May 16, 2006

A STEP-BROTHER'S GRIEF




By
Mike Ferlazoo, with Laura Barlament

Most football players will tell you that they play the sport for the pure love of the game. George Twitty loves it too, but football took on extra meaning last season for the 5-11, 180 pound junior starting free safety.

That’s because Twitty is the stepbrother of Natalee Holloway, the Birmingham, Alabama teen that has been missing in Aruba since May 30 of last year.

He paid tribute to her each time he laced up his cleats—writing “N” on the left heel, and “H” on the right heal on the white tape that wrapped his shoes. He also wore an orange rubber bracelet under the glove on his left wrist with the words, “Faith, hope, and prayer for Natalee.”

Most of his teammates also wore the bracelets, which were ordered for a prayer vigil for Natalee in Birmingham last summer. Twitty says that these friends have been his greatest source of support at Sewanee.

“I always got support from my roommates and teammates…Just being with me was important. They didn’t have to say anything. It’s hard to be alone. Just to hang out together was helpful.”

But Twitty and his teammates had to endure even more heartache. Only a few days after Twitty had returned from Aruba, where he spent two weeks with his family searching for Natalee, he was back at Sewanee for the start of summer school on June 13. On June 14, wide receiver, Stephen Motley, C’08—one of those good friends who was there with Twitty when his sister disappeared was killed in a car accident.

They honored both by overcoming a 2-4 start to win three of their last four games and finish 5-5.

…”He has such strength of character, the way he’s dealt with it,” Sewanee coach John Windham told the Huntsville Alabama Times. “As hard as I can imagine it is, he’s dealt with it beautifully. He’s been encouraging all of us while we try to encourage him.”

Twitty initially started at home in Birmingham with his 17-year old stepbrother, Matt, following Natalee’s disappearance. But after a week or so, they flew to Aruba to join their parents, Jug Twitty and Beth Holloway Twitty in the search.

Ultimately, Twitty’s dad advised him that the best thing he could do was stay focused on his dreams of going to medical school and continuing to play college football. That proved to be good advice.

“I think Sewanee’s location helps me. There are not many distractions. I can try and keep my mind on academics. It’s a way for me to get away from the way it was in Birmingham, when there’s news everywhere. Being up here when you don’t have to worry about that confusion is good. I try and keep my mind on my work.”

With the amount of television coverage Natalee’s case has continued to receive, he appreciates that Sewanee’s dorm rooms are not wired for cable. He says his father keeps him updated with news from home and tells him when there’s TV coverage that he might want to watch in the dorm commons room, like when Barbara Walters interviewed Beth Twitty as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People” of 2005. “That was pretty cool,” he says.


…Although he keeps his mind focused on his work and athletic involvement in Sewanee, he keeps Natalee close to him too by wearing the orange bracelet—which he never takes off.
He hopes that others notice it every time he swings a club and remember to pray for Natalee as well.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joet is not prepared for this hearing, he always thinks his sloopy work had won the dismisal already. Lately he's been busy with Joran in picking up MSM targets for the multibillions libel lawsuits he is going to file after the dismisal announcement by the Judge tomorrow. No so fast Joe, you ain't seen nothing yet. Joet now just has only one thing to worry about now "Inconvenience". Go for it, Joe! He absolutely don't like the hearing, it is not his style.

Anonymous said...

CourtTV is negotiating with the Judge for the broadcast diligently. Looks like CTV will get the court's approval for worldwide broadcast. The estimate viewers will be 8 millions people all over the world. Twice as much the ABC Primetime interview. NYC will expect to see a windfall of flooding tourists dollars into the City economy.

blackhawk said...

Good Story....He sounds like a fine young man...I know for a fact that playing a physical contact sport [football] You can release alot of negative energy and blow off some steam without killing anyone...I wish him and his family nothing but happiness and hope they receive justice for their missing sister/daughter....I pray that on the 17th things go our way for a change and we can finally challenge these people in a court of law!!

Anonymous said...

Joet said he doesn't want to litigate. The Judge is listening. She doesn't have any thing against Joet. Or She is in favor of any one lawyer. The Judge is a good law student and she studies the civil case very in depth. Some holes have been found in Joet's filings. In the hearing, the Judge is going to ask questions about those holes and suggested fillings before she can make a judgement in the case. People also question about the wisdom of filing a 119 pages long of a pleading that leaves plenty of room for the attacks by the plaintiff. Another thing people don't feel it is approapriate for Joet to play up so many of his vain gloatings in the MSM, and now he is promising to sue the MSM talking heads for libel. He is biting off the hands that feed him. I don't think Joet can sleep tonight. He is contemplating the worst challenge he will face from the plaintiff. Too late into the night now, Joet forgot most of what he said in his filings. He had not made notes of his thoughts and counterattacks arguments based on his Forum Non Conveniens doctrine.