Big Boy Elizando
B.B. was as much an institution in Hamburg as Dr. E.E. Griever. He was big and brown and covered the area as if it belonged to him. It probably did. We called him B.B. but I think his real name was Big Boy. I am inclined to say he belonged to the Elizando family but it may be closer to the truth to say that they belonged to him. Big Boy was a boxer that never met a stranger.
Raymond Carpenter and Dr. E. E. Griever were a team when I moved to Hamburg. Mr. Carpenter directed music on Sunday and Wednesday. He never looked in the hymnal for the page number of the song he wanted us to sing. The job that payed the bill for the Carpenter family was with the post office. Inside of Raymond Carpenter was a pastor that wanted to get out. God gives you peace about the work he wants you to do.
When Mr. Carpenter resigned, Mr. Jimmy Linder took his place. He was the prosecuting attorney for the county and Miss Mary said he always wore a red rose when he tried a murder case. She also said that he never lost. Fact or fiction?
I was sure that I could beat him in the mile so I told him so. Dale Hester said it just wasn’t possible. “Mark the route and I will show you,” I said. Dale did. It wasn’t close. He only beat me by half a mile. I decided that I would make it my life’s project to improve my running skill and then re-issue my challenge. I never did but I often thought about Dale when I was out running. Thanks Dale, for the inspiration you gave me. You were a great neighbor and friend.
She was as round as she was tall. After class one day she said to me, as everyone else was leaving the classroom, “I know that Billy Ray put that tack in my chair but I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of seeing me jump from my seat.” That was Miss Mary, tough as nails. She passed away a couple of years after we graduated. I don’t know why. I understand that the First Baptist Church was standing room only. A fine tribute to a wonderful lady.
Bobby Chadwick was an early friend I made on the first grade playground. He was a big boy then but he introduced me to his bigger brother Charles. “If we ever need a person to take care of us, my big brother will look after us.” he told me.
Bobby continued to grow as Charles reached a leveling off point. Bobby moved to Star City for his last years in high school where he played fullback for their football team.
The girls liked him. He had a winning smile and a disposition full of humor. Mr. Graham was always throwing his plastic vomit for effect. It was used almost as much as his poot cushion. He was always saying, “I’m not getting married until I have to.” That quote got me into a lot of trouble. Mother didn’t see the humor in it.
Sheriff B.A. Courson
He was a tall thin man that protected Ashley County as its sheriff. B.A. Courson survived the Bataan death march that took most of the lives that took part in the long dreadful journey during WWII.
After my brother came back from Korea, Mr. Courson took a liking to him. It was a friendship that my brother always appreciated. His life was cut short when he apparently ran off the road and struck a tree one night. People who influence your life should never be forgotten.
Someone had cut a large log into four pieces and place then vertically on the ground. Each took its place, proudly forming a square. Two, four by ten, boards connected the corners, creating two benches that controlled a barrel in the middle. That area between Mrs Young’s old white music building and the large brick building that brought us together for physical education.
The building became known as the Smoking Pit. It made prisioners of any student that had permission from their parents to enter the area for a tobacco break. Jimmy Roberts told me one day that he wished he had never started smoking. I didn’t understand and suggested that he discontinue the practice. He suggested, in return, that after eating lunch the craving for tobacco was stronger than his desire to eliminate the habit.
We all have habits that have taken over our lives. Some of these habits are productive and some are not.We move toward our thoughts.
Looking around Mrs Myers’ first grade classroom, which was full of pretty girls. I chose the one that I thought was the prettiest and clamed her as my girlfriend. I didn’t dare tell her but did confide in one of my male class mates. He then informed me that she was his girlfriend. I assured him that he was mistaken. He then turned to the female in question as said to her, “You are my girlfriend.” Her response shook me when she said “yes.” As they say, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Miss Essie and Miss Pink
They knew more about what I was doing than I did. Miss Essie and Miss Pink were two silver haired sisters that lived behind the bus station close to the Methodist church.
During the summer mother would assign me to ironing before I came to town. On many of those summer days one or both of the sisters would shout at me, telling everyone that I had been ironing for my mother. I asked mother to stop telling the sisters what I was doing. She did not.
One afternoon they asked me to pick up and deliver a package for them from the post office. Actually mother volenteered my services. I couldn’t believe it, those sweet little ladies were drinking ginger ale!
Miss Essie and Miss Pink did not want me to come back to Hamburg after college. Each of their visits to mother’s beauty shop would find them with information about job opportunities in other cities. Mother sent the information to me at Tech and I in turn would file the information away for later reference. Every job that I considered was a direct results of their imput. Look beyond your own council.
Mr. Hall was a man who dedicated his life to making ours better. If foundation means anything, he was our corner stone. I don’t remember seeing him smile very often but that was his way.
He taught me how to drive. He took me to the lake with his family. He taught one of my Sunday School classes. He never let me get away with running to lunch because it was against the rules.
These are just a few of the things that he did for me. There was much more. He was one of many that protected us during WWII. Hamburg honored Mr. J.W. Hall on Monday during Veterans Day. I did not know him as a soldier but only as an educator. Thank you Mr. Hall for being a part of my life.