Friday, June 12, 2009

"Time The Change May Bring..."

Dear Greenie:

Just want to express my deepest gratitude to you for being such a significant part of my life.
So many times I have reflected on our relationship.

The first time I met you was in 1946. I’ve got to confess that I did not know who you were. Do you remember the big football game that Friday night? That was my first football game ever. My parents took me to the game because my sister was a member of the South Park High School Greenie Cadets, that fabulous drum and bugle corps. They performed at halftime. We were playing the Goose Creek Ganders. I remember thinking that was an unusual name for a football team.

When time came for the game to start, our high school band played the National Emblem. Then we sang a song which I learned later was our alma mater. A portion of those words were, “Time the change may bring.” I am wondering now if that song was prophetic with all the changes we are seeing. Anyway, following the alma mater, someone led a prayer over the public address system. Remember how that no one made a fuss because we prayed? Do you think we took school prayer for granted?

Then the cheerleaders led, “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for the Greenies stand up and holler.” Everyone around me stood up and hollered so I did too. I asked my friend, Joyce Vick which team she was rooting for. She thought I was joking. But that is when and how I began to know you.

A few short years later I reached high school and became a Greenie in my own right, I was proud to wear your name. All Greenies proudly waved the green and white. All Greenies knew about you. We called you “Greenie Spirit.”

Greenie, it seems strange that from time to time people wonder what you look like. These same people seem to think that you are a thing. Do they not know a spirit when one is around? I knew a family whose son wrote the following:

“The sun that sets may never rise,
But Greenie Spirit never dies.”

He understood that you are spirit and not a thing. You live in everyone who attended South Park High School. And believe me, Greenie, I have been around many a school in my lifetime. My wife was a school educator for 30 years. I’ve been in and around the public and private education arenas all my life. Never have I witnessed anything like you. Your spirit in our student body was unparalleled.

As you well know, they want to demolish our old school house. That is one of the most beautiful buildings in Beaumont. Isn’t it unusual how that sometimes progress dictates destruction? Is that really progress? But I digress.

Greenie, you are an indomitable spirit and never will you be degraded to mere brick and mortar. Never can you be confined to narrow hallways and slamming locker doors. You will continue to live in our souls. Even progress cannot take you away.

By the way, what ever happened to your beautiful pendulum clock that graced the wall just above our trophy case? Mr. Floyd used to wind up that lovely timepiece every morning. I wonder how many seconds ticked away on that old clock through the years. As the news reels used to say, “Time Marches On.” I guess time dictates change. And change is what we are seeing.

Greenie, the ending phrases of our alma mater sum it up so well:

“South Park, South Park, dear old South Park,
Time the change may bring.
Still the name of South Park High School
Evermore we’ll sing.”

Winston Hamby
Greenie ‘53


Blogger Unknown  said...

The cadets were not a drum and bugle corps, they were a band. There is a difference

Sat Jun 13, 11:39:00 AM 2009  
Blogger WinSpin  said...

Hi Roosevelt. Thank you for commenting. But I disagree with you.

The Cadets definitely were a drum and bugle corps. My sister was in the Cadets. In fact I'm talking to her on the phone as I write this. She still lives in Beaumont.

The Cadets used only drums and bugles with three or four bell lyres.

The band was another ensemble. The band used brass, reeds and drums.

Look in the old year books (annuals) and they will give you the correct designations for both ensembles.

Eventually I played in the band and my sister played in the drum and bugle corps (Cadets).

The band used to be boys only and the Cadets were girls only.

Later they disbanded the drum and bugle corps and boths boys and girls were in the band...

By the way, in those days all the high schools had a girls only drum and bugle corps. They were the "in thing." Each school also had a band usually boys only.

Sat Jun 13, 12:31:00 PM 2009  

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