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Up & Down Commerce St. – July 30

Mr. Guy Walton Jr. called us with a story on Wednesday.

Mr. Walton, now 87 and living in Fort Myers, Fla., said he was sitting in the middle of Tokyo Bay in 1945 on the USS O’Brien awaiting the Japanese surrender. Mail call happened and Mr. Walton received his issue of The Greenville Advocate, read it and discovered his wife, Jeanette, had just given birth to a new baby girl, Linda Carolyn.

Apparently a telegram had been dispatched telling him the news as well.

“I never got the telegraph, but I got The Greenville Advocate,” said Mr. Walton with a laugh.

We promised we’d try to track down a copy of that article for Mr. Walton and Linda Carolyn, now 65. As of this writing, we haven’t done so Mr. Walton, but we’ll get on it as soon as possible.

And thanks for sharing that story.

We had a good amount of fun at the Dixie Youth Majors State Tournament this weekend and saw plenty of good baseball. The staff of the Greenville Parks & Recreation Department and city officials did an excellent job in coordinating the event. But we hated to see the black storm that developed Friday afternoon cancel the scheduled home run derby. That would have been even more thrilling for the hundreds of young men playing “America’s Pastime” this week.

Did we say young men? Opelika had on its roster a young female, Aly Smith, only the fifth time in the history of Dixie baseball that a girl has played in a state tournament. She played first base and pitched.

Initially, we thought her a boy with long hair, perhaps growing it that length for donation to Locks of Love. We were corrected. Then we were amazed.

Greenville’s team gave it a game effort. After giving up seven runs to Hokes Bluff on Saturday, the host team rallied for two runs, but was unable to mount a serious threat against the visitors from north Alabama. On Sunday, Austin Vickery’s two-run homer gave Greenville a brief glimpse of playing Monday, but Crenshaw County responded with a two-run shot of their on. Game to our neighbors, 3-2.

Greenville left it all on the field, but Barrett Bush left more than that: his lunch. The little fellow started the second inning on the mound for Greenville and promptly vomited, halting play while the coaches, umpires and emergency personnel checked on him.

After a brief stoppage in play, Bush reclaimed the mound and finished what he had started.

Now that’s true grit and determination.

The Tigers were out of their cages for Greenville High School’s picture day, held on Monday. We never get tired of picture days, even with the hot sun beating sweat from our brows, because it means football season is on the horizon and inching closer.

There were lots of familiar faces missing off the Tigers’ roster. Ryan Smith, Kenneth Carter, Cordez Peagler, Daron Mack, Stewart Moody, Berry Bess, key components of a team that went 11-1 last season. Expectations from prognosticators won’t be as high this season for GHS, which might be a good thing. Perhaps the Tigers can surprise a few.

Public school starts this week. We realize that those who make the decisions mandate a certain number of days per school year, but it is past time for lawmakers to reconsider what constitutes the beginning and ending of a school year.

We’re currently finishing Lonesome Dove, the novel not the movie. It was written by Larry McMurtry, who also wrote the The Last Picture Show and Terms of Endearment.

And, oh yes, we’ve seen the movie. We love books and films equally. Lonesome Dove, the miniseries, is by far one of the best ever produced for television. Both Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones give outstanding performances and are surrounded by a great supporting cast.

Ask the man with our namesake at Majors Floor Covering what he thinks about it.

Coaches’ Corner this year (the Kiwanis Club and Chamber of Commerce’s annual meet-and-greet with county football coaches and players) has been scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 17 at Beeland Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 and the registration deadline is Aug. 12. Attending, GHS’s Blackmon, FDA’s Sampley, Georgiana’s Gregory, and McKenzie’s Brown. Call the Chamber at 382-3251 for reservations.