By Annie S. Staten
In honor of Black History month, we the members of the Rayville Rosenwald / Eula D. Britton Alumni Association pause to thank God for the vision of the early pioneers of the Rayville Black community who, through their efforts and sacrifices, provided for the educational opportunities of their children. We are grateful to the principals and teachers who help to enrich our lives.
The first school, the College opened in 1907 and was located south of Rayville , the area known as the “Brickyard” After the closure of the College, in 1916 Rayville Colored School was held in several locations including Macedonia Baptist Church and the Odd Fellows Hall at the corner of Jewel and Pearl Streets. In 1924 land was purchased for a new school building on the current site of the Rayville Recreation center. In 1939, the first eleven students graduated from the accredited Rayville Colored High School. The school was renamed Rayville Rosewald High School in 1949 and became Eula D. Britton High School in 1956 in honor of the principal, Mrs. Eula D. Britton. The gymnasium which was built in 1953 is the only remaining building from the school complex which closed in 1970 due to the era of integration. It served as the centerpiece for the school and community and currently serves as the alumni center.
Alumni have shared many memories of their days spent in the gymnasium as: Friday night basket ball games, basketball tournaments, academic rallies. Junior and Senior Prom, Baccalaureate and Graduation services, Class night, School plays, Friday square dance day, Miss Eula Britton Coronation and the list goes on. Additionally, neighboring schools; Alto High School and Rhymes High School often played some of their home games in the gymnasium as well.
We invite you to attend our Preserving Our Legacy Open House and fellowship with other alumni, view historical school information, pictures of former teachers, class rosters, school trophies and the many improvements which have been made to the gymnasium.
Most of all we need your support in ensuring that we keep the Alumni Center as a historical building in our community; a place we can proudly visit and share the legacy of school with our family and friends.
The Preserving Our Legacy Open House will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Rayville Rosenwald/ Eula D. Britton Alumni Center, 103 Cotton St., Rayville.
The Boeuf River Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is hosting a reception to honor Vietnam Veterans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War from 3-4:40 p.m. March 16 at the Rhymes Memorial Library.
All Vietnam Veterans and their families are invited to attend.
Please call the Rhymes Memorial Library at 728-4127 for more information.
Some quick facts about the Vietnam War include:
• The average U.S. infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. In comparison, the average infantry in the South Pacific during World War II saw only 40 days of combat in four years.
• U.S. forces sent to Vietnam were the highest educated of all previously deployed armies. In all, 79 percent had at least a high school degree prior to entering military service.
• In all, 658 U.S. prisoners of war returned home alive from Southeast Asia. As of 2014, 1,638 are still unaccounted for.
• As of 2013, the total number of U.S. armed forces killed in Vietnam in the two decades of involvement was 58,253. Of these, there were 38,224 Army, 14,844 Marines, 2,586 Air Force, 2,566 Navy, 26 Merchant Marines and
7 Coast Guard.
• The total number of U.S. armed forces non-mortally wounded in Vietnam was 153,363. Of these, there were 96,802 Army, 51,392 Marines, 931 Air Force, 4,178 Navy and 60 Coast Guard.
On Sunday, August 3, 2014, the Louisiana State Champion Rayville Dixie Angel Allstars presented for opening ceremonies at the Alabama Theatre at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The 2014 Louisiana State Champions are Molly Allen, Mary Madilynn Bennett, Rylee Gibson, Ashlyn Sepulvado, Moriah Adams, Katelyn Branch, Olivia Dannehl, Gabrielle Riggins, Gracie Rowton, Kaleigh Smith, Morgan Tumilson, and Amelia Williams. The Rayville Angel Allstars are coached by Tom Allen, Dan Branch, Kenny Sepulvado, Lyle Bennett, and Chris Dannehl.
After drawing a first round bye, the Louisiana ladies defeated Florida by the score of 14-13. The game was a nail-biter which see-sawed back and forth several times and took two extra innings to complete.
The Louisiana State Champions were led by pitchers Mary Madilynn Bennett, Ashlyn Sepulvado, and Gabrielle Riggins. The Louisiana Allstars came from behind on three different occasions to claim the win. Down by three runs in the bottom of the 7th, Rylee Gibson walked, Ashlyn Sepulvado singled, and Mary Madilynn Bennett doubled to score two runs.
With one out, Amelia Williams and Gracie Rowton singled. At this point, one of the stars of the state tournament and the World Series, Gabrielle Riggins, came to the plate and doubled in the winning runs. Gabrielle Riggins was three for four in the contest with three doubles. Other Louisiana Allstars with runs batted in were Molly Allen, Rylee Gibson, Mary Madilynn Bennett, Olivia Dannehl, Amelia Williams, and Gracie Rowton. The game was the closest and best game of the entire World Series according to the tournament directors.
Later on the same day and despite Ashlyn Sepulvado’s two hitter, the Louisiana ladies lost to Virginia, the eventual tournament runner-up, by the score of 3-1. The Louisiana champions actually outhit Virginia three to two with Gabrielle Riggins going two for two and Rylee Gibson going one for two. However, there were more Virginia base runners and more of them driven in to insure the Virginia victory.
On Wednesday, August 6th, Mary Madilynn Bennett and Gabrielle Riggins faced only twelve batters and combined for a no-hitter with Louisiana defeating Alabama by the score of 10-0.
Amelia Williams at rover made three spectacular plays to insure and preserve the no-hitter.
Amelia Williams also contributed with a two RBI triple in the contest. The ladies from Rayville scored five runs in the first and five runs in the third to force elimination. The final two runs in the third were driven in by Kaleigh Smith.
Scoring in the game were Molly Allen, Katelyn Branch, Rylee Gibson, Ashlyn Sepulvado, Amelia Williams, Gabrielle Riggins, and Olivia Dannehl.
On Thursday, August 7th, with only three teams remaining in the tournament, the Louisiana State Champions’ run came to an end as the Rayville girls fell to the eventual champion, Georgia, by the score of 3-0. The Louisiana ace, Mary Madilynn Bennett, walked none and threw strikes, which Georgia hit and which Louisiana defended.
The Louisiana infield was very busy and very efficient, recording twelve putouts in the game. The Georgia runs came on a bunt single and two hard hits to right field.
The superb infield for the Louisiana Champions was Ashlyn Sepulvado at first base; Molly Allen at second base, Rylee Gibson at shortstop; Gracie Rowton at third base; Katelyn Branch at catcher; and Amelia Williams at rover. The outfield consisted of Amelia Williams at rover; Gabrielle Riggins, Olivia Dannehl, Morgan Tumilson, Kaleigh Smith, and Moriah Adams.
The Dixie and tournament officials noted that the Louisiana team was the best defensive team at the tournament.
After receiving their awards, the Louisiana State Champions retired from the complex where Georgia ultimately was crowned the Champion and Virginia was runner up.
The Rayville Dixie Belles out-scored opponents 151 to 34 over six district tournament games and nine state championship tournament games to win the state title and are now qualified to play in the World Series. Players are Madison Frith, Macey Lee, Hannah Bickford, Micheala Lewis, Caitlyn Swain, Leann Franks, Marissa Crocket, Asia Wallace, Emily Neathery, Maggie Lee and Emily Hamm. Coaches are Darryn and Amber Frith.
By Melba Hendrix
Hello, hello, to all of you folks who are now scanning this week’s Richland Beacon News.
This is the fourth and last column to be written by me in this month of February. I have always thought of this month as being the shortest one of the year; but, it has seemed kind of extra long this time. But, I do believe we can rest assured that this will be the last column that I will write in this month. And, I don’t see any more special holidays coming up in this last week and that is fine with me.
CHUCKLE #1 - A weather-beaten old sailor wandered into a water-front mission where a preacher was holding forth in strong language on the Ten Commandments. And, he dwelt at length on the many ways they could be broken.
The sailor departed in a very subdued mood; but, after walking a few blocks, his face brightened and he squared his shoulders. “Anyhow,” he muttered, “I never made no graven images.”
I am now looking forward to some nice Spring weather - but it’s hard to tell from what I hear on TV. So, I will just have to wait and see what comes along from day to day. And, I am thankful to have a nice, warm home and an electric blanket on my bed.
Of course, the electricity could fail; but, I grew up in a rural home in SE Arkansas where we only kerosene lamps for night lighting inside. And we had lanterns with the same fuel if we needed to go outside after dark.
Oh, yes, those were the days and I don’t care to go back to that primitive way of life.
I suppose the older I get I find myself thinking back to my childhood days, All three of my brothers were older than me and they were all in the US Army during World War II. But, I managed to finish high school, got married and moved to Colorado where my son, Kirby, was born the next year. We spent two years in Colorado before we returned to Arkansas.
So, we move on and I will see what I can dredge up from my memory of our early days in Rayville, My husband’s Uncle Dick Hendrix brought me and my husband and our son, Kirby, down to Rayville many years ago to get acquainted with all the kinfolks down here. And the same uncle found a job for me later that year with the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
We soon got moved to Rayville and found an apartment in the home of Mrs. Ethel Balfour. Her home is still standing (located just a couple of north of town) and I have hoped and wished through the years that some Ladies Society might adopt that house as a sight-seeing project and renovate it for current use.
Anyway, we next lived in a garage apartment on the east side of town for about eighteen months before we moved up on the hill behind the local school board office.
And, we first lived on the west side of that block on homes for a few months and thought we would buy it.
However, the original owner changed his mind about leaving Rayville and we had to moved again. But, this time it was only around the corner to another house that had become vacant. And, we have added on a carport and built on a large addition to the rear of the house and this has another large bedroom and a second bathroom with shower facilities.
So, you see we have settled into this community and I no longer have any desire to travel or get very far away from my home. No, no!
CHUCKLE #2 - A countrified fellow stopped a nurse in the hospital corridor and said to her “I’d like to see my friend, George Smith and know how he’s getting along.”
“Why, he’s getting along just fine,” replied the nurse. “He’s convalescing now.”
“That’s all right,” responded the man, “I’ll jest set down here and wait.”
So, we can look forward to the month of March and whatever it brings. I believe March is noted for being a very windy month and I can cope with the wind; but, I don’t like it when it comes along with a lot of rain. i would hate to be in charge of predicting the weather at this time of year since it can vary so much from day to day. Anyway, that’s not my problem and I don’t intend to go any further with that thought......
I do believe that we have some folks with birthdays that are soon coming up and they are as follows: Ashley McCowin on 2/28; Nelda Sue Hagood on 3/1; Sarah Thomason, Nora Brooks, Lara King and Kirk Wiliams on 3/2; Donna Jordan and Karen D. Darling on 3/3 and for Darlene Wiggins, Mike Boone, Jim Bond, Bob Sledge, Emily Weeks and Donnie Lee on 3/4. We want to wish all these folks a most happy celebration of their natal day and we wish them many, many more in the years ahead. Oh, Yes, indeed.
And I somehow neglected last week to mention my very special great-grand-daughter, Miss Abby Wiggins who celebrated her birthday on 2/23 in the rural Mangham area. I wasn’t there; but I know Abby enjoyed herself and that she will go on to have a good life. And, we wish her many, many more happy birthdays as she
continues her education. Oh, yes, indeed.
So, that will bring another Outlook column to a close for one more week. And, here’s hoping that our weather will settle down soon and not bring such turbulence to our area...Oh, yes, I will add my prayers for that cause....
PARTING THOUGHT: The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched.....They must be felt with the heart. (Helen Keller)
By Melba Hendrix
Hello, hello, to all you folks who are now scanning this week’s news in the Richland Beacon newspaper. I trust this finds all of you doing well and able to get about wherever you may desire to go. Oh, yes. there is something to be said about that. How many folks are impaired in some manner (besides mental) that keeps them from doing much physical activity? I will admit to having a bit of difficulty in some of my mental planning and physical activity once in a while. But, I am coping with those things the very best that I can from day to day.
Well, I am writing this article on Tuesday of the third week in February here in the Richland Beacon News office. (I usually come on Monday of each week and I did so on this Monday only to find the office all closed up in honor of President’s Day or something like that.) But, I was not told about that in advance and there were other things that happened that day which vexed me greatly; but, they were personal and had nothing to do with the newspaper. So, I am still not in such a good mood at present time - but I am sure I will get over it in due time. Oh, yes, I don’t believe in holding onto unpleasant experiences.
The sun is shining brightly outside and all seems to be well in this part of our world. (And, it ‘s always good to be able to say that and mean it.) I like to think of myself as an “optimist” rather than a “pessimist” and I believe that makes for a better way of life. I know that I don’t really like to be around anyone who is always full of “gloom and doom”; so I try to have a good attitude that presents itself in whatever I say and/or do. Oh, yes. May life always be in that manner with me.
CHUCKLE #1 - Junior had been pleading to drive the family car, so father was examining him on his presence of mind in the event of an emergency. So his father asked: “And, what would you do if the brakes failed on the car?”
“Oh, I would just pick out something cheap to hit,” was Junior’s prompt replay. (good answer, huh???)
So, the second month of this year of 2015 is moving right along and we still have one more full week after this one. Then, we can say goodbye to February and look forward to March. But, it just still seems a bit odd for the coldest weather of this winter to wait this long before it shows up. I know, I know that I am not a weather fore-caster; but, I can have a bit to say about it anyway. (That makes me feel a little better. anyhow......)
As I grow older, I like to look back over the years of my life and see if there is any kind of definite pattern that is showing up. And, I don’t see anything that I can set apart and identify with a name or classify in some kind of manner. I like to think of myself as being flexible and able to “go with the flow” and/ or classify events in some kind of manner. Sometimes events just sort of take-over and I have to get through them in the best way t I can determine at that moment,,,,,,Oh, yes!!
Well, I must say that our weather seems to have waited a bit late for the coldest weather to come along.
And, I do know that February can be very changeable with warm, windy days and then follow up with very cold and also windy weather. What else can we do besides going on with our daily routine as much as possible?
CHUCKLE # 2 - Whatever might be said against the way the cruel father had treated his family, the man was now dead and his family had hired a famous orator to conduct the funeral service.
As the speaker warmed up to his subject, he said, “Oh noble spirit! We hail and acclaim thee as you start your glorious journey to the regions of eternal truth and light......”
The widow, standing to one side, nudged her son and whispered to him, “George, go over there and see if that’s really your father who is in that coffin.” ????
And so, life goes on with its ups and downs and we deal with it to the best of our ability. I look forward to each new day and what it may bring, Usually, it is pretty much the same, day after day. And, I find a kind of pleasure in that sameness which I can usually handle pretty well.
Anyway, we are getting on through this second month of 2015 and we may wonder and speculate on what may happen as time marches on. And, you know time does not stand still, although we may think at times that it does. No, indeed.....time marches on and we age with it and hopefully, we learn and benefit from it.......
Well, I meant to mention a few folks who will soon be having a birthday; but, I seem to have left that information at home. So, I will try to include them in a “belated” birthday wish next week.
I am planning to get my hair all done up in a new “perm” later today. Hopefully, that will help to make me feel and look a little better....Oh, yes, yes......Small pleasures can mean more to us as we grow older.....
And I will hope to meet each of you dear readers next week through this medium and I will be looking forward to that - Oh yes, indeed.........
PARTING THOUGHT: If you always do what you have always done, you will always be what you have always been. (And, is that good or bad? It’s all up to us as we go through life. We make various choices that determine the quality of our life and that is the record of our life. Oh, yes indeed - that is a proven fact.)