Eagles win first district championship

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local history buff Clyde Parker.

June 5, 1961

District Champs

The Southampton County Training School Baseball Eagles, winners of 65 out of 85 games in the last seven years, came through with their first district championship this year. Paced by the hitting of Thurman Gray, who batted .515, the Eagles had a 10-2 regular season record and went to the state tournament, where they lost to Carver of Chesterfield County in the quarterfinals.

Team Coach Cohen Cosby said “These kids gave it everything. I’m very proud of them.”

Team members are Ben Mason, Wesley Simmons, Russell Stith, Otis Harris, Roger Hill, Sherman Vincent, James Warren, Booker Wynn, William Hicks, Collis Kee, Thurman Gray, William Joyner, Douglas Scott, Frank Joyner, Willie Wyche and Clarence Lee.

VMI graduates

Wyatt B. Durette Jr. of Franklin and Kenner C. Rice III of Courtland will be among 200 Virginia Military Institute graduates on June 11.

Durette, who will receive a bachelor’s of science degree and an Army second lieutenant commission, was president of his class for four straight years. He plans a career in law and will enter Washington and Lee for legal studies in the fall.

Durette lettered in football and track for the Keydets. A graduate of Franklin High School where he was a football standout, he attended Woodberry Forest before entering VMI.

Kenner, who will receive a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry, will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve on June 11. He was one of three chemistry majors at VMI selected for a $2,000 teaching assistantship for the fall term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Motel plan moves ahead

The way has been cleared for construction of a new motel on Highway 58 just east of Franklin to begin “as soon as the architect completes the plans.”

Town Manager Harold Atkinson noted at Monday night’s Town Council meeting that the Federal Aeronautics Commission has approved the sale of airport land owned by the town, and bordering the airport and highway, to a local group planning to build the motel.

Robert C. Ray, spokesman for the group, said that a survey, under way and expected to be completed next week, will help determine just how large a motel will be constructed. The group presently is thinking in terms of about 25 rooms. John T. Claud of Drewryville will head the corporation and manage the motel to be called the Airway Lodge.

Franklin soldier honored

Sgt. 1st Class Linwood R. Bynum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt Bynum of Route 3, Franklin, was recently presented a certificate of achievement by Col. John K. Daly, post commander at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, N.Y.

A graduate of Hayden High School in Franklin, he entered the Army in 1952.

County bloodmobiles a success

Dr. Gordon G. Birdsong, chairman of the Regional American Red Cross Blood Program, announced that the county always exceeds its annual quota of 600 pints of blood.

He gives a lot of credit for the program’s success to the inmates at Southampton Farm at Capron, who give more than half of the blood in any given year.

Birdsong, who is Mid-Atlantic Regional Executive, works with Southampton County Executive Committee Members Bob Luck, Henry Brothers and Bill Ellis.

Marine participates in exercise

Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin F. Parker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Parker Sr. of Route 2, Franklin, participated in recent Marine exercises before Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

The exercises conducted by the 3rd Battalion of the 8th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune were designed to show the Secretary the latest methods of Marine amphibious landings.

All male wedding set for Saturday

The masculine beauty of Sedley will be on display next Friday night when the Sedley Ruritan Club and Woman’s Club present a womanless wedding in the Sedley School auditorium.

Members of the bridal party include David Halsey, J. W. Hundley, Roy Brooks, Billy Drake, Jerome Gagner, Charles Bland, Melvin Rideout, Randolph Lassiter, Harold Owen, Edward Hotchkiss, Roland Whitley, Robert Brown, J. W. Burgess, Hugh Bills, Roy Carl Drake, W.C. Williams, Bobby Branche, Tommy Burgess, G.T. Hundley, Moody Elton Munford, H.B. Bryant, Bill Halsey, Johnny Branche, Gilbert Branche, Jimmy McClenny, James Drake, W.P. Newsome, Gene Bulls, Ed Raiford, Keith Tinkham, Billy Wade, John Wade, Keith Tinkham Jr. and Bruce Bon.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton Historical Society. His email address is ParkerC@seva-redcross.org.