In the late summer of 1974, Tony Gabriel and his good friend B.A. set out on a road trip for Sterling, Kansas. They were headed for Sterling College on scholarships to play basketball. The very first morning in their new dorm room, they were awakened by the sound of the football team chanting a cadence GDTBA!!!
Tony, being the curious creature that he was, would not be satisfied until he knew would GDTBA stood for. He went straight to the football coach, Sam Sample, who was also a fellow Hoosier, inquired of the meaning of the letters. Coach Sample told him that GDTBA stood for it’s a Great Day To Be Alive! Tony loved the phrase so much that every morning for the next two years he started his day by saying B.A. it’s a Great Day To Be Alive! Even after Tony left college, it was always a phrase he used on a regular basis. Nearly 32 years had passed since Tony first heard the famous phrase when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in March 2004. Tony lived a full life and fought very hard to beat this horrible disease and believed in those days, more than ever, that every day truly was a Great Day To Be Alive! Sadly, Tony lost the battle to cancer and died in December 2007.
To this day, the letters, GDTBA can be found on the menu board at Gabe’s Pizza just the way Tony left them. Perhaps we could all use a subtle reminder that every day granted to us by the grace of God, it’s truly is a Great Day To Be Alive!