Thursday, July 15, 2004

Warren Sparrow Gold Stars

Betsy and Ellouise started the ball rolling, and now another great writer from the class of '54, Warren Sparrow (of The Rambler fame) shares these thoughts with us:


By Warren Sparrow

Once upon a time there was no television. My first memory of television came flooding back as the reunion tour bus slowed at the intersection of South Boulevard and Park Avenue, once the commercial heart of Dilworth. One block west on Park Avenue was a hardware store. Hardware store? Indeed, I remember the Park Avenue Hardware Store. It was five blocks from where we lived in the Olden Days. It was where I first saw television. Mind you, it was not Uncle Miltie. It was a "test pattern," the profile of an Indian, complete with feathers. Night after night I stared through the store-front window, transfixed and unable to understand what I was seeing.

The bus turned left from South Boulevard onto Park Avenue and headed east toward Dilworth School, turning away from direction of the hardware store. Ahead were more places to see, more things to remember. As the bus covered the two blocks to the school I forgot about the Indian head.

Dilworth School today does not look like the Dilworth School where I learned to read, "See Spot run." It is where we had prayer in the school every day. It is where we had a Bible Notebook complete with gold stars for Sunday School and church attendance.

The bus turned right onto Euclid Avenue, meandering through the streets of my youth. We played football in those streets. The bus lumbered past the home of the 1954 commencement speaker, then Superior Court Judge William Bobbitt. In those days he lived across the street from Jane Thornhill. We played spin-the-bottle at Jane's house. Judge Bobbitt moved from Charlotte to Raleigh when he was appointed to the North Carolina Supreme Court. When he retired from the bench, he was the court's chief justice.

When the bus returned to the DoubleTree, I felt that something special had happened during the tour. Folks were chattering away, eager to talk about places, people and things they remembered. Throughout the ride there was an underlying sense of goodwill, a sense of genuine interest in each other. It was joyous.

Indeed, the weekend was one to remember. Perhaps you wish there had been more time to learn more things. I do. I want to know what happened to the Indian head.