September 1960 reached a zenith in football and new TVs

Posted 9/1/20

It’s always hard for me to escape old newspaper ink, and I have not traveled far since last week. This week’s events occurred in September 1960.

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September 1960 reached a zenith in football and new TVs


The Aug. 26 Musings was set in August of 1960, and it contained a “zinger”, something that could not have happened at that time. It took folks a bit to find it, but finally Jeanelle Mathis did. Along with the three for-real Madisonville High School football coaches that were named in the piece, I had included James Byrd, Jr. In the 60s, he coached at Marian Anderson High School and then at Madisonville Junior high before he became a school counselor, but in 1960 he could a NOT have coached at our high school due to integration being in effect. For her find, Mrs. Mathis won a lunch meal courtesy of Walkers Café. There is no contest “zinger” this week.

It’s always hard for me to escape old newspaper ink, and I have not traveled far since last week. This week’s events occurred in September 1960.

Madisonville High School began football season on Sept. 2, when the Mustangs defeated the Caldwell Hornets 25-0. Charles Grizzle scored three touchdowns, Fernon Gibson scored one, and David Tinder kicked an extra point. The Mustang line did its share to win, making bone-breaking tackles. That line included King Cole, David Tinder, Thomas Baker, Ernest Cannon, Billy Owen, Mutt Dyer, and others.

On Sept. 6, North Zulch Independent School District enrolled 127 students, with 40 high school students and 87 elementary students. Four more students were expected.

Coach Floyd Sandles coached Marian Anderson High School’s Panthers football team then. They played Teague’s Booker T. Washington High School on Sept. 7, winning 28-0. Panthers that scored in that game were C. Samuels, quarterback C. Gooden, fullback C. Ashley, and quarterback J. Jefferson.

Madisonville High School’s classes elected officers that Sept. 8. The senior class elected president Jerry Wester, vice- president Roy Dean Kyle, secretary Jackie Ingram, treasurer Ronny Fannin, parliamentarian Thomas Baker, reporter Sara Hoke and Sue Hilbun, homecoming queen nominee. Juniors elected president Billy Owen, vice-president David Tinder, secretary Honeysuckle Turner, treasurer Leon McVey, parliamentarian Tommy Finney, and Gay Stover homecoming queen nominee. Sophomores chose president Jerry Grizzle, vice-president Rebecca Reynolds, secretary Sue Day, treasurer Sally Belkham, parliamentarian John Stineff, reporter Donna Sanders, and Lois Patton homecoming queen nominee. Freshmen elected president Dale Dean, vice-president Kay Crouch, secretary Donna Suther, parliamentarian Bill Cannon, reporter Sheri Evans, and Theta Wilson homecoming queen nominee.

North Zulch High School’s senior class elected officers for the 1960-1961 school year. Billy Mosely was class advisor. Elected were president Joyce Diserens, vice-president Jack Campbell, treasurer Don Reed, secretary Sarah Marks, reporter Lynne Barnett, and parliamentarian Bill Morris.

Coach Sandles and the Panthers won their second game on Sept. 14, with a score of 49-0 against the Kemp High School Bears in Bryan. The Panthers’ points came from halfback C. Samuels (14 points), halfback R. Washington (14 points), fullback C. Ashley (eight points), quarterback C. Gooden (seven points), and G. Turner (six points). Because of the one-sided nature of the game, Coach Sandles was able to put in a full team of freshmen, and they performed well. At one time, the Bears had the Panthers on their own one-yard line, but due to hard hitting by freshmen T. Turner, J. Ashley, Wiley Winn, and H Jackson, the Bears fumbled and T. Turner recovered. Other first-year players who performed well were Glynn McCoy and R. Washington, both at halfback positions, and James Owens as defensive end. James Samuel was very impressive taking over as right guard due to the absence of William Archie, out with an injured hand. (The initials were what the Meteor had, not my doing).

Kay and Herring Butane Gas had an office here and in other towns too. On Sept. 22, the business hosted fish fry at Huntsville State Park for employees and their families. Attending from Madisonville were Mr. and Mrs. Jack Herring and Carey, Paula, and Scotty, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Watson, Mr. and Mrs. E.M. “Bub” Richardson and Emmett and Preston, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Plaster, Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Kay, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Dan Mosley and Bobby and Billy, and Dominick Kay.

For years, women of various local communities wrote weekly news columns for the Meteor. At least for a while, Mrs. Annie Rush did the North Zulch piece. That September, she included that “Howard Rush came home from Lincoln, Nebraska, over the weekend and will go back Tuesday. His wife and son will go back with him.” I knew Mr. Rush worked on pipelines for years, so I did some checking and saw that he was also a welder inspector and a business agent for the union. Of course, the wife that went back with him was Etta Pearl, the son was Bennie (now an attorney in Huntsville), and I’m betting that the daughter, Cheryl Cowart, wasn’t born yet. I’d love to hear Mrs. Rush’s stories of such trips!

Vera Lee Nauling was born in Madison County Hospital on Sept. 26. Her parents were Tessie Mae and Eulee Nauling.

Back then, Madisonville, Midway, and Bedias each had its own school(s) and district, thus separate school taxes. There had been talk of the three consolidating. Plans were made, all dependent on an election regarding consolidation and school bond assumption. Even before the election took place, it was decided that if it passed, those schools would to continue to operate through the spring semester of 1961, and then to consolidate the following school year. When the Sept. 27 election was held, it passed by a large majority. The new consolidated school district would ultimately cover 384.56 square miles, comprised of 203.76 square miles from Madisonville’s former district, 83.5 from that of Bedias, and 97.3 from that of Midway.

Reed’s, a popular store that stood on the south side of The Square for years, announced the acquisition of the Zenith Television franchise. A handcrafted portable 19-inch-diagonal Zenith slim portable television was available, with 24 months to pay, at $10.67 per month after a 10% down payment (that’s well over $2,000 in 2020 dollars). A new 23-inch-diagonal console model was offered for $13.72 per month, with the same 24 months to pay, also with 10% down. No cash price was listed for either.

I hope this all took you back to some kinder, gentler times. If you’d consider putting some of your memories on paper or talking about them, I’ll feel this was more than worthwhile! Please excuse any mistakes. I’m prone to such, and don’t mind you telling me so I can correct whatever. If so, please do so on the Madison County Museum Facebook page.

Currently, Madison County Museum is closed due to Corona-19. It is located at 201 N. Madison St. The mailing address is P.O. Box 61, Madisonville, TX 77864. Normally it is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call ahead when things open back up, 936.348.5230.