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Curtain Calls? : Well, No, Lambert Prefers a Small-Town Life Devoid of Talk of Steeler Past

January 22, 1996|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"It always cracks me up that people take these things so seriously," Lambert told author Jim O'Brien in the early '80s. "So many times I've had someone tell me they were hesitant to approach me to ask for an autograph because they were afraid. Hey, I'm a person just like everyone else. I'm not a monster."

Hazel Montebell McCoy, like most other people in Worthington, had been warned. " 'Be careful,' they told me when meeting Lambert," she said. "But I see him hitting golf balls, so I took his picture. He yells at me, 'What are you doing, lady?' I tell him I'm taking his picture because I want to, and he says, 'OK.'

"He's a nice guy, really, nice. But yeah, I know you don't want to try and talk football with him."

A Hardware Store customer butts in. "I know Jack, but I remember Earl Campbell running right up the middle on the first play of a game and right over the top of Lambert."

And what's your name, sir, you know, for the newspaper story on Jack Lambert?

"Oh, no, I'm getting out of here," he said. "I got to live in the same town as this guy."

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