Thursday, June 11

When I was twelve I was a Tenderfoot in Troop 90. Later in Troop 100, I advanced to First Class and before I left Hazard in '46 I was a Life Scout. I did very well in the Boy Scouts, mainly, because the Regional Scoutmaster, Mr. Hayes, lived in the apartment under me in the house behind the High School. Hayes was also a Captain in the Salvation Army. He later moved to Houston, Texas. By no fault of my own, my family also moved to Houston a year later and believe it or not we hooked up again.

Growing up in Hazard, over the years. I got to know a lot of different people. Young and old, rich and poor, good and bad and just indifferent. I remember Soupbean Miniard when he broke his leg playing football with us in Kay Greer's side yard. I thought that was tough but Soupbean took it in stride. Showed up in school the next week, cast and all. And that Kay Greer; he was big when he was little. He grew up to be a Monster. I remember when he took Western to the N.I.T. Championship. Bill Ross was the best high school kick-off returner I ever saw. Ran several back for touchdowns in 44-45, when I was a lowly manager on the team. During that same time my ole pal, Charles Davis, Jr. or "Brom", was struggling to make the team. To help him out, during practice when Brom was playing defense at end, I would sneak in close to the huddle and listen to coach Pop Collins call the plays. If they were coming his way I would give Brom a signal so he would be prepared. He would have made the team anyway because the Bulldogs were a little short on talent during those years. That was the same year Middlesboro came over and the game ended in a free-for-all, including the players, coaches, students, husbands & wives, and police. I thought I would be better off climbing to the top row of the bleachers where I could get an clearer view of every blow. Hazard lost the game but won the fight.

I remember the big flood when we were cut off briefly from civilization and some guy in a Piper Cub flew over the football field and dropped a few supplies. That was a disaster too because he forgot to tie the parachutes firmly to the crates. A few crates crashed on the field and several others hit peoples' roofs up on the hill. Also, the Health Department decided all the school kids needed Typhoid shots. My arm was so sore for a week I couldn't touch it.

There were very few black people in Hazard when I was a kid and the only one I knew worked at the Royal Bar & Grille & Pool Room. I was totally ignorant of any prejudicial problems back then. Mose was the Janitor, a cook and also took care of the pool room in the back. He racked the balls and handled the money. I spent a lot of time in there at night, especially on Saturday when they had the big nine ball games. If my dad had too much to drink on any night he would take him in the back room, put him on the cot and let him sleep it off. I liked Mose. He was a good guy and had a crippled right leg. But he never complained. He was always good to me when I went in. Usually gave me a bottle of Coke. What a guy he was...


  1. It didn't matter to a group of junior high girls that "Brom" struggled with football. He was our bronzed hero at the Bobby Davis Pool.

    Coincidentally, he visited our home in Americus, 1996 when he was asked to carry the Olympic Torch through our town. I was not aware until then that he had competed in the Olympics.

    "Pop" Collins wife, Margaret, very capably taught us English at Lothair School when we were in the seventh and eighth grades.

  2. I lived in Hazard during the 40's and I remember the parachute drop that missed the football field. I also played in Kay
    Greer's side yard. They even had swings and a big tree with boards nailed to it to form a ladder. He really was a big guy. I remember Soupbean, but had forgotten about the time he broke his leg. I even got some of those typhoid shots. I got more than a sore arm. I was sick for days. I think I was alergic to the vaccine. I also swam in the Bobby Davis pool. Do you remember Dick McIntyre, Roscoe Shackleford, Tiddly Mitchell, James Walldeck and Houston Hatler? Or maybe me -- Howard Murrill?

  3. Dick McIntyre and I were best friends. We both traveled to Dayton in my 40 Ford Coupe in 1952.
    Both worked at Delco. I was in the same class with his sister Ella Rae. Also knew Paul Townes, Jack Steele, Robert Hardy, George & John Green, Carolyn Carte and Dick Mitchell. I don't remember your name but I'm sure we had met somewhere... Where did you live, Howard?

  4. Howard, send me your E-mail address. I have a photo of myself, Dick McIntyre, Sonny Gum and Roscoe.