Friday, June 26, 2009

'I'm going to beat you today'

There is no human quality I admire so much as the courageous force of determined persistence. And I learned that from old No. 27:
When he was 16, Bill McCain told his mother, "You won't ever have to worry about me again." He left the family farm in rural Randolph County, Alabama, and moved 40 miles away to West Point, Georgia, where he went to work on the night shift in a cotton mill.
You've heard of people who worked their way through college? My father worked his way through high school. Most of his cotton-mill pay went for room and board and books -- in those days, public-school students in Georgia had to buy their own textbooks -- at the school where he became a football star. . . .
Read the whole thing.


  1. Stacy, as a journalist, I'm sure you prize accuracy very highly. I hope so. So hopefully you will correct your article to indicate that Professor Wayne Flynt is NOT a "University of Alabama historian"... he is an Auburn University historian.

    Auburn University is the state university in Alabama that produces conservatives, libertarians (the Von Mises Institute), engineers, veterinarians, and businessmen.

    The University of Alabama is the state university in Alabama that produces liberals, lawyers, politicians ("The Machine"), and major NCAA violations and probations.

  2. Great! I agree
    "cant never could do anything" Still cant adt tomorrow will still not be able to!
    as N. V Peal(sp?) said 60 years ago you have to think positive. Thea means in plain English " I can, I will"
    I found Boot Camp worked wonders on guys with the "cant" approach to life; either that or it killed 'em. That is not a suggestion that everyone join the Corps. Most would not make it but a lot who have a bad attitude (but are bull headed like me) get lots of giood from it. When you graduate you know you can lick the world! Gung ho!

    Rod Stanton
    Cerritos, Cal

    PS my dad played end on a CIF champ in 33 and worked as a roustabout in the oil fields for school money - His dad worked for Conoco which helped him get such a very good paying (but dangerous - check out how many roustabouts have more than 6 fingers!) job as a kid. He in turn got me a job at the local foundry where I had to join USW. I was not able to get my sone a job at my hjospitsl; nor will he be able to ghe his sons jobs at his geek outfit. Progress?

  3. Good story, Stacy. I'm a little older than you but you brought to life many a good memory. Including the Granny with no outhouse. Mine farmed 160 acres by herself down around Alma. Showing that grit and determination to succeed that was in your story. It truly was the 'good ol' days' in many a way.

  4. DAMN fine essay, Stacy. 'Cep'n for one thang: Lombardi was a NYC boy who had exactly the same attitude.

    "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." VL