January 20, 1961:
“Then there was the Inauguration in January 1961. . . . The crowd was applauding some bold assertion Kennedy had just made.” Page 172. This picture was taken by my brother Jim who, while serving in the Navy, attended John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration.
Continue reading Kennedy Assassination. Chapter 8.
Mrs. Loutassie Reynolds: “I am sure Mrs. Reynolds did not enjoy banishing me to the hall and Mr. Bryant’s wrath, but, like Jephthah, she had to keep her vow, and out I went.” Page 182.
Continue reading Fifth Grade. Chapter 8.
Mrs. Virginia Carter. “The sixth grade marked the first time I had a teacher who was under about sixty years old.” Page 182.
Continue reading Sixth Grade. Chapter 8.
“I mentioned that in the sixth grade my class had its first young teacher and that some positive energy was introduced to the classroom then. In the eighth grade the trend continued with two young new teachers, both Myrtle High School graduates, who were to have significant influence with us for the next five years. These were Henry Potts …
… and Joan Little.” Pages 189-90.
Buddy Windham “would rather just smell sweat.” Page 190.
“When I started in 1960, the principal was J.B. Bryant. His photograph in my first-grade yearbook shows a gray-haired man with steely blue eyes that could see through a wall or a mask, all the way to a child’s, or teenager’s, core. He doesn’t look at you, he looks through you, past you. He gives the appearance that no nonsense is invited.” Pages 191-92.
“During my second grade, J.B. Henderson became the principal and Mr. Bryant was the assistant principal. … Mr. Henderson’s photograph seems rather somber. I’m not sure I ever saw him in person.” Page 192.
“In my eighth grade year, we got the first principal whose initials weren’t J.B., and the first and only Methodist during my time: H.L. (“Slim”) Hellums. … My only encounter with Mr. Hellums enabled me to keep alive my streak of not having been paddled in school.” Page 194.
“Mrs. Eleanor Hilburn Tindall stopped by our various classrooms in elementary school, perhaps once a week, to lead us in some singing.” Page 195.
“Another music teacher with whom I had considerable involvement was Virginia Tate, who also was the pianist every Sunday at the Methodist Church. After we obtained possession of the smoke-damaged Coltharp piano it became convenient for me to take weekly lessons from ‘Miss Virginia.’” Pages 196-97.
“Mrs. Craig’s answer to the student who accused me of cheating almost broke my heart. Almost. ‘No, this is Donny. I don’t think he would do that.'” Page 206.
“Blackface was used for student presentations at Myrtle well into the 1960s. The 1963 Mirror carried a small picture near the back, with the caption ‘Shortenin’ Bread,’ showing two women at the piano in the Myrtle cafetorium and a dozen or more students onstage, arrayed in blackface and wearing patched, stereotypical costumes as they performed for an audience. Here it would be good to point out that blackface routines as late as the middle of the Twentieth Century were hardly confined to the South.” Page 230.
“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.
Continue reading High School years. Chapter 11.
Age 18. “When I saw I had the chance to graduate early, one by one I chose to give up extracurricular activities that could have enriched my time on the Ole Miss campus as they had done in Myrtle.” Page 298.
Continue reading After Myrtle. Chapter 12.