Mrs. Price’s Raiders is what we called our basketball team. I was not a player on this team. It was for the more talented and popular guys. It was in the fifth or sixth grade that our classes were split into two classes. It was not the one group anymore. That was sad. Our class played against the other class, who I think was called the Russian Roosters, Mrs. Russian’s class.
It was an on-going painful experience for me when they selected the starting line-ups. I was typically the person left standing beside the two or three people that absolutely had no game. It was another embarrassing moment as the popular guys would hem-n-haw about who they didn’t want rather than who they wanted at this point of the selection process. It was a decision for them between the lesser of two evils. It was like trying to select undesirable meat at the meat market. They had to pick, but were hesitant in doing so. It is sort of funny because they knew we would never play and who they selected at that point didn’t really matter. It was as though they wanted the best bench between the two teams. It wasn’t like we were ever going to make a difference in the game.
I remember when the school principal, Charles Ray Williams, substituted our class one day. I was sitting on the front row and he used me as an illustration saying that education was not as easy as opening up someone’s head and pouring the knowledge in. He used my head as the illustration. That was cool.
I did have friend in Tim Michaels, somewhat. I was probably closer to him that anyone else, even though we were not best friends. We called him “slack” and it was a name that stuck throughout school. It was because he didn’t have much of a butt so we said he had a slack ass and that was that.
During this year some of us guys began coloring this poster board into a multi-colored, psychedelic type of art. It was fun. We worked on it for many days, maybe even weeks. It was fun because I could participate and actually had something to contribute. It was during this season that I belonged to the Boy Scouts, Little League and Midget Football League, probably between the fourth and sixth grades. I was not a success in any of these activities, but it was fun to be part of what the guys were doing.
The year before Wingate no longer went through the 8th grade. Seventh and eighth grade moved to East Union Middle School. I went there the following year. That was a big deal.