'Because I Can' At 83, Greenwood man not running on empty


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The man who in his younger days danced with Carol Brady continues to do pretty well on his feet.

Only now, Byford Reed demonstrates his moves on an all-weather track; and the 83-year-old retired Greenwood dentist refuses to slow down.

“I always tell everybody I do it just because I can,” said Reed, a competitor on the Master’s Track and Field circuit who is ranked fifth nationally in the 60-meter dash. “Medals and ribbons don’t make any difference.

“It’s fun for me.”

Growing up in Chrisney, 14 miles southwest of where Holiday World now stands, Reed had to get his bearings running sprints on cinders. Even now, 65 years after his high school commencement, a tiny black spec remains lodged in his left palm, a permanent reminder of a fall during his senior track season at Dale High School.

It’s in this oft-forgotten section of southern Indiana, at an establishment called Billy New’s Dance Hall, where Reed found himself moving across the floor with a young Florence Henderson. It was one of those Saturday night dances common during 1940s and ’50s. A simpler time.

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