Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm Proud of My Humility...

The dictionary sums up “vain pride” as an undesirable trait while “humility” is desirable.

After thinking this over I am ready to announce that, “I am proud of my humility and I’ll tell you why.”

I am proud that I grew up in Beaumont. I am even more proud that I grew up in South Park. In the 1940s and 1950s, South Park was a great place to live. Even though I am proud of this, I view it with humility.

I am proud that I took swimming lessons at the downtown Y.M.C.A. on Calder Ave. I ended up becoming a lifeguard and I took pride in that.

I am proud that I sold Cokes at Stuart Stadium for the Beaumont Exporter baseball games during the late 1940s. I met so many famous athletes including, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Gil McDougald, Rogers Hornsby, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Capanella. It never occurred to me to seek their autographs.

I am proud that I played outfield for Beaumont Motor Company’s (Chevrolet Dealer) summer league team. Our team won the city championship. Our championship game took place on the South Park High School baseball field. The final out of that game was a fly ball into left field which I caught. I pocketed the ball and now it sits on my home office desk. Our regional playoff game in Stuart Stadium was played against a Houston championship team. Houston beat us 4 to 0. I was proud, but humbled.

I am proud that I attended the Saturday morning Organ Club at the Jefferson Theater. One time, Bruce Fairchild with his clarinet along with me and my trombone performed as a jazz duo in a talent contest. We won first place and earned 3 passes each from the theater manager.

I am proud that the Pipkin Street Gang and I saw “picture shows” on Saturday afternoons at the Lamar Theater.

I am proud to have been an usher at the Jefferson Theater during the early 1950s.

I am proud of hanging out with my buddies and girlfriends at the Pig Stand No. 10, located on Washington Blvd. at the Port Arthur Road. In fact I have a print of that Pig Stand drawn by Beaumont artist, Randy Welborn.

I am proud to have attended the South Park Church of Christ, first located on the corner of Elgie and Irving Streets and then in 1948 moving over to our new building on Highland Ave. and Threadneedle. You may know that music in the Churches of Christ is a capella. On occasion we would have religious organ music chime in over our public address system, compliments of the Highland Avenue Baptist Church that was located one block south of our church building. We teenagers would snicker when that happened. Our elders did not snicker.

I am proud to have started my educational pursuits at Giles Elementary, then MacArthur Jr. High School and finally graduating from South Park High School in 1953. I have so many memories to share and so many stories to tell about my beautiful days in Greenie Land. I am thankful that Greenie Spirit will never die. Shallow thinking can cause the demolition of a beautiful historic building but you cannot demolish a Spirit.

I am proud of a slogan I made up years ago, “They are not making any more Greenies. That makes us collectors’ items.” Since then, several have used this expression in their writings.

I am proud to have smelled Taystee Bread baking, Tex-Joy/Seaport Coffee roasting, the Sulphur Plant, Magnolia Refinery, and Spindletop Oil Field. All at the same time.

I am proud of so many things about growing up in Beaumont, but foremost…

I am proud of my humility.

Winston Hamby


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