Switching back to Prairie Grove school was welcomed by me but I was again back in the middle of the pack and no leadership qualities to be seen. For many years I tried to blame my class mates for my lack of achievement but that wasn’t true at all. I was mediocre in grades and no athletic ability at all, or very little. So I guess it was natural I wasn’t the star of anything. Now when I say this I am still blessed because there were people in my class that was despised and because they were from really low income they were supposed to be hicks and some played that part very well. I truly tried to BE friends with every one but I ran in no certain circles. Wasn’t good enough to be called a jock though that was what I wanted to be. Not red neck enough for the neckers and not poor enough and didn’t want to hang around with the poor kids. I never smoked or drank, not even a little bit so I was considered a square by a lot of kids and didn’t want to smoke pot or do any drugs so that cut me out also. I guess the biggest reason was I didn’t drive. Never got my license until later. Now I know that kept a lot from taking place.
I got saved my senior year but very few noticed. I was still that nice kid in the middle of the class that didn’t fit. While I think about it Coach Loyd Jones made my life bearable back then. He and coach Staggs let me be the manager for the athletic teams. Sophomore thru Senior year all sports. Of course back then there was only 3. Going to the games and being on the B squad helped me make it through school.
I graduated in the middle of my class and had no idea what career I wanted.Most of the summer of 71 was checking out local factories or reading booklets from the small colleges around the state. The U of A was too big so I decided to go to Arkansas Tech.
Arkansas Tech was new experience in many ways. I was on my own. I had no transportation, and I knew very few people. I met new people, saw new things, had to adjust to college life. I also had to keep track of money because it was always tight. I grew up fast and did it fairly well. Sports again helped and getting to know the right people at an early date helped. Coach Dempsey of the football team saw me hanging around and by the end of the season, though never officially, I was a part of the team. They were great that year and came in second nationally. I also became a part of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. Both helped out early in my time at Tech.
Second semester was a big deal because I met Melvin Bryant. We worked together in the cafeteria kitchen. Melvin is black, wide grin always on his face and a laugh that is truly his own. He is one special person and friend. Then and now. Somebody to hang out with. I was beginning to out grow the boy from Prairie Grove.
Next big thing to happen was meeting Chris Horan, also in the kitchen slopping plates. A couple of years younger but a maturity beyond his years. Soon I become part of the Fellowship and my growth shoots up. Better stop. Getting long.


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