High School

  1. Hot peanuts at football games
    1. Older man used to sell parched peanuts at high school football games. When he yelled out “Hot peanuts” someone would always ask “How hot are they?” The standard response from the man was “They’s hot, but hit won’t burn ya.”
  2. Gen. Edwin Walker and “Army”
    1.  When troops were sent into Oxford, a retired Army general, Edwin Walker, volunteered to lead forces to repel the troops.
    2. People from Alabama got their guns and got on buses to go to Oxford. They were stopped at the Mississippi border. In my opinion, this came closer than was appreciated to being something really strange.
  3. Lyndon Skipworth – Gaarp
    1. LS was an end on the CHS football team. CHS was playing archrival Sheffield and Sheffield was ahead by 1 point as I recall. There were about 15 seconds to play. Sheffield kicked off with the routine cheer of All the way coming from the CHS stands. The ball went to Lyndon.
    2. Lyndon ran a little like Billy Cannon against Ole Miss and broke into the open all by himself, heading for what looked like the winning score. However, at about the 10 yard line he ran out of gas and tripped and felt short of a score. CHS got off one play but could not score. Much like the book with a character called Gaarp (World According to Gaarp?)
  4. Gangs
    1. Trojans and Spartans almost carbon copies of the T Birds in Grease
    2. Troy Childers with crippled leg was a bit like Toad in American Grafitti
    3. Charles “Capone” Patrick was the head of one of the gangs
  5. My Senior Lunch Table.
    1. Bill Johnson – lawyer
    2. Brothers were Leslie and Jimmy
      1. Two of the brothers would gang up on the third and do things like tie them up, put them on the doorstep of an old girl friend, ring the doorbell and run away.
    3. David Brown engineer
    4. Tim Scott Episcopal priest
    5. Joe Thompson computer engineer
    6. Tommy Curtis – engineer
      1. His younger brother, Charles, married Wanda Luttrell who was 14 at the time.
    7.  Bobby Stewart
      1. BS was local tough in his 20s from Sheffield who loved to fight. A Mr. Romine was a large butcher who lived in Florence but worked in Sheffield. One day BS began chasing Romine’s teenaged son after some Coffee High sorority girls inviited BS and his gang to a lake house to see the confrontation between them and the Florence thugs who were there. The son was threatened by BS and drove away, hiding out in a movie theater for his safety. Someone went to Mr. Romine and told him BS was after his son. Romine drove to the lake and found BS still there. He stepped out of his car with a pistol and told BS to leave his son alone. BS replied “There aint a man alive who can talk to BS that way” and stepped toward Romine. Romine shot him in the head, killing him. His defense was that the gun went off accidentally. While waiting for the trial, the store he worked for in Sheffield fired Romine but hired him back with even Sheffield residents went to the store and said how happy they were to be rid of BS. Romine was acquitted.
      2. BS claimed to have been involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion attempt.
    8. Florence Muscle
      1. Florence and Sheffield thugs would face off at Hardie’s in McFarland Bottom.
      2. Robert Poole and Charley Young
      3. Poole played tight end for SF 49ers, Young played for Kentucky when not injured
      4. Young would stand under Poole’s arm. Poole would say “I’m too big to mess with you punks. If anyone wants a fight, Charlie here will be happy to take care of you.
      5. Jody was on the edges of the muscle group for fights.
    9. Mr. Tom Braly
      1. Principal at Coffee, heard he had suffered heart attack on radio while at McDonalds. The heart attack proved fatal. Ironically, I was with 2 or 3 people, including Bill Johnson, when the radio announcement came on. Abourt 20 years later Bill Johnson would also die of a heart attack, he while playing frisbee with his brother.
      2. Said things like “There’s a black girl’s sweater that has been found.” Much like Grease again
    10. Bill Johnson and Jeb Stewart (mothers had been high school classmates at Coffee)
      1. BJ Was valedictorian. His mother had been salutatorian
      2. awyer (Vanderbilt) with Bradley, Arant, Rose and White in Bham.
      3. Died playing frisbee with his brother in 1986
      4. JS was salutatorian. His mother had been valdictorian.
      5.  Child psychiatrist in Atlanta
    11. William Norman Hill
      1. English teacher with about 8 children
      2. Went off the deep end a few years after I graduated, jumped up on his desk and stomped his feet saying he was stamping out dangling participles
      3.  Put on an Army helmet and declared war on split infinitives
    12. Pedar Tarbox would heat the doorknob on his with a cigarette lighter and smear chocolate on it
    13. “Coach” Branscomb
      1. American History teacher who had to read his notes from a lectern
      2.  Some put his lectern on top of bookcases at back of the room and he was unable to get it down. Very slightly built
    14. Caroline Sledge Smith
      1.  Died of cancer in the late 70s. Last saw her serving punch at a class reunion that I accidentally attended in part.
      2. As a first year teacher could not deal with trigonometry class saying that the locus of pointsof lines equidistance from a point was a circle with a hole in the center. She ran out of the room in frustration and went to see the principal seeking help.
    15.  Drum Section of High School Band
      1. Jerry Carrigan
        1.  Recorded and toured with Elvis
        2. Played in Porter Waggoner’s band
        3. Says high school drum cadence was based on a Little Richard record.
        4. His drumming was recorded for one of the electronic drum sets
      2. Mike Shepard
        1. Nationally known drum teacher
      3. Donnie Fritts
        1. Songwriter/performer/actor
        2. Played in Kris Kristopherson’s band
        3. In movies with KK
      4. Bobbie Gentry
        1. Reputedly worked at Dipper Dan Ice Cream one summer
      5.  Donnie Cook
        1. Head cheer leader one year, starting quarterback the next year
        2. Killed by semi in 2001 or 2002 at Cox Creek Parkway/Chisholm Rd intersection
    16. Touchdown Twins
      1. Charlie Young 5″ 6″ or so and about 150 pounds, weight lifter. Right at 10 seconds for 100 yd dash
      2. Put himself back in game and called his number to score another touchdown in at least one game.
      3.  Ran one punt back for touchdown by dashing in and scooping the ball as it was barely rocking back and forth while all the defenders were posed to down it but never did.
      4. Too old to play last games his senior year
      5. played at Kentucky, hurt most of the time, too small
      6.  Became a veterinarian. No dummy by any means.
      7.  Said to have gone from room to room by walking on ledge of hotel in NYC on the Senior Trip. The ledge was many floors up.
      8.  His father lived in the garage of a house owned by Bill Johnson’s father
    17. Terry Haddock 5′ 10″ and about 165, weight lifter. 10 seconds or less in 100 yd dash
      1. Played at Georgia Tech, hurt much of the time, fastest player on the team
      2. Invited to try out with Green Bay Packers but Viet Nam scotched it
      3. Now a stock broker type in Florence
      4. Developed colon cancer in 2003
    18. Dannylou Gibbs
      1. A couple of years behind me. Had all As for her school career. Feared her first B so she went into a closet with a shotgun and killed herself.
      2. She made and A in the course after all.
    19. Faith Snoddy
      1. Her father was crewman on JFK’s PT boat that was sunk. When JFK was inaugrated, he was invited. All of the crew members had lapel pins that JFK had sent them.
    20. Marshall Fallwell
      1. His father was the professor of military science and tactics at Florence State. Marshall had grown up largely in Italy. Was senior class poet
      2. Overheard him later in college tell Professor Aveno that he was building his schedule around him. Later taught in the English dept at Vanderbilt. Now an antique appraiser in Nashville.
      3. When I located him around 2002 he said he had taken some pictures and done a little acting.
      4. Web search shows he did photographs for albums for Ringo Starr and other well known performers.
      5. He also was in a movie (At Close Range) with Sean Peen. Marshall played the bartender.
    21. Danny McConnell
      1.  Had a celestial telescope that would show the rings of Saturn
      2. His father had a Chrysler 300D which had a certificate in the glove compartment from test driver who said the car had been clocked at over 150 mph on a test track somewhere in Florida.


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