Young people cannot relate to that statement or the changes of the five decades about which it speaks. Those older in years allow the changes to gradually take place and we all into the same thought-pattern as the younger. We feel as all things now have always been that way. That is true, notwithstanding a little thought would cause us to know that isn’t so.
Over 50 years ago, Foy L. Smith made a speech at a lectureship at Freed-Hardeman Col-lege in Henderson, TN entitled, “Things that have not changed in 50 years.” As a young man, I heard that speech and the gist of that speech frequently challenges my mind.
That speech directed attention to the principles, purposes and positions on which the school was established. The speaker did a great job in showing how Freed-Hardeman had stood steadfast on the foundation on which it was built.
But, I began this column with the statement “things change in 50 years.”
And they do.
In Wednesday’s issue of the Calhoun Times there was a picture accompanying the story about Bob O’Connor. That picture was of O’Connor, Fred Shaver, Barney Oldfield and Bubba Faulkner. All the men were prominent factors on the athletic scene of Calhoun and Red Bud in the 1960s and later.
Though I could write column after column about either of these four men and their im-pact on our local sport scene generally and upon me in particular, it isn’t the four men to whom attention will be given in this column.
You are asked to look at the picture closely. My phone started ringing on Tuesday before the article and picture made it “on the street” on Wednesday. People had seen it on the Calhoun Times website, www.calhountimes.com.
There were many comments and reminiscing about the four men as coaches and adminis-trators. Talk then turned to the “scenery” displayed in the picture.
That picture was made around 1960, approximately 50 years ago. It was made at Phil Reeve Stadium. At first glance, a person might not see much beyond the immediate view. I am going to tell you about things beyond that first glance and you will say, “Yes, things have certainly changed in 50 years.”
Of course, one has to notice the playing surface. There is no suspicion here that anyone would trade any of the high school fields in Gordon County for that playing surface that ap-pears to be weeds or Johnson grass at various spots. It would not be mistaken for the new Astroturf playing surface at Phil Reeve Stadium today.
Also, look at the stands to the right of Coach Faulkner (who you might identify as his son Chuck. I can’t believe it). Those wood stands are Calhoun’s home stands. Someone asked, “If those are the home stands, what did the visitors stands look like?”
The goal posts in the upper left of the picture don’t meet the same standards as todays. I wonder what ours looked like 10 years earlier when I played. I think we all imagine our stadium comparative to Sanford Stadium in Athens. Two words: Not so.
That is enough about the athletic aspect of that picture. I don’t know how good it will show in Wednesday’s paper but looking over the goal posts past the Rome Road is a house with a big tree. That house is the home of the George Daves, Sr. Beside and behind that house is a pasture reaching all the way to McConnell Street. Ford Davis later built a Super Market on that spot. A Government Housing complex occupies the site just to the east on that site.
There is more. Looking between Coach Shaver and Barney Oldfield, you can the roof of the original South Calhoun Baptist Church building.
That picture not only allowed us to look at four men, three of whom are now deceased, but it allowed to look at a time when things weren’t as spiffy and modern as today.
Freed-Hardeman might not have forsaken principles upon which it was founded in those first 50 years (now 100), but the changes in this picture depict a change in one small aspect of our surroundings true of our whole county. Things change in 50 years.