Friday, July 09, 2010

South Park High School, Beaumont, Texas

Yes, the picture shows my four yearbooks (annuals) from my four years as a Greenie at South Park High School in Beaumont. When I graduated in 1953, I never dreamed of setting up a display of those four books plus four bricks from the recently demolished school building. Miriam Cade Nichol sent me a brick as did Starlet Deaton Smock. Reg Garner sent me two bricks. Reg also sent me a Greenie baseball cap. Thanks to each one of you.

Following are a few memories of events that happened during my four years at South Park:
*Late one Friday night while riding on the band bus from Goose Creek to Beaumont following a football game, some upperclassmen invited me to the rear of the bus for my band initiation. Actually they were having a problem accepting me as a band member. I was only in junior high school but Mr. Louis Stumpf, our director allowed me to play with the high school band. I realized this caused a problem. I did not want to go to the rear of the bus because I was afraid of those older guys. So I offered them a plea-bargain. I said, “If you will leave me along on the bus, I’ll let you take my pants off when we reach the school building. You can hang my pants on one of the porch light poles on the front main entrance of the school.” They accepted the offer. I was hoping they would forget but they didn’t. When we arrived at the building, they removed my pants and draped them over one of the porch light poles. I had to march up the steps wearing my waist-length uniform coat, hat, white shoes, white socks and my white Fruit-of-the-Loom. At that same time, two flatbed trucks hauling loads of kids on hayrides were returning to campus. That front campus was filled with fellow-Greenies. They all applauded as I marched up the porch to retrieve my pants.
*Arthur was a good friend. Often he made gun powder out in his family’s garage because he loved to make his own fireworks. But one day in the high school chemistry lab, Arthur put together something that exploded. This unceremoniously removed Arthur’s eyebrows and left a big red blotch on the ceiling of the lab. Later he told me that he was trying to make a large firecracker that he planned to set off the following July 4. All Arthur achieved was to spend a week in detention hall. Also for the following weeks, he resembled a zombie.
*Miss Katherine Bailey was my freshman algebra teacher. I tended to be high-strung and also very talkative. My favorite quote from Miss. Bailey was, “Winston Hamby, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, ‘GET QUIET!!’” She had a special quality in her voice that could be heard all the way down to the other end of the hall.
*I worked in the school cafeteria. One day I dropped a 24-bottle case of milk. The case hit the floor and every one of those little glass bottles broke. The milk ran up under the faculty lunch table. Several teachers got milk on their shoes. I was so embarrassed that to this day I cannot bear to think about it.
*Tony Palumbo, a night manager with Taystee Bread used to give us kids some wax paper bread wrappers. They contained just the right texture of wax to give you a screaming ride down the school building’s fire escape slides. Usually a crash landing ensued.
Here is a slogan I wrote several years ago: “They are not making anymore Greenies. That makes us collectors’ items.” I am proud to be a Greenie ’53.

“Greenie Fight Never Dies.”
Winston Hamby