Skip to main content

Standing by the Side of the Road (A Baseball Story)

Former U of L basketball player, Bill Kidd, coached basketball and baseball at Clinton County from 1954 through 1957. He believed in the strictest of discipline and allowed no talking during practice. On away games, he had a "point of no return," which meant players could not talk out loud until the bus was a certain distance from where it had taken off. After passing Waterview enroute to Tompkinsville for a district tournament baseball game in May of 1955, two players in the back of the bus, which happened to be Sid Scott and my dad, Darrell Speck, thought they had gone past that point of no return and broke the silence by singing a song. As it turned out, they were mistaken about where the point of no return was. Coach Kidd stopped the bus and left both of them standing by the side of the road. Lucky for them, J.R. Craig, who was on his way to the game, stopped and picked them up. There is that shortcut to Tompkinsville that most locals know about and J.R. took it. They arrived at the game before the bus, which infuriated the coach even further. Sid and Darrell were ordered to sit in the stands in their street clothes and were not allowed to come onto the field. During the fourth inning, our team found itself trailing by one run with two outs and a runner on first. It was at that moment that Coach Kidd decided it was best to rise above his principles for the good of the team. He called time-out, walked over to the grandstand and motioned for Sid to come down. Sid stood at attention as Coach Kid instructed him to go bat. Still in his street clothes, he hit one into the outfield that earned him a double and the runner on first scored, which tied the game. Well, we ended up winning and two days later we won the first district baseball championship in school history by defeating Glasgow 15-to-12 in eleven innings.
(Sid, left, and Darrell)


Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…