Randolph Scott Addendum
There were several loose ends remaining from the earlier article I wrote entitled "Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?" So yesterday, I decided to visit Woodberry School to see if I could uncover information that would tie up these loose ends. That turned out to be one of the better decisions I have made lately.
First, the friendly reception we received to our unannounced visit to Woodberry Forest School were almost beyond comprehension. You never know what to expect when you show up with no warning and want to talk with someone who may not share your interest in the subject matter involved. Beyond that, they might not even comprehend why anyone else would be pursuing the subject and I tend to be attracted by a lot of out of the mainstream type subjects.
The first thing that happened and I don't care what anyone says, first impressions are important was that, as we approached the main administration building at what turned out to be the side door, we asked for directions from a lady who looked as if she was waiting for someone to meet her. We asked her where the public information office was and she pointed us in a general direction which we have learned is about all we need. It gets too complicated if you try to go beyond a point in explaining exactly what you are trying to do. Generally, we throw out a couple of phrases and then judge whether the person you are talking with seems to have any interest in what you are seeking. We did this with the young lady and she responded positively. So much so that she invited us into the building even though it was apparent that minutes earlier she was en route somewhere else. She made a couple of telephone calls and finally located the archivist for Woodberry Forest School and indicated we were in luck because she was in her office. We interpreted this to mean she either worked part-time or had duties other than those of archivist. She escorted us to her office, introduced us and excused herself. I couldn't help but wonder if someone was waiting for her where we originally met. If so, I don't imagine they were too happy when she returned.
We explained to Karen Culbertson, the archivist, what we were trying to do and, for the first time, introduced ourselves as "historians." We usually use the moniker "amateur historians" but, after much thought, I have decided that we should drop the "amateur" qualifier on our titles at least, in certain situations. I don't mean to brag but even though my friend and I have never published articles related to history, I believe we could hold our own in a discussion of American History based on our visits, readings, and life experiences.
Heck, we are almost a part of American History if you know what I mean. It turns out that Mrs. Culbertson is relatively new at the Woodberry Forest School after having served in a similar capacity at Episcopal High School in Lynchburg. I mention this simply to indicate that researching Randolph Scott was somewhat exciting and educational for her as well as for us.
We told her all we knew about RS so we could determine a starting point and it didn't take long. We used RS's date of birth to try and locate him in the WF yearbook, "The Fir Tree" and in a matter of minutes we located him in the class of 1917. He was pictured individually as well as with the football and baseball teams. He played right guard on the football team and first base on the baseball team and, In addition, he was captain of the baseball team. He also served on several prestigious committees and was in the glee club and the choir. I had never thought about the difference between the two but now that I have, I guess a choir sings only sacred music while a glee club sings a variety of songs both sacred and non-sacred. RS had several nicknames wile at WF such as "Randy", "Blondey" and "Scotty".
The principal loose end I wanted to tie up was the story I got from the internet that RS lied about his age and enlisted in the military when he was 14 years old and how this tied in with his education at WF, Ga. Tech and UNC. I got news for you folks. There is absolutely no factual basis for the claim that he enlisted in the military at the age of 14 and in this age of political correctness and super sensitivities to everything on the face of this earth, I think I can safely say without fear of contradiction that it simply ain't so. It appears to have been the work of a zealous studio publicity person. I have compiled a chronology of RS's early years and, while it is true that he served in the military in WW 1 and even served in Europe during that conflict, he was 20 years old when he entered the military. He graduated from WF in 1917 and entered the military in 1918.
We have to operate on some assumptions after he was discharged from the military and the first assumption is that he immediately entered Ga. Tech. after his returning to civilian life I have found no indication that he went to GT on an athletic scholarship but based on his athletic background at WF, I think it would be reasonable to assume that he did. Might have been a baseball or football scholarship or a combination of the two but his athletic career ending injury was in football. After being at GT for 2 years he transferred to UNC where he received a degree in Textile Engineering and Management probably in 1923.
So it would appear that the Randolph Scott story is concluded for RamFanatic. It was fun researching the early life of this illustrious UNC grad and I'm going to miss perusing additional facts about this movie hero of the past.
One final note. I want everyone to know that I'm familiar with the rumors that have circulated about Randolph Scott and Cary Grant. I can't control what you might think about these rumors, I can only say I don't believe them. I base my belief on the statements of some close friends of Scott, his two marriages, 2 children and Cary Grant's five marriages. Any relationship between members of the same sex seems to be fair game for rumors these days.
So if you will excuse me now, I think I will get my box of pop corn, put in a RS tape and drift back to what Ronnie Millsap's called "Lost In The Fifties Tonight." Heck, I might even run into you out on the north 40 somewhere.
I tried everyway I knew to get the words to the song "Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?" but to no avail. Sometime back, I e-mailed the Statler Brothers and asked them if they would point me in the right direction, thinking the words might be on a web site somewhere. I didn't hear anything for several weeks but the morning after I e-mailed the above article to my web master, I received in the mail from the Statler Brothers' organization a photocopy of the words and music to the song. It was written in 1973 by the two members of the Statler Brothers who are actually brothers, Don and Harold Reid.
Here they are:
Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?
Everybody knows when you go to the show, You can't take the kids along. You gotta read the paper and know the code of G, PG, and X. And you gotta know what the movie's about before you even go. Tex Ritter's gone and Disney's dead and the screen is filled with sex! Whatever happened to Randolph Scott riding the trail alone? Whatever happened to Gene and Tex and Roy and Rex, the Durango Kid? Oh, whatever happened to Randolph Scott, his horse as plain as could be? Whatever happened to Randolph Scott has happened to the best of me. Everybody's trying to make a comment about our doubts and fears, "True Grit's" the only movie I really understood in years. You gotta take your analyst along to see if it's fit to see, Whatever happened to Randolph Scott has happened to the industry. Whatever happened to Johnny Mack Brown and Allan Rocky Lane? Whatever happened to Lash LaRue, I'd love to see them again. Whatever happened to Smiley Burnette, Tim Holt and Gene Autry, Whatever happened to Randolph Scott has happened to the industry.