More On Bill Currie
Several days ago I received an e-mail from someone who asked if I knew the current whereabouts of Bill Currie. The writer went on to explain she is the official historian for the city of High Point, N.C. and that she has known Bill since he attended school and worked in various capacities in that city. She said she had asked all of the people she knew who also had known BC but no one knew where he was. Through the magical world of the internet, she had located me through a search engine as someone who had written about BC and was asking for my assistance in locating him.
I responded to the e-mail by explaining that I had located BC a couple of years ago when he was in a nursing home in Pittsburgh but I informed he that he had told me he was preparing to move to the State of Washington to be nearer his daughter and that I did not have the address or telephone number for his new location. I did, however, give her the e-mail address for BC's son who now resides in Texas and wished her luck in her quest to locate ole Bill.
She contacted the son and she now has BC's address in the state of Washington and she plans to contact him in the near future. In the meantime, Mary Lib Clark ( I only have her maiden name) and I have struck up quite a friendship even if she does appear to be a Wake Forest fan. She says she had two sons attend UNC and that's good enough for me. She speaks of UNC with respect and that's about all you can ask for.
On with my story. Mary Lib said she has a folder with all the material she has been able to collect on BC and asked if I would be interested in having copies of what she has. You can imagine my answer.
A couple of days ago I received an envelope from Mary Lib and I have thoroughly enjoyed going through the material she has sent. I wish I could include some of the photos in this article but I'm afraid that won't be possible. At least I can describe them and you old timers might get a chuckle or two.
One photograph shows BC when he was a member of the High Point High School Debating Team when they won the Aycock Memorial Cup in the finals of the state contest held at the University of North Carolina. The date is not on the photograph but I feel like the photograph was probably taken around 1941. He was a gangly soul and looked pretty much like a lot of us looked back during that time. He had a tie and sweater on but he didn't look too comfortable in what I'm sure was required attire. I can't imagine he would have competed in a state wide contest at the UNC at that time in anything other than formal dress. It wouldn't have been fitting.
Another photograph shows him in coat and tie and, believe it or not, a felt hat. This was at the top of one of his columns in "The Enterprise" titled "High Pointers In Sports." In this one he looks a lot like Clark Kent from the old Superman comics. The hat was tilted back on his head exactly like we would have expected a reporter to look in those days. The column was about athletes and some of the experiences they can expect when they get to college. He refers to what we call the "taxi squad" or the "scrubs" today and the "meat squad." He bemoans some of the practices at larger colleges and universities and concludes the column with a bit of advice. He says, "My young brethren, the water is often fresher in the smaller pond." Vintage BC.
Mary Lib also included photographs of BC when he was sports editor at WHPE in High Point. Another article about BC quotes him as saying that management wanted him to work for nothing and they had extensive negotiations regarding his compensation. They finally settled on $1.00 a day. I don't know whether this is accurate or not because I always had trouble determining whether BC was serious or putting people on. $1.00 would go further then than now and it was only a 1000 watt station but I've got to believe he received a little more tha a buck a day.
Mary Lib has a copy of the Sports Illustrated article by Frank Deford which gave BC the moniker "Mouth of the South."
I'm tempted to post that article on this site for the benefit of those who have not seen it but I don't need any copyright problems. Maybe I will summarize it some time in the near future.
Mary Lib is going to contact BC and she has promised to let me know how he is doing. I will pass it on to you when I hear from her. The response to the articles I wrote several years ago about BC produced the largest number of responses of any article I have written. There must be plenty of people out there who remember BC but the number gets smaller as time goes by. BC was one of a kind. Let's enjoy reminiscing about him and wish him the best in his retirement. Nothing is forever.