stadium and Elm Street Park. But perhaps Marvin’s greatest accomplishment was the person he was and the lives he impacted. 

     Marvin knew my name before I knew who Marvin was. My first interaction with Marvin was as a young Little Leaguer attending RV’s summer camps at Elm Street Park. He looked me up and down and said Jack, nothing else. As a naive 9 year old, I was confused and responded with yes sir? I did not know it at the time but that was an interaction that would impact me for the rest of my life. From that moment on, I recognized Marvin everywhere I went. It felt like he was at every Little League and Babe Ruth game, walking through my neighborhood all the time, and at Cubbies every time I was there. I really believe Marvin had the ability to be in two places at once. 


Photo by Owen Simmons

     Once I got to Rose, I understood how special Marvin was, how funny and caring he was as a person. It was always my favorite time of the school year when we headed out to baseball practice after school and Marvin was there for the first time. That meant basketball season was over and it was time for baseball season. It was at baseball practice and games where I really got to know who Marvin was. To those of us on the team, we knew him as Marv. At the end of practice, Marv broke down the huddle with his famous count of 1… 2-3 Rose, always with that same special Marv cadence. On Friday practices, RV typically asked Marv to give us some advice which was always a combination of getting good grades, staying out of trouble, and not doing any drugs. Sometimes RV would ask him who is the Duke Basketball head coach? Marv tried his hardest to say Mike Krzyzewski to no avail. Other times RV quizzed Marv on historical facts. One of Marv’s favorites was how President William Taft got stuck in the bathtub. When you ask Marv why, his face would light up and he responded with “too fat”. 

     Marv walked everywhere, and oftentimes was picked up by someone who knew him that took him where he was going. One of my favorite Marv stories involves him walking to Guy Smith from Rose for a baseball game. The Nash Central coach recognized Marvin and pulled the bus over and told Marvin to hop in. Marv sharply replied with no and said “can’t ride with the enemy” so he kept on walking. 

     Marvin always told you how it was, never broke any rules, and was never too high and never too low. Life always seemed to go on for him. That’s something I always admired about him and something I have always tried to implement in my life. Every time I came home from college, seeing Marv was always something I looked forward to. He always greeted me the same way he greeted me when I first met him. A long glance followed by him saying just Jack. I learned that was Marvin’s way of saying hello Jack, how are you, and he had recently begun to follow that by asking about my brother, who he knew was soon coming to Rose. RV always joked that Marvin had his own language called Marvinese, and when you really got to know Marv you knew that was true. 

     The saddest thing to me is knowing that there is a future generation of Rose High students and athletes who will never know Marvin. They will simply know Marvin Jarmen as the road that wraps behind the school, and that is a tough pill to swallow. But I know Marv now has an unlimited supply of Juicy Fruit and the best seats in the house for every Rose sporting event, and that’s exactly how he would want it.  

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