Status: Complete


"If you want my story, you no doubt want it to start at
the beginning. Well, I was born right here in Athens, on Strong
Street, but it's been a long time since I lived over in that part
of town. My schooldays were spent in East Athens, on West Broad
Street, and at Knox Institute - just about all around town. I can
remember when there wasn't but two public schools in all of Athens.
The one for white children was on the corner of Washington and
Jackson Streets, and the one for colored children was Knox Institute.

"In my childhood days we had a place to go in swimming up
the Oconee River about a mile from town. We called it the 'kid hole,'
and every boy within a radius of ten blocks swam in that place. I've
seen 'most a hundred boys, both colored and white, swimming together
in that place at one time. Bathing suits hadn't been heard of then.
We just stripped off our clothes and dove in. When little boys
that hadn't learned how to swim thought they were old enough to
follow us to the swimming hole some of us would get a little distance
out in the water and others on the bank would pitch the new boys in.
It would scare them 'most to death and the way they would frail their
arms and legs around in the water trying to keep from drowning was a
mighty good swimming lesson. They didn't know we were looking out
for 'em.

"When I was old enough and large enough to work out, the
head Janitor at Old College on the university campus hired me at
two-fifty a week. How'd I spend that first money I earned? I
spent it on myself - all of it. They didn't have water piped all


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