The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
|Bruce, Virginia and Evelyn|
My mind is wandering back to the early 1930s and the school. I remember going to track meets. That was the big thing back in those days. The 100 yard dash, jumping the hurdles, the mile run and shot putt.
I remember going to a track meet in about 1932. I don't think I had even started to school yet. My cousin, Evelyn Ogden and I were standing there on the side of the high school building. The race track went right by the high school and circled the old 3-story grammar school building.
The only other person I can remember standing there with us was Mrs. Sadye Nolen, Marvin Nolen's mother. Everyone enjoyed watching how excited Mrs. Sadye got when the racing began. She would yell, "Run boys, Run!"
Back in those years there were some great athletes in Sicily Island. I heard folks tell about them. I saw some of them years later and people would point them out to me. I had heard people talk about those athletes all of my life.
One of those athletes was Nathan "Buddy" Blair. He went on from Sicily Island to LSU where he was a member of the basketball, track and baseball teams. After college, he played third base for one of the professional teams.
I saw Buddy Blair about two or three years ago when we renovated the old high school building. We had a little ceremony over at the school gym one night. Cecil Blair, another good athlete, was there as well. Cecil was a first cousin to Buddy. Buddy was out in the audience.
Buddy Blair was a big, tall fellow. A nice, quiet man. He was supposed to be the main speaker at the ceremony that night but he had just had a heart attack a few months before and didn't feel up to it. His cousin, Cecil was the main speaker.
Cecil was younger than Buddy. When I was in the first or second grade, Cecil was in high school. I remember seeing him play basketball.
A lot of people gave the principal, Mr. Cameron Coney, much of the credit for so many students back in those days going on to be successful in life. He was a fierce competitor in athletics and it carried over into the classrooms. The credit given to Mr. Coney was well deserved.
I'm proud of all the students from Sicily Island who went on to be successful in life. I'm as proud of them as if they were my brothers, sisters or children. I thank them for the honors they have bestowed upon us here on Sicily Island.
Dr. Martin D. Woodin
Coy Wilton Wynn
There were a good many great teachers back in the late 1920s and early 1930s. They inspired people. We had a lot of children who went on after finishing school and did real well. Not only in athletics but in academics, too.
There are teachers and there are good teachers.
I went to LSU for a semester. I remember meeting a boy whose last name was Costa. He was from down around Crowley in south Louisiana. He found out I was from Sicily Island and asked me if I knew Chisum. I knew he was talking about Little Emmett Chisum and I answered yes. Costa said he believed Chisum was the best teacher he had ever had. He went on and on about how interesting Chisum's classes were and how he inspired his students. Dr. Emmett Chisum was not just a teacher. He was a good teacher.
Note: Parts 1-21 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of this blog.