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GHS School Days, 1950s-1960s, Part 4

By:  Carter E. Anthony


As we entered the tenth grade, our sophomore year in high school, we were challenged even more by the academic criteria, by a whole new set of serious teachers and by bigtime extracurricular activities.

We had three years until we met the big ol’ world of work or college and it was time to buckle down and get prepared for it.  (My dad used the words “buckle down” a lot.)

If tougher teachers and a tougher school schedule and more extra-curriculars were not enough, most of us began to get our drivers’ licenses which was another distraction.

I got a kick out of our Principal, Mr. Walton’s, comments about his first full year as Principal.

He said it had been a pleasure to serve as our principal his first year and that most have worked hard to advance themselves both mentally and physically.

However, he said, there are some here who have yet to learn why we have schools and what they are for. That’s our Chief.

Among the teachers and subjects that we faced that year were: Miss Hinton and Plane Geometry; Mr. Jacks and Biology; Coach El Gregory and Civics; and Mrs. Whetstone and English.

We had Miss Northcutt the year before for Algebra so having Miss Hinton was not that much different, maybe a little sterner.

They were the Math Sisters! Mr. Jacks was a recent graduate of Montevallo where he played basketball.

He occasionally came out and shot baskets with us but the girls thought he was the cutest and his little Volvo made him that much cuter.

Coach Gregory was a highly-regarded longtime football coach around Alabama, taught some civics and, according to a male classmate, carried a big belt.

Sweet Mrs. Whetstone, the matriarch of the Whetstone clan, taught us English but more importantly what was going on in the Whetstone family.

Even after Mrs. Thornton had us diagram every sentence in the English language, sweet Mrs. Whetstone managed to keep us busy with plenty of grammar and literature.

In athletics, the football team led by halfbacks Mickey Faulk and Ronnie Faulk, Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, and guards Rock Killough and Curtis Raybon, posted a 5-4-1 record, losing two to bigger schools, Enterprise and Selma.

The basketball team pretty much split their record, too, but the most excitement for the “B” team came when we beat the varsity in practice several times.

They beat us routinely as they should have but it was exciting when we turned the tables on them.

After practice, in the locker room, Coleman Fry walked through our end just daring one of us to say something.

We might have been less talented but we weren’t stupid. After every scrimmage, Coach Allen, varsity, and Coach Smith, B-team, would walk off together usually laughing, to Coach Allen’s office.

On those rare occasions that we won, Coach Smith hung back while Coach Allen went to his office and slammed the door.

A little later, Coach Smith knocked on the door before going in. Coach Allen, like Coleman, did not like losing to us.

Of course, the cheerleaders led by Judy Tindal, Marian Daniel and Gloria Miller, Mr. Hanks’s 100-member marching band and majorettes led by Drum Majorette Jean Williford and Head Majorette Mary Sue Rainey, always had a winning attitude, practiced as hard as the athletes and supported us fully by attending every game.

The Greenville High School marching band was spectacular for a school our size. Mr. Hanks was remarkable for his ability to make it so.


  1. Nancy B Kennington on September 3, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks for the memories. Band was mostly always fun. All of my children were in the Murphy High schoolband in mobile. My oldest grandson,Grayton is now in the Homewood band in Birmingham and loving it.

  2. Linda Walton Reynolds on September 3, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Carter, I am delighted you are writing these fabulous articles. You bring back so many wonderful memories. No wonder my Daddy thought you had such great potential!!!
    Keep up the good work ! 😍

  3. Sam Morton on September 3, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    Another well told trip to that special time and place.Every name remains a vivid recollection. Thanks Carter.

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