Clyde High School Alumni Association

Share your true or slightly  stretched story of good ole CHS days. If you have a story that you would like to share, please email to
Please include your name and class.

Someone was actually injured playing "Kick the Can"  These two War stories contributed by

 Judy Downs Henline '60.    

Kick the Can

Students arriving at school by bus often stayed outside playing until the bell rang for class to begin.  When I was in the fifth grade, I was playing kick the can with Iris Hipps when the can flew higher than intended and cracked me in the forehead.  Blood began trickling down over my eye and dripping off my chin.  The cut was going to require stitches so the principal, Mr. Stanley Livingston, drove me to Canton to our doctor’s office.  Before he turned me over the nurse, he gave me a dime.  I used the dime to catch the Trailways bus back to school.  Mother was quite surprised to see me get off the school bus that afternoon with a bandage on my head.  Can you imagine that scenario in today’s world?  --Judy Downs Henline


Field Trip

When I was in the third grade, I was so in love with my teacher, Miss Chadwell, who read to us every day.  I could not wait for her to read the next installment of The Secret Garden.  She allowed us to share our weekend adventures with the class on Monday morning.  One of our classmates told the most outrageous stories about her family’s weekend activities.  I was sure that she was making it up.  (I now realize that the family was probably dysfunctional—a word not in my vocabulary at the time.)  Third grade was the year that a boy in my class revealed that there was no Santa Claus.  I angrily told him that he would not get any toys if he did not believe.  He planted a seed of doubt in my mind when he said that he had found his toys in the attic.  The grand finale of my year in third grade was a field trip.  Miss Chadwell’s future husband brought a big farm truck to school and we climbed in the back for a ride into the hills for a picnic in a pasture.   Oh, what joy to be eight years old in 1950s.—Judy Downs Henline


We Were Washing that Bus in the River

By John Carter, class of ‘55

Clyde High used student school bus drivers for years.  The only adult driver that comes to memory was Ranz Inman. 

These drivers had a very long safety record of years and years of accident free driving with only a few scratches on buses and no one injured.  John Carter did knock down one of the Jacksons’ mail boxes on morning.

However, around 1947 at the end of the school year, Charles Hannah, David McCracken, and Joe Terrell decided to ford the Pigeon River below Thurman Hayne’s and come down the back side of the river from the Haynes Hill run.  Guess who was driving.  Right!  Mr. Hannah.

Anyway the bus stalled in the middle of the river and they had to wade out for help.  They told authorities that they were taking the bus out in the river to wash it before turning it in.  Mr. Henry believed them and let them off.  Do you believe it?

Anyway this isn’t the end of the story.  A few years later “Dick” Hannah, Kenneth Sanford and others decided to ford the river in the same place with the Sanford family car.  And the result was the same.  We don’t know if Mr. Sanford believed their story or not.



                                  "FIRST COACH" OF CLYDE HIGH CARDINALS FOOTBALL

                                                                   "COACH JONES"

                                 By "Wick" Haynes:  RT. End - Inaugural Team(1950)


On a very cool frosty early 1949 November morning of my junior year there he stood at about 155 pounds - a new face and a perfect style of dress of the time. He was in the  rear corner of the foyer on the left next to the entrance doors to the auditorium..   I just waved with a "hello" on my way to harass the "Beta Club Princesses"  in their "Sales Room" which was a converted closet.  It was not a Monday, but he was there the rest of the week and, again, on the next Monday. He was always dressed very neatly in clean pressed wranglers, a blue denim shirt with the sleeves turned up to the turned up sleeves of his very clean worn denim jacket always open to the two bottom buttons.  All were always finely creased to perfection.  His Penny Loafers were always spit shined. Each morning we had the same exchange.  Hair?  His hair was groomed with evidence of every night, or morning, washing which was molded in a Pompadour swept in a "duck tail" fix with BurilCream.


Finally, I stopped with a "you must be new here".  "Yeah,  sophomore. My dad moved to Thicketty from Canton".   "I'm Wick Haynes".  "Yeah, I know, I saw Clyde beat Canton three times last year  (BB) and the loss to Mills River in the Gold Medal Tournament Championship, so I know who your are.  You are a leader here and a junior, so you should know why Clyde does not have a football team. Because Clyde don't have football those who want to play football transfer to Canton".  I agreed those thoughts were on my mind.


"Coach" (not yet called) kept after me every morning until just before Thanksgiving when he said, "I see you talking with 'Stan the Man' all the time".  You have to be one of the leaders around here the way you know him and the way he talks to you so much.   So I said: "Tell you what, I am going to put a stop to this every morning repeated conversation by taking you into his office and let you ask him your damn questions why we don't have football at Clyde High!!!!"


The Principal Mr. "E." Stanley Livingston asked.  "William, what do you men want this morning?  I said:  "Mr. Livingston, this is Carroll Jones who transferred from Canton and   

every morning for a month it is the same questions.  I am sure that you can answer them."  Mr. Livingston and "Coach Jones" had that interesting persistent conversation.


Finally, Mr. Livingston said.  "William, the school board will meet in the teacher's lounge on the Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving.  I do not see why you men cannot plead your case".   On the way down the hall Jones said, "See I knew that he would listen to you!!"  "The hell you say man, I wasn't asked to say any thing. You were talking so much!!"  We whooped and clapped our hands!


After talking to the school board we waited in the foyer.  Mr. Livingston came out to tell us they would consider it next month.  Jones said "They can't wait to decide!!!!  With Thanksgiving and Christmas, then New Years it will be too late to raise the money for uniforms for spring practice.  I have it all written down here for what it will take from now until next spring.


"We need to have a fall practice then a spring practice to be able to have a decent team next fall."   Mr. Livingston took us back in to plead that case.  The school board assured us it was not a delaying tactic. 


After spring practice of a "T" formation we learned nothing.  The departing coach had not any idea or experience about/with football. The new Coach to be, Hugh Constance, (graduate of Western Carolina College and a Little All American Center) was introduced at the end of the last days of  school - spring 1950.  Our new system was to be just right up "Coach" Jones' alley; the Carl Snavely Single Wing.  Jones knew every play and play assignment of the system. He was a disciple of Tennessee Football as well as the variations by UNC with Charlie "Choo Choo"  Justice as the executor.



From the beginning I became especially fond of, and appreciative of "Coach Jones" because of his laughter, sense of humor, and very close friendship.  Because of his persistence I had the experience being selected and playing in the WNC 1950 Optimist Senior Bowl and be roommates/teammates among players of four or more years experience. 


He was, is, and always will be my crazy talkatively friend "Coach Jones".  He truly was the first "Coach" of the Clyde High Cardinals!  I think of him often with either a laugh or just a smile.  We forgot that his name was Carroll Jones, but we cannot forget that he is a Clyde High Cardinal Alum in all regards!! 


In memoriam:   Twenty June 2009 Alumni Club Year Celebration.


Foot Note #1:  Wick Haynes accompanied Jones, at his request, for a team physical exam. The doctor found him with a heart murmur, which he already knew he had.  He cried as if the denial to play would crush his heart.  He pleaded with the doctor as much as he did with the school board.  Finally, the doctor placed a condition for re-examination for after the spring practice.  He was again cleared for re-examination after two weeks of fall season preparation.   "Coach Jones" dropped out of school and joined the Marines. Wick received a Sears Roebuck academic scholarship to NC State College. Wick and Carroll returned to "Cow Pasture" football after military service.  It was reported to Wick that his very good friend; teammate and "coach" died suddenly at the age of 29 while hunting. 


Foot Note #2:  Wick and Dean visited Coach Hugh Constance on June 19th '09 in which he had a very good humous recollection of "Coach" Jones!!  Coach Constance was doing well.



The Butterfly Pill

Contributed by Wallace Lovelace CHS ‘59


I was sitting on the bench next to Coach Griffin as we were playing Fines Creek during the 1958-59 season.  Fines Creek had a couple of really good guards, both with the last name of Fish.  I do not remember the score, but their guards were really killing us on fast breaks.  We were shooting free throws on our end and Coach Griffin sends Michael Rogers back to the lane on the Fines Creek end to stop the fast break.  Coach then turns his attention to our end of the floor.  Hoyt Hooper was our manager and Michael shouts over to Hoyt to toss him a butterfly pill because he had a jittery stomach (I am not sure what they were, Pepto-Bismol maybe, but we really did have quarter sized butterfly pills).

So Hoyt rolls one toward Michael back at the Fines Creek goal.  The pill curved a bit and Michael was unable to field it. The pill then rolled under the bleachers on the far side and diagonally away from our bench and the action.

Michael gives chase and has to go under the bleachers to retrieve the pill, about which time the Fish boys come roaring down the floor to score on another fast break. Just as Michael run his head back through the bleachers, Coach Griffin, who was completely unaware of the pill rolling incident, and who is now looking to see where Michael went, says to me “what the hxxx is Rogers doing over there under the bleachers?”     



Death, Taxes, and Sara Brown

by Bob Garland class of '62 


These were three absolutes in life, especially if you were taking an English class under Sara Brown, and she gave an assignment to memorize a poem.


This is like yesterday to me…  It was the last week of school my senior year, and we were given a poem to memorize and recite.  I thought I could get away without doing that assignment; the last day of school came and went, and I still had not memorized or recited the poem…  I really thought I had pulled one over and was going to slip by.  Graduation was that night.  I was almost there without the poem…..Graduation went off without a hitch; I walked across the stage, received my diploma ---- I had graduated, and I was home free!!!


Well, not so fast!!----My diploma was unsigned!


The very next morning I was standing in front of Sara Brown reciting that darned poem.


Lesson Learned:  Do what is expected, and you will not have to eat humble pie.



Bob Garland

Class of ’62.

Coach Griffin’s Desperation Gamble

By (little) Bob McCracken – CHS ‘61


The opening game of our senior football season of 1960 was at Erwin High School.  Erwin scored early in the first quarter and the score at the half was Erwin 6 Clyde 0.  We had moved the ball well, (3 drives inside the Erwin 20) but could not get into the end zone. Coach Griffin was not too happy with our performance and was chewing on us pretty good at halftime. 


We received the second half kickoff and failed to make a first down. It was fourth and 2 at our own 38.


The following is a quote from the Asheville Citizen’s Richard Morris describing what happened at this point in the game.


“Trailing by a touchdown, Coach Brown Griffin made a desperation gamble early in the third period.  It paid off in a touchdown and turned the tide of battle, permitting the Cardinals to win going away.”


Now here is the rest of the story, and what really happened on that fourth and two.


In 1960 our playbook was not too thick, nor the offense very complicated. The quarterback called the plays, unless Coach Griffin sent in a sub with a play.  However, we did use a very uncomplicated signal for a punt, Coach would look at me from the sideline and swing his leg back and forth.  On this fourth down, I looked to the sideline and he was definitely swinging his leg back and forth. As I went into the huddle I had every intention of following Coach’s orders and calling the punt. I wish I could say I had a good reason for the insubordination that was soon to follow, but I do not. It was simply one of those “gut feeling” decisions.


In the huddle, I looked at the ten frustrated faces, they knew the play about to be called

was “Punt formation - kick”.  Roy Hardin, our right guard and the only one saying anything, was pleading, “let’s not kick”. Then it got quiet, and I heard myself saying, “Punt formation - run right” adding  “and you dxxx well better block” as we broke the huddle.  As we came to the line of scrimmage, I could sense the emotional lift and I knew we would make it.  Left halfback and punter, Carl Jackson, picked up 16 yards and the first down on the fake punt. Carl scored a few plays later to tie the game. After that drive we scored two more touchdowns and won 20-6.


After the game, as I boarded the bus, Coach Griffin yelled at me, in that high pitched voice he used when something or someone was under his skin, “you better be glad you made that or your butt would be walking back to Clyde tonight”.


Not being able to resist the temptation to dig my hole a little deeper, I took the Citizen’s article with me to Coach’s room on Monday morning.  I showed him the article (I knew he had already read it 40 times) describing his desperation gamble and said something like “nice job, Coach”.  He could not help a flicker of a smile, and replied in that high-pitched voice again,  “Don’t you have a class somewhere”.  It was not a question!  


That afternoon after practice, as I expected, I ran for a while. 


Some of my best memories of CHS are of Coach Griffin yelling at me. I can still hear that voice.  I think he enjoyed chewing on me about most anything; sports, studies, and social life; and the truth is, I really enjoyed him doing it. 

Bob McCracken '61

The website manager assumes no responsibility for historical accuracy, imagination, truthfulness,  grammar or spelling.  

Stories will be published exactly as sent by the author. 

We will not publish anything that will cause divorce, imprisonment, or extreme embarrassment.  We might change or leave out names once in a while to protect the guilty and/or the innocent.

Bob McCracken '61 

© 2000 - 2017 powered by
Doteasy Web Hosting