Touch Football on Lower Field of Jefferson Grade School

Jefferson School Lower Field with Larry Stout (carrying ball),
Jimmy Hawkins ("tackling") and Mike Yarboroough (walking toward the camera)

During the time I was in elementary school, the lower field of Jefferson was a busy place place for recess, after school, and weekend recreation. It had a backstop and infield for baseball, wide expanses for touch football, plus ample room for marbles and generally running around. The upper playground had paved areas with playground equipment on south end of the school  (nearest Hanna's Grocery Store) and shortened basketball goals on the other end.

The picture above shows Larry Stout (with the ball), Jimmy Hawkins (with arms stretched for the tackle), and Mike Yarborough in the near background facing the camera.

During baseball season in the late 50's, the lower field was used for pickup baseball games. The Washington Street area had some good athletes who were several years older than me, including Justin Daniel, Winston Wheeler, Jerry Durning, Kenny Terry, and several others. They were the best players for these games, while younger kids like me and my cousin Morris Daniel would be allowed to play but were not to get in the way.

When I knew a game was coming, I tried to escape going to church, or at least to leave after Sunday school, to make it to the game on time. The games were a highlight of the week.

As I recall, the main concern was that some of the big hitter, such as Justin or Winston, would hit a ball that would go through the trees in left and center fields over the fence into the big picture window of the auto repair shop at the corner of 5th and Washington. That would have been expensive.

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