The Only Track Meet I Ever Competed In

Going to school in Jollyville didn’t provide for someone of the things that going to a more traditional school did. We didn’t have any sort of a sports program. We played kickball and dodgeball out on the playground. That was about it for sports.

The principal, Mr. Pyle had come to us after being a coach and principal at Thrall. A year or so after he arrived at Jollyville, in my 6th grade year, he arraigned for those boys in grades 6 – 8 to go compete in the Thrall Track Meet.

Eight or ten boys loaded up in cars, Jollyville didn’t have its own buses. We rode the Round Rock buses to and from school, but we for the most part we were like the bastard stepchildren of Round Rock, so I’m sure that getting a Round Rock bus to haul us over to Thrall was out of the question. But there were always willing momma’s, including mine and Kenny’s, to take us on field trips. Few women worked outside the home in those days, so they were generally available.

We didn’t train for this upcoming meet, we just went and Mr. Pyle would shove us into whatever contest that looked like something we could compete in. I’m not sure he ever found anything for me, as I don’t remember competing. Perhaps I did. If so, I’m betting I didn’t bring home a ribbon.

In fact I don’t think the little school from Jollyville had very good at all that day. Well except for a long distance run, maybe it was a mile. Barton, one of the older boys on our team, lined up with all those other boys from various schools and when the starter pistol was fired, Barton left out, quickly pulled into the lead and finished the race well out in front of the field.

Barton was the only one that ran barefoot. Yes, when it was time for the race he went over and set down on some bleachers and pulled his shoes off and got down like all the other competitors and ran like a scared jackrabbit for the whole race.

That became somewhat of a legend around school for awhile. It think some other schools thought Barton had gained an advantage by not wearing shoes.

If you’ve been hearing the fantastic stories for the past day of so about #42 of Liberty Hill, a running back that rushed for something like 327 yards and scored 5 touchdowns. That young man is Blake Simpson. His grandfather is Barton Simpson, the boy that outran everyone without his shoes on. Must be in genes.

I wondered to Kenny when talking about that game, if Blake wore shoes in that great game this weekend.

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