Zephyrhills 100th Anniversary: Colloquialisms & Stories

By Gregg, 21 December, 2009, 2 Comments

For those of us who are working on the 100th anniversary of Zephyrhills Schools to plan events and commemorations, we share an interest and appreciation in the culture of past-times and the behaviors and activities of each generation.  Rarely do we have a meeting of our committee, in which we do not share a story or tale from days gone by.  It is clear that there was a great deal of colloquial expression and unique Zephyrhills culture over time that radiated from the school building.

One of our goals in developing the anniversary celebration of 100 years of education, is to preserve some of these great stories.  For this week’s article, we would like to share some examples and INVITE our readers to send us their own examples that we might add to the collection:

Cecil McGavern recalled the first basketball team to go to the State Tournament in 1929 with great pride.  They won in the first game over Brandon in the morning but for the second game, they competed against St. Petersburg. The Bulldog five had a lead at halftime, but fell behind in the second half after one of its stars, Louie Evans, broke out with chicken pox during intermission. Cecil as Captain had to go ask the St. Pete team is they could trudge on with four players which was agreed. The team won every game that year (including a 32-2 victory over Dade City), losing only that last State Tournament battle to the St. Petersburg Green Devils. The team included: John Loomis, Vernon Gall, Fred Gill, Julian Craig, Coach Major Reed, Charles Slater, Captain Louis Evans, Arthur Austin, John Pennington, Owen Gall and McGavern.

• Beverly McNeese reported a 1978 Alumni story told by Estella Hougaboom Russell of the class of 1927: “While at Zephyrhills School, we had lots of fun… Like the time the boys thought they were real smart and put my lunch in my desk and I opened the desk (they had a top that raised up back then) and there was the possum. I screamed and the teacher chased that ole possum out with a stick.”

Craig Miller of the class 1955 reminisced about the school building which was demolished in 2006. “I got a skunk out from under the building… a crawl space there. I came to school and it was smelling like a skunk. And Mr. R.D. McPherson, the principal, asked me…, Craig, if you can go up underneath there and get that skunk out from under there, I’ll give you two days off from school. And so I went under there and worked it and got the skunk out. I didn’t get sprayed but it sure was stinking. The skunk ran off and the principal gave me two days off from school.”

Dedi Anderson, class of 1960 reports that her mother, long-time ZHS teacher/librarian, served as the school’s basketball coach for a few years beginning in 1933. The principal, Mr. Campbell, recruited Mrs. Anderson to coach the basketball team. Dedi said her mom reported that she had never played basketball so she located a book and coached for several seasons from the ‘book, quite successfully’!

Countdown to Centennial

Countdown to Centennial
By Madonna Jervis Wise and Clereen Morrill Brunty of the 100th Anniversary Committee, ZHS. Article originally appeared in the Zephyrhills News on February 19, 2009.

All rights reserved. Photos © Madonna Jervis Wise

2 Responses {+}
  • Joyce Durrance

    you had an artical regarding comment from estella russell, that was my grandmother, i am sure if she were still aound she would have some good stories working in the post office and retiring from there. thanks for the memory

  • Joyce Durrance

    you had an artical regarding comment from estella russell, that was my grandmother, i am sure if she were still aound she would have some good stories working in the post office and retiring from there. thanks for the memory i know we had 3 generations graduate from zhs, something a lot of people cant say

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