Hardin Water Tower

Hardin-Central School

Christian Church

Meadortations: "On 1986"

By Lee Meador, Jan. 1986
The Richmond Daily News

The year 1986 is somewhat a memorable one for me.

One of the main reasons is that the year was a golden anniversary of several things. For starters, I was graduated from Hardin High School in 1936, and our class was one of five recognized as a golden anniversary class at the five-year reunion of those who attended Hardin High School. Dr. S. D. Bartle gave the commencement address at the Odeon Theatre.

The reunion was outstanding, in part because of those who attended—quite a few for the first time. They were the ones who really made the get-together worthwhile.

The year also marked a couple of other things I remember. On the sad side, the family lost the baby, Sarah Eloise, just a few days after her fourth birthday in December. Scarletina was prevalent in the community, and in her case, as with at least three others, the disease led to strep throat, which proved fatal to four in the Hardin community. Their deaths came within a few days of each other, just at the close of the holiday season.

The sulfa drugs and penicillin were yet to be discovered, and there were no miracle drugs to fight the infection.

Another reason to remember 1936 is that Friday afternoons when the football game was at home, John Summers would back his stock truck to the sidelines, occupying a corner of the racks, with my feet latched in between the racks, I got my first experience in announcing the football games over the P. A. system. Ed Willeford and Bill Palmer had passed the job on to me, and it was Ed who later taught me how to chart a football game in a simple manner, a manner that I still use.

I know that the year was 1936 for one reason in particular. The football team that year, coached by P. A. Sillers, was undefeated and untied, and they were challenged by Henrietta which had a pretty fair six-man team. It was easy for Coach Sillers to pick out six good men, and they were enough that they won the game something like 78-0.

That I did do the announcing then was of little significance except for the fact that I have done it much of the time since World War II, including the past several seasons, getting a break when for a while Roger Holman helped out. Up until this year much of the scoring and timekeeping at basketball games has been done by myself and Kenneth Lam, who at least has a protégé on the clock in his son, Rick.

In 1936 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for a second of four terms, and while I wasn’t old enough to vote, the day after the election I began work at The Hardin News. Work then consisted of sweeping the floors and the front sidewalk, sometimes rekindling the fire in the potbelly, and maybe banking it at night.

Other parts of the job, when Floy W. Sellers was editor, were news reporting, running the job press, and eventually running the cylinder press which was moved to Richmond when the Ray County Herald was founded by my second boss, Howard A. Rhodes. I learned the linotype, the type case, found out about type lice, learned to cast mats type high and saw them up, to make up and tear pages, solicit advertising and subscriptions for which sometimes an old hen would but six months.

We leaned to rap on the wall when the Stookeys, in the apartment next door, were wanted on the telephone. I was taught to correct the mailing list, make a proof of it, and to mail out the paper with the old Mustang mailer. All in all, it proved to be very helpful when I enrolled at the University of Missouri to study journalism.

So whatever memories 1986 holds for me, the reflections of fifty years ago are meaningful.