MINDEN HIGH SCHOOL
By Wiliam Pat Watson
Photo by Robert Grambling
We were the first seniors in the new building on the right. Class of 1955.
Most of our memories are in the old building facing the camera. This building will be torn down May 2005.
Isn't this a beautiful picture?
By the time you read such stories as the one I'm about to tell, household words such as "digital cable television," "the Internet," "IBM," "MICROSOFT" and other high-tech buzz words will have long sense become routine kitchen talk.
Back in the year 1955, however, things were a little-less complicated and life presented itself as somewhat of "dull-roar" sounds almost to everyone. That is, except for the excitement created by a unique graduating class at Minden High School, which was located in a sleepy little town of the same pretext name in Northwestern Louisiana, and nestled among billowing groves of thick piney woods and lily padded lakes.
The physical situation is US Highway 80 running East and West across the state. It is the same path infamous Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow last used when they were ambushed and wiped out by six, heavily armed lawmen early one morning in April, some nineteen years prior.
Hardly anyone gave this matter any noticeable attention in 1955, though the execution scene had occurred only thirteen miles southeast of town on a lonely dirt road used primly for logging transports between Gibsland and Sales. The type road graduating Minden High School students loved using on Friday-night dates, to park along side a lonely, cutaway trail where bulk wood haulers had roamed sometimes earlier in the sun-laden day. Only burps made by groping frogs and an occasional Whippoorwill's sound echoing off in the distance created minimum cause for any human security alarm being there, guarding the "innocent".....alone.
Certainly, those sensitive parents akin to this type of nonsense involvement would have approved far less favorable with these well mannered, "teenage idles" - had they truly known what was manifesting in the minds of Minden's "educated adults of tomorrow!"
Maybe Mr. Williams, our M.H.S. Principal, and maybe Miss Kuma Shealy, our Assistant
Principal knew their 1955 graduating students' mental capacity for both academia and non functions describing personal teenage involvement's. And maybe Joe Oliphant, and
maybe George Doherty and Pat Nation, and maybe Kirtley Miles (to name a few) could
predict whom was capable of what, when, why and how each graduate could perform as individual admired achievers, either in or out of the class room.
But I assure you, James Allen McCabe, Charles Lewis, Doyle Walker and Sandra Pullig,
four of the best officers the senior class could ever have elected, had a handle of the remaining public and private involvement throughout that year.
The class of 1955 packed itself with a real, super-dynamo punch as if there were no other class capable of competing in close proximity. All of which was done without the use of such things as alcohol, narcotics, stimulants or other artificial aids. What we did in sports' academia was better than outstanding -- even considering units measured with today's standards.
Listen to this: The football team won 2-A State Championship, the Basket team won 2-A
State Championship, the baseball team won 2-A State Championship and the girl's swimming team won State Championship. Local merchants downtown began calling us
"The Class of Champions" early-on in the year. And by the year's fourth quarter, our Grig (school's yearbook) hit the classrooms in full black and white inside print, and outside thick red covers bound over in red see-through plastic material, while the Tide Talk (school's news paper) proclaimed contemporary announcements, having echoed multiple stories from commercial newspapers printed throughout Louisiana.
Perhaps sixty full leather, dyed yellow pig skin school jackets with a big red "M" outlines in white and tightly sewed to the left breast, had been issued to each participating, athletic, coach, athletic director and principal by final graduation. On the left shoulder of each garment was another patch displaying the entire State of Louisiana. Inside the state emblem, the particular sport of each individual owning the award exposed itself, as if they were an elite group holding knighthood muster, inside highly guarded walls of armored steel!
Photo Submitted by Shirley Frazier Youngblood, Class of 1955
The 1954 football scoreboard looked like this on the last day of the season in December:
Minden 39 Bossier 19
Minden 14 Vivian 13
Minden 06 Neville 14
Minden 32 Jonesboro 19
Minden 48 Homer 00
Minden 32 St Johns 07
Minden 49 Mansfield 25
Minden 06 Ruston 13
Minden 07 Haynesville 00
Minden 25 Natchitoches 19
Minden 14 Springhill 06
Minden 14 Ruston 00
Minden 42 Eunice 06
Minden 14 Behrman 00
There is a reliable estimate that approximately 9,000 to 10,000 attended the state championship play-off and approximately 7,000 spectators attended the North Louisiana play-off; both games played at Crimson Tide stadium.
Naturally, the state championship victory over the Behrman Bees was the climax of the season. Jerry Frasier (fullback) scored the first touchdown as he went over the two yard line to climax an 84 yard drive in the first quarter.
The second touchdown occurred during the fourth quarter as James McCabe (quarterback)
ran a Behrman punt 41 yards for the touchdown.
Although the Tide's backfield were unreeling steady gainer's, they did not outshine the brilliant playing of the line. Clifford Taylor (left end) kicked his eleventh and twelfth consecutive extra points to top off a sparkling performance 14-0.
William Pat Watson #11
1954 MINDEN HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONS
Back row, L to R: Jimmy Fitzgerald, Bill Slay, Billy Don Adams, Roy Baggett, Richard Yates, Tommy Searles, Clifford Taylor, Bobby Hudson, Pat Watson, Douglas Skinner, Robert Miller, Danny Cheney, Johnny Lee.
Middle row, L to R: Paul Robinson, Drew Simmons, Benton Irby, Jerry Frasier, James McCabe, Edwin Leachman, Huey Clement, Rogers Reeves, Ronny Pearson, Phillip Ford, Douglas Burt, Max Pevy, James Liner, Don Jenkins.
Front row, L to R: Kenneth McMichael, Bill Terrill, Jimmy Campbell, Jerry Grigsby, Jimmy Marcus, Jerry Wayne Day, Doyle Walker, Meredith Nicholson, Jimmy Johnson, David Nadrchal, Ronald Bryan, Larry Miles
Thanksgiving Day - November 1955
Because we always played Springhill on Thanksgiving Day, we usually had Crowe for dinner and Jeter for dessert The cheerleaders would prepare a big bonfire the night before the football game. We would burn a dummy of John David Crowe during the pep rally in front of the Minden High School gym.
I first took notice of the importance of winning the Thanksgiving game when I first moved to Minden at the age of thirteen. Springhill was the team to beat. No one wanted to lose this game.
The star of the Springhill team -- was John David Crowe, a big blond guy who needed a crying towel after Minden beat Springhill that Thanksgiving day in 1954 when Minden beat Springhill. James McCabe wrote:
James McCabe #39
MINDEN 27 SPRINGHILL 13 ;John David needed another
touch down to become the all time scorer in history. At the the end of the
game Springhill had first and goal at the five yard line. John David carried
the ball four times and was tackled by line backDouglas Skinner. As the game
ended, Skinner wasstanding over him. JohnDavid went on to Texas A&M and
became a Heisman winner playing for Bear Bryant!.At Texas A&M Ken Beck from
Minden, an All American, was also playing with John David. Doug went on to
play at LSU. Doug was one of the best offensive centers and middle
linebackers to ever play for Minden High School.
James "Jim" McCabe
JAMES MCCABE RECEIVES AWARD
James Allen McCabe, All State football quarterback, was the winner of the Minden Tourney "Best Sportsman Award." This was one of the most coveted
honors of the M.H.S. festival held January 19, 20 and 21.
James Allen, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. McCabe, has had the distinct honor of being chosen on the 1954 All-State basketball team as well as the All State football team.
James Allen has lettered in football three years; in basketball, two years; and in baseball, three years. Among his other school activities, he has been a Grig favorite and has been a class officer several times.
James Allen McCabe as a Minden baseball player when he was a kid.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 1954 we saw the Minden Crimson Tide Roll. We went on to win the Louisiana State Championship. That was the day we had Crowe for dinner and Jeter for dessert. We didn't even mind that the veggie's were a bit salty from John David's tears. As James pointed out, there was no need to feel sorry for John David Crowe, he had a great career in football.
After high school John David Crow played Pro Football for the St. Louis Cardinals
Many thanks to Pat Watson and James McCabe for telling us how Minden became the Home of Champions.
When I scroll from left to right I can still feel the excitement when Minden captured all those championships back in 1954-55 that was when the sports writers wrote that we were a City of Champions.
Photo by Robert Grambling
Junior Class Officers - President: Charles Lewis
Treas. - Roy G. Baggett
Sec. - James A. McCabe
Vice President - Jerry Frasier
Note: The Planters Ties the boys were wearing. This picture was made on Thursday. I know this to be true because
the boys always wore blue suede shoes on Thursday. On Friday they wore queer boots. (fruit boots). During our
Junior High days they would sometimes designate a day to go shoeless with the teacher's permission.
Photo by Robert Gramblin
Summer of 1954
TIDE TALK WRITERS RECEIVE AWARDS
Awards were presented at the last Tide Talk staff meeting to members of the staff for the news, feature, and sports articles in the last paper. Dan Wigley received the feature award for his story about Pat Watson's hobby as a ham radio operator.
William Pat Watson
Receiving the news award was the assistant editor, Sue Milner, for her headline article about the Miss Minden High School contest. Sports minded Sammy Maxey accepted his award for his article on the State Championship team. The articles were judged by Mr. C. E. Harper, Mrs. C. E. Harper, and Mr. C. D. Harper on the basis of the best technique style of each article.
The Junior Senior Party was held May 1955 at the Community House
GRADUATION NEXT WEEK
(From the Minden Press Herald - May 19, 1955)
Top Minden Seniors - The two Minden High school seniors completing their school work with the highest overall average were Charles Lewis and Sammy Maxey. Both became physicians. The other honor students were Anita Harkness, Donald Holcomb, James Ford, Carla Faye Green, Linda Lee Mims, Jackie White, Becky Jones and Elizabeth Hefflefinger.
One hundred and twelve Minden High school seniors, the largest graduating class in the school's history, received diplomas in commencement exercises held in the Ferguson Memorial Tabernacle. There was no principal speaker at the graduation service but the program was developed around a central theme with honor students making five minute talks on assigned topics related to the theme. The general theme will be "The Way Ahead."
Rev. T. W. Leachman pastor of the Parkway Baptist Church will deliver the baccalaureate address. He was selected by a majority of the vote of the senior class.
Presenting the 1955 Graduates....
Barbara Johnson Adams
Billy Don Adams
Clark Jean Anderson
Mary Jo Anderson
Thomas Rogers Auld
Clyde Allen Austin
009. Roy G. Baggett
010. Annetta Louise Baker
011. Billy Keith Baldwin
012. Anitha Mildred Boland
013. Helen Boyd
014. Marsha Boyd
Trudy Ann Brooks
Yvonne Marie Brown
Barbara Jean Bryan
George Douglas Burt
Dennis Company - Short Term
Betty Ann Cooper
Dorothy Jean Cooper
Gracie Faye Davidson
Jency Elizabeth Davis
Patsy Elizabeth Davis
Carrie Bell DeLoach
Billy Wayne Dixon
James Lynn Ford
Shirley Ann Frazier
Joy Faye Garriss
Carla Faye Green
Mary Legenia Green
Sherry LaRue Gresham
William Austin Grigsby
Huey Lee Hanson
Caroll Gay Hardy
Anita Louise Harkness
Robert Jerry Harkness
Charles Wayne Harper
Shelby William Hayes
Elizabeth T. Heffelfinger
Patsy Gail Heflin
Dimple Vice Hoggard
Donald Ray Holcomb
Robert William Hudson
Becky Lou Jones
Doris La Faye Kendrick
Francis Otto Krouse
Charles Alton Landrem
Alma Ray Langley
James Russell Liner
Admiral Dewey Lowe, Jr.
Jimmy Elmer Marcus
Randall Denver Marrs
Robert O. Martin, Jr.
Samuel Alvin Maxey
James Allen McCabe
Lawrence Edward McCoy
James Carroll Miller
Martha Lou Miller
Robert Bernard Miller
Ronald Marvin Miller
Kitty Sue Milner
Sarah Catherine Milner
Linda Lee Mims
Virginia Dale Morgan
Joseph David Murphy
Dorothy Walker Nicholson
Meredith Nicholson moved away
Betty Lou Norwood
Ida Mae Pittman
Sandra Jean Pullig
Bonnie Sanders Roberts started with the class that fall was but not listed in the
Press Herald as a graduate because she had moved to Haynesville.
Wanda Jean Roden
Thomas Daniel Searles
Robert Drew Simmons
William Ralph Slay
Melba Sue Smith
Bennye Ryan Stewart
Jimmie Ruth Swain
Beverly Ann Tash
Clifford Leon Taylor
Dimple Vice - See Dimple Hoggard
James David Volentine
098. Velva Doyle Walker
Majorie Elaine Walker
William Emmett Ward
William Patterson Watson
Malcolm Ray Weaver
Carolyn Norita White
James Walter White, Jr.
Ella Bell Zappa
IN MEMORY OF
MARY ELLEN BAILEY
Flower - the orchid?
Graduation - May 23, 1955
Class Song: You'll Never Walk Alone
Class Motto: Forward Ever - Backward Never
Special Tributes - I'll Walk With God Performed by the band and choir
MRS WATSON AND MRS. WATSON BULLOCK'S 7TH GRADE CLASS
Top Row – Talmadge ???, Girl – Wayne Maddry, Joy Garriss, Earl Stone, Becky Jones, Cotton Smith
Fifth Row – Robert Stephens, Carla Faye Green, Boy, Patsy Heflin, Dan Wiggly, Linda Lee Mims, Boy Norita White, Boy, Girl, James Pope
Fourth Row - Barbara Bryan, Billy Baldwin, Girl, Robert Miller, Girl, Ronald Miller, Mildred Boland, Randal Mars, Ann Welch, Boy, Girl, Boy.
Third Row Jimmy Miller, Verna Nash, Billy Dixon, Sandra Pullig, Bobby Hays, Sue Milner, Bill Slay. Boy, Girl, Rob Martin, Mary Ellen Bailey, Ronald Bryan, Peggy Everett
Second Row - Ned Lou Stinson, Raymond Pevey, Betty New, Billy Don Adams, Patsy Davis,
William Grigsby, Margie Walker, Edward Brown, Jane Cundiff, James Lynn Ford, Mary Winford, Bobby Mitchell.
Bottom Row - Mrs. Watson, Gracie Davidson, Jimmy White, Yvonne Brown, Boy,
Girl, Bobby Youngblood, Ida Mae Pittman, Boy, Girl, Billy Morgan, Miss Maude Bullock
Identified by Verna Nash and Robert Stephens