Lee Hefner Combs

Died June 12, 1959

Lee Combs loved life. His boundless energy was amazing! He loved to shoot down to Harlem to catch their music, went for Art Blakey and any jazz with great rhythm. In the Spring of 1959 he discovered Cuba, and after classes were over, he and Slade headed straight there on Lee’s way home to California. He never made it, the victim of a large truck on a narrow Georgia road in the middle of the night. I ‘ll bet the windows were open and the music blaring as he knifed through the night on another adventure!

He was very athletic (though 2 years ahead of his age group, a fact he shared with very few). He was far and away the best player on his baseball teams in LA, always ahead of a lifelong friend named Wes, as in Wes Parker, who went on to be the starting first baseman on the Dodgers for about 10 years, and I believe an All-Pro! I had a chance to visit with Wes about 20 years ago at a charity function at the Playboy Mansion, and happened to mention Lee’s name. Wes, normally very laid back, became very animated when talking about Lee, and wanted to know all about his last year at school. He said he was the kind of person you immediately like, grow to admire, and never forget. I sure haven’t! Too few years for a fiery red-head with great opportunities and virtually boundless potential!

— By John Skoog