Days Gone Bye: One Thing Leads to Another (Retread from 7 July 1999)

Published 5:25 pm Saturday, July 8, 2023

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Sometimes I launch into writing about something, and then, for no particular reason, I find myself cogitating on another subject. Just bear with me, Folks.

I was thinking about the late “Bill” Jeffrey, the wife of Clyde. Bill looked and walked fine on past her nineties, and I’ll never forget Clyde coming out with the bass part of the hymn, “Precious Name” down at our old wooden Presbyterian Church in Linden. I’ll look him up when I pass through the Pearly Gates, and offer to help him out with the refrain, “Oh, how sweet!”

Y’all have heard me speak of early swimming in the Bogue or the Tombigbee, but the very first cement pond I ever jumped in was up at the Jeffrey house next to my Great Aunt Hazel Cooper. One of the main things this youngster liked about getting invited up there was getting to see their daughter, Joyce, in a bathing suit. She, like her mama, did well drinking that bad tasting Linden water, and she must of saved some of it. Last time I saw Joyce, she was still a looker…big time.

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‘Course, I bought my first car from Jeffrey Motor Company. Dick Allen sold me what came to be known as the Boggsiemobile, which, other than slinging a rod every now and again was not too bad of an “older” model vehicle.

I miss my old buddy, Thomas Jordan, who was a big guard on the 1954 Red Devil football team, where I played with him a little as a ninth grader. He had some good help with fellows like Phillip Henson, Dwain Brown, Ralph Etheridge, Frank Perkins, Jerry Schroeder, Brooks Barkley and Maurice Moore. Thomas was All Conference AND All State, back when there were no classes according to the size of schools. Thomas competed with boys from every school in the state for All State honors…and won.

Hey, don’t forget those cheerleading gals like Jane Thomas, Beulah Duke, Ann Thomas, Patricia Barkley, Joan McKinney and Fabrice Little, along with Floy Aydelott as homecoming queen.

Back to football, Don Crocker and Rex Cooper were big dogs at Thomaston, and down in Sweetwater you found names like Hasty, Beck, and naturally an Etheridge or two.

Demopolis whupped up on the Devils 27-0. Let me call out a few of the Tiger names for y’all: Spike Lewis, Jimmy Watson, Dale and Sonny Barger, Jerre Nettles, Junior Brooker, Buddy McPherson, Ronne Willingham, Riddell Abrams, Jimmy Crawford, Nickey Braswell, and Robert Parten.

I know I write a good bit about those Linden Devils, and sometimes about memories of wearing that army green uniform. There’s just a special kinda bond between players and soldiers, just like you might swell up with pride to think about being on a 4-H Club project with so and so, or in a boy or girl scout troop with good friends, or even remembering an older member of your Sunday School class.

Oh, how sweet.