When I enrolled in Waynesville Township Junior High as an eighth grader, I immediately had something in common with classmate Aaron Hyatt. A fellow classmate attempted to bully me and he had bullied Aaron in grammar school.
I bonded with classmates Wally Brown, Bill Richeson, Tommy “Jeep” Norris, and Aaron. We called ourselves “The Big Five”—no ego trip here! Little did we know that one of us would become a physician, another a high executive with Dixie Cup Company…and Aaron became a College President with many additional legacies to his credit.
We noticed that there was no school newspaper, so we established “The Campus News.” As talented reporters, we covered the ball games and other school events. Bill’s mother was secretary to our principal and she ran off copies of our paper on the school duplicating machine. It’s a pity that there are no known surviving copies of this outstanding publication.
Aaron and I were in boxing class together. We were getting toughened up to fight in World War II. Coach Weatherby put Aaron and me in the ring together and we mixed it up so vigorously that our coach enjoyed the match, called it a tie, and we had to fight each other again and again.
We finally wised up and let up to avoid more bloodshed. Ever since, Aaron has complained that my arms were too long and he couldn’t get to me like he wanted to.
Aaron and I were both Drum Majors at the same time. I think I goofed up one time and led half of the band off the football field in one direction, while Aaron led the other half off the other end of the field.
I was mortified and I guess Aaron was just embarrassed. He never pointed any fingers. He was a gentleman, even way back then.
When Aaron and I went out for football during Spring practice, Coach Weatherby said Aaron and Ray were the two fastest members of the team. Another tie, I suppose.
When our high school yearbook was published in 1947, I think Aaron’s picture was on just about every page: Best Looking, Best Dancer, and so on. I think the yearbook editors felt sorry for me and created a new classification: Most Original. No contest here!
In Aaron’s declining years, he created a stand-up comedy act featuring him teasing me about a fictional romance with Anna Jean Davis. He got some good belly laughs from his routine, including a few guffaws from me.
Aaron, here is a true story, Anna Jean told me you were the first guy she ever slept with. Hate to ruin a good story, but I have to stick to the truth.
You see, Aaron and Anna Jean were just tykes when they had their tonsils out the same day. Their moms were best friends and they put their kids in the same bed for recovery.
Not to worry, Anna Jean and Aaron, we’ll meet up yonder some day and laugh together again…someday.