A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Summer drives and football memories

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This week’s column will take a slightly different twist as you will see. I am in the process of fighting with the mockingbirds and wasps for ownership of all the ripe figs on a fig bush that I planted a few years ago. I have collected more than 10 gallons of figs thus far and am still not sure who is winning the fight.

On Thursday afternoon I visited Walter Woodard, a retired Nash County agriculture teacher whose wife, the late Alta Woodard, also retired as a Nash County teacher, to talk with him about the fig bush in his yard. As Walter and I talked outside sitting in rocking chairs, hummingbirds were buzzing all around, a gentle breeze was blowing and the quiet of the countryside was a blessing for both of us.

We talked about life in general and then he brought up airwaves and visiting with a grandchild via Skype (I’m assuming here) and seeing her from Thailand as though she was right there talking to him. He said the airwaves will just go on forever with these visions and sounds in them.

It made me pause and think about that for a bit as we sat there. What if our voices are being carried out over the airwaves and billions of miles from here we can be heard? Thanks, Walter, for stirring my imagination. I enjoyed our visit.

For the past few weeks, I have been helping with transportation to and from various summer activities for some of my grandchildren and have enjoyed every minute of it. They have discovered that MeMe still has the sense of being a teenager when I let all the windows down, open the sunroof and turn the radio up full blast to LIFE 103.1 (I do draw the line at some things — music being one of them). We’ve laughed and just enjoyed being with each other. Of course, after a full day of my granddaughter practicing with the color guard in 90-plus-degree weather, that is the reason for the open windows and sunroof .

Last week when I picked up my grandson from football practice, we saw two of his teammates walking just outside the school and he said they were walking to Spring Hope. I picked them up and gave them a ride home. Again, the reminder that open windows and sunroof are good options. Now, I’m not sure about you, but after three hours of football practice and in 90-degree weather, to walk 6 or 7 miles indicates intense dedication by these young men.

During the ride, I learned that one of these young men also walks to practice and works evenings at a local convenience store unboxing. I picked him up the next morning and afternoon with my grandson to transport to and from practice.

For those of you who love Firebird football and would like to see a really good preview of the 2019 season, I invite you to visit southernnashnews.com, click on the video and enjoy the photos and music. Both are spot-on.

As these young men and I rode home that first day, I was reminded of the Spring Hope High School Raiders football team back in ’61, ’62 and ‘63. Those players, too, had intense dedication. Many of them worked in tobacco and would be on the football field as the sun came up, practice for two or three hours and then return home to hit the tobacco field.

They were such good football teams with strong, dedicated young men and an equally strong football coach, the late Algie Faircloth who, by the way, hired Coach Foster as one of his assistants before Coach Faircloth passed away.

How he would love to see these guys play ball today! I can almost see him gimping up and down the sidelines, encouraging Coach Foster and the boys in that booming raspy voice to “GATA.”

Jan Mills is The Enterprise’s customer service representative. Reach her at 252-478-3651 and jmills.enterprise@wilsontimes.com.