The most significant value that I was shown in my lifetime was from my Daddy…Integrity! The situation was that my Daddy was principal of the high school and one of his responsibilities was to sign papers to send to the Arkansas Athletic Association in Little Rock in order for them to verify that the boys who would be playing on the football team that year were students and eligible to play. The year, I
think, was 1936. Some of the fans were determined that DeQueen should win the state championship as we had some potentially good players. To be sure of that they went around the neighboring communities and drafted some BIG country boys whom they considered would be good players. Since they were not qualified Daddy would not sign the papers to be sent into the AAA’s headquarters. The men got very angry with him and told him that if he did not sign them he should start looking for another job as they would fire him at the end of the year. Hope and DeQueen both had very successful teams and ended up playing for the state championship. Hope also had played boys who also really weren’t qualified and each team turned the other in for playing boys who were not legal. One of the official group said he knew something was wrong with the DeQueen group as Grady Bolding has not signed the official papers. The DeQueen was kicked out of the Association. The DeQueen culprits said that was OK that they would get teams to play anyway. But, as they tried to form a schedule no other team would play them since they no longer belonged to the Association.
In the meantime Mother and Daddy were faced with a problem. Though I was very
Young, I remember the tension. Maurine was a freshman in college and worked at the college full time to make her tuition. Mother and Daddy had a house to sell in order to move somewhere for another job. The Depression was in full swing. Hughes, Arkansas had a vacancy and it was decided we would have to move there and live in a Teacherage
until we might could sell our house.
As events moved on, after the school men who fired Daddy couldn’t get any team to play football with DeQueen, they went back to Little Rock to plead with the AAA officials to let them back into the Association. They were told that the only way that they could get in is if Grady Bolding signed the player’s list. So, they came back and offered him his job back. Our life went back to normal again
How many people would sacrifice their livelihood and their family’s well-being in order not to be dishonest??
My admiration for my Dad for doing this is abundant…It has given me courage to do things I could not have done had Dad not taken the “right” stand in my early life.
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters; If you do not have integrity, nothing else matters.” Benjamin Fraklin