“Joe Dabbs steered me in a positive direction when I was looking for direction. He had faith in me, poured his life into me and created an environment where I got to work beside older boys and had good relationships with them. Much of what many other Myrtle boys got from basketball coaches, I got from this preacher.” Page 242.
Henry Potts: “I have had many other gifted teachers at various levels of schooling, including some brilliant and witty ones in an elite law school; but Henry Potts beat them all, at least for me, through his ability to bring the lesson right into the room with the students. So creative were Henry’s methods that some examples have stayed with me over the years.” Page 245.
Charles B. Owen: “Many times I asked him to go over again what he had just presented until finally something clicked inside my head. … I probably asked more of Mr. Owen than of any other teacher.” Page 251.
Lowery Aldridge: “There was something about Lowery that inspired me to take on challenges that had thwarted the collective intelligence of humanity: not meekly to accept that something was impossible but to see for myself if there was a way.” Page 252.
Lorraine Henry: “Miss Henry gave me a high level of respect and trust that day; she saw that I needed her help and she gave it without imposing any conditions.” Page 254.
Lawrence Miller: “Here was a man, who knew his way around a shop and a barn, doing things the men around Myrtle did, and training boys to follow in their footsteps.” Page 255.
James Hood: “The day arrived when Mr. Hood excitedly came by and got me. I may have been working on the yearbook at the time. He had the chess board all set up and said he had cleared his schedule for the rest of the day, and we would have at it in a fight to the finish that would determine once and for all who was the better chess player.” Page 259.
Edna Gatlin: “Mrs. Gatlin did not seem too pleased when we turned in the proceeds from our ad sales and had to pull some of it out to pay for [parking] tickets.” Page 263.
The Senior Play was a highlight of my high school years. Here are the boys from the cast. Pages 275-77.
Myrtle’s baseball team (in 1972). I had fun but wasn’t much help.
Our senior class sponsors: they tried to keep us in line.
“I had watched some tennis on television and seen how a player could go to the net and smack the daylights out of the ball, or just tap it out of the opponent’s reach, and I was able to do one or the other often. One day an older boy named A.B. Goolsby decided he had had enough of my actions close to the net, and he announced that he was going to teach me a lesson by knocking my head off. So he would deliberately smoke the ball as hard as he could right at me …” Page 280.
“Our team captain that day, the very patient Greg Koon, finally called time and moved me to third base, offering a gracious but totally unnecessary half-apology that ‘I have to do something.’ Greg’s maneuver did not work out as he probably intended.” Page 286.
“The next hitter would be Colbert Graham, who might have been the team’s best hitter although he was just a freshman. The pitcher got two quick strikes on me. Coach Childers called time out and walked toward me for a little conference. ‘Just get the ball on the ground and get Bill over to third, and Colbert will get him in,’ he said.” Pages 289-90.