The 1946 Glomerata, part three

More photos, via the new desktop camera. The workflow is getting a little bit better. The quality of photos seem a bit nicer, and I expect they will continue to improve. I am, so far, quite pleased. This feels, at least, like a more efficient way to share ancient photos.

So here are a few more selected shots from the 1946 Glomerata. The first few shots can be found, here in the blog, where this seems to be becoming the Friday feature. The full collection lives in the Glomerata section, of course.

Let’s see a bit more of what was worth memorializing 78 years ago, shall we?

So here are five freshmen. You can tell from their rat caps, which we touched on last week. Also, you can tell from the caption.

Why are the freshmen running around in their pajamas? This is about the Georgia Tech game. This yearbook is from 1946, and this is from the 1945 football season. This is an event commemorating Auburn’s first home game against Georgia Tech, their first ever home game, as it turns out. That was in November of 1896 and Auburn wrecked Tech, 45-0, a score that might have had more to do with Zzzzs than the now-traditional Xs and Os of football.

Tech, you see, was coming in by a special train in the early morning before that 1896 game. Some API students decided to head down to the tracks and coated the rails on either side of the train station with grease, lard, soap and who knows what else. The train couldn’t stop, so the visiting team had to walk back, several miles, on that same railway, football gear in hand. When they got wise, Georgia Tech got mad. They refused to play the Tigers the next year, and only suited up in 1898 when the university threatened expulsion over any similar pranks. But the legend was by then, well, legendary. The Wreck Tech Pajama Parade, an annual (but sadly discontinued) commemoration and symbolic reenactment of the hi-jinks featuring a pajama-clad march to the Train Depot for a pep rally and even more questionable hijinxs.

Hence the pajamas. After this parade, the Tigers lost 20-7 in Atlanta. Blame the freshmen.

Which brings us to the athletics section of the 1946 Glomerata. Here’s a generic shot that fronts the section. If there was a caption, I’d tell you all about it. Alas.

I’ve settled on avoiding headshots for this feature, but this is Curtis Kuykendall. Curtis Kuykendall was a bad, bad man. In 1944, against Miami, he rushed for 307 yards rushing, still a school record, and probably it always will be. (In the 80 years since, just five SEC running backs have broken 300 yards in a single game.)

He was a two-time team captain, a Blue-Gray all star, and was drafted by Washington, but he never played in the NFL. Kuykendall became a veterinarian, something of a family tradition.

Here’s a wide shot from a football game. This one was played in nearby Columbus, Georgia. This is the annual meeting with rival Georgia, who won this game 35-0.

The legend goes that, for years, the two head coaches would sit down and separate the gate money between the two schools. One dollar for yours, one dollar for mine.

Those buildings in the background aren’t there anymore. In their place now are parking lots and the town’s civic center.

This is one of my favorite photos in the book, and perhaps from the decade. Let’s jump in.

The guy on the left is Robert Larry Riedel, a pre-vet major from Florida. He passed away in 1967, two kids. His daughter was in the jewelry business. His son became a champion saddle bronc rider. His wife survived him by 50-plus years.

The next guy over is Herman Smith. He’s listed as a pre-law junior. A quick search doesn’t yield much definitive about him. Blame the last name. (No relation, by the way.)

The third young man is Bill Cook, who would become a veterinarian. He worked in Tennessee for almost 60 years. Loved the lake. He died in 2016 at the age of 91.

On the far right is Louis McClain, also a pre-vet major. He died just three years after this photo, in Birmingham, in 1948. He was just 24 years old. I don’t see any stories about his death in the local paper. He’s buried back in his hometown, in Anderson, South Carolina.

I love the photo because of the young women who are leaping. Leaping into the future, really. Helen Walden is on the left. She was a local girl, a sophomore, and she was studying the perfect 1940s hairstyles and, more importantly, aeronautical administration. A little under two years from this photo she married a man named Curtis Silvernail, a sailor during the war, and an International Paper employee thereafter. They were together for 50 years before she died, in 1997. They lived around Mobile.

Then there is this confident, intent look on Wyleen Hill’s face. She’s jumping into the future, and she sees it all before her. You can just tell. A native of Dalton, Georgia, she was a senior and a pharmacy major, one of only two women to graduate from the program that year. She went home and worked in her father’s pharmacy. She helped start a school for children with developmental disabilities in 1957, a concern that is still in operation today.

She died in 2010, in her mid-80s. The second sentence in her obituary noted her smile, which was still radiant even into her later years. The fourth sentence mentions her time as a cheerleader. It also mentions her additional work with another health care foundation. It looks like she has six children and five grandchildren. Wyleen sounds like a wonderful woman.

The cutline here says this is from the Mississippi game. Modern iterations of the 1945 basketball schedule tell me that Auburn didn’t play Mississippi that year. They did, however, play Mississippi State four times — twice in December and twice in February. I guess if you were taking a train you decided to play two days in a row.

Auburn won three of four.

Let’s check on the track team. On the left we have Don Harper, a sophomore from tiny Elba, Alabama, population of less than 3,000 back then and not much more today. Harper was studying agricultural engineering. He caught on with Thiokol Chemical in 1955 and worked there for 34 years. He worked on the Saturn V rockets and on ballistic missile and space shuttle programs, specifically the solid rocket boosters.

He helped found his church. He was married for almost 48 years, until his death. He and his wife had two children. One of them is a now-retired business professor.

Running alongside Harper is Harold Hartwig, who was a freshman from just up the road in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I haven’t uncovered much about him, however. (The year book cut his head off, not me.)

Similarly, I found a Tom Tabor, who is the young man jumping on the left, here. He is listed as a junior studying business administration. But I’m not sure if the older man I found has long jumps in his past, so I’ll leave it alone.

This other fellow, though, getting ready for the hurdles, on the right? That’s Richard Lasday. He was studying veterinary medicine, which seems to be a theme, this week. Born in Pittsburgh, he was a gardener and a painter, and active in his Jewish communities. He went to Cornell, and then Auburn. He served, domestically, in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He married, in 1950, a woman he met on a blind date. They had three children, and they had five grandchildren. Lasday lost his wife, who seemed incredibly active in every community they would call home, in 2011. They were married almost 62 years. Richard worked in the veterinary field until he was 85. He passed away at 95.

There’s a building on campus named after this man. I took classes there for three terms. At that time, I thought it was named after two people. Most buildings get the shorthand, last name treatment. This one got two names and, for a student concerned about making it into classroom on time, it just seemed like this building was named after two folks. Nope. Just the one. Just this one. This is Telfair Peet.

His middle initial is B. I just learned his middle name was Boys. Peet was the drama department chair in his day. He died at just 60 years old, about two decades after this photo was taken. He’s younger in this photo than I am today. His wife survived him by decades. I was still attending plays in the building named after her husband when she died.

Speaking of performances, our last photo of the day is of Dr. Hollace Arment. He was the director of the glee club. You can tell he’s excited, because he’s just heard of these new inventions called briefcases and backpacks. He’s just waiting for the first ones to arrive in local stores.

He graduated from an Idaho high school, and would wind up singing all over the country. Probably you and I will never know how he wound up at API, but Arment was a singer of some renown. He was a tenor, and he performed all over the country. In the 1930s, he was in a group called The Balladeers. I believe he might be singing lead on the song Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming.

He retired from the Daytona Beach Community College in 1973, where he spent the last nine years of his career. Soon after the local paper wrote a profile on the man, his childhood in a covered wagon, singing for others, traveling, and teaching. He was also an accomplished puppeteer and, possibly, an amateur geologist. His wife was a high school teacher. They had at least two children according to that first story. He died, just three years after retiring in Florida, at 70.

If I keep looking these people up they will just get more and more interesting, so this is probably a good place to wrap it up for now.

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