T.J. McCall’s abnormal fear of snakes allowed Chuck McBee and Cade Brumley to get a good laugh during the trio’s college days at Northwestern State University.
McBee borrowed a 20-foot python from a friend and brought it to the apartment complex the three life-long friends shared.
“When I got there, I called T.J. out. When he saw the snake, he turned around and ran back inside, closed and locked his bedroom door,” McBee said chuckling. “I told him not to run because snakes could smell fear, but that didn’t stop him. He said that if that snake came under his door, it wouldn’t live. “We all got a big laugh out of that.” A big-hearted fellow with a devotion to his mother and to the youth within his realm, McCall, 35, passed away on Monday due to a ruptured blood vessel in his head, according to a coroner’s report. His death, which came between midnight and 1 a.m. and was almost immediate, left many of his friends seeking answers. “They said he couldn’t have been saved even if he had received immediate medical attention,” said McBee, who has spent the past two days with McCall’s mother, Marsha, assisting with funeral arrangements. The friends will share their thoughts and stories about the former Bossier, Converse, Marksville and Zwolle coach at visitation from 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday at the Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Mansfield. The service is set for 10 a.m. Thursday at Rose-Neath with burial to follow at Paul Family Cemetery in Converse. Former Bossier Lady Kat Vashti Dotson said McCall was fun-loving guy. “He was always telling jokes on us and calling us a bunch of dummies because of our mistakes,” Dotson said. “Some of us had just talked to him last week about coming to our reunion and he was going to.” Brumley, the DeSoto Parish Superintendent, played basketball at Converse with the fun-loving, although not always hygienic, McCall. When the Wildcats showed up for their first game in a week and noticed a stomach-churning odor in the locker room. “It was so bad, some of the players were gagging,” Brumley said. “Finally, I realized it was T.J. He had left his jersey in his gym bag for a week and had forgotten to have his laundry washed.” Brumley said his buddy scored a few points that night because the opposition didn’t want to play tight defense. “That was classic T.J., and it depicts why our odd couple friendship worked,” continued Brumley. “He reminded me not to be bound by society’s silly rules and I reminded him to wash his clothes.” McCall’s commitment to youth at the Louisiana Lion’s Camp for Children with disabilities, diabetes or pulmonary disorders was part of who he was. He worked with the youngsters for 14 years and his obituary requests donations be made to the camp at PO Box 171, Leesville, LA 71496. An only child, McCall never married. According to his obituary, he was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks, and the Atlanta Braves. In addition to serving as an extra in local film projects and watching professional wrestling, McCall loved Superheroes and even dressed as his favorite hero, Superman, to give candy to children on Halloween. Twitter: @JimmyWatson6