Saturday, March 31, 2007

Famous Etowah (War) Eagles

During the first Gulf War, the principal of Etowah (pronounced Eddy-wah if you called it on the phone), Bill Carpenter, in a fit of political correctness, decided to change the name of the school mascot from War Eagles to the now-pussified-Eagles. The school colors were also changed from a distinct powder-blue and gold, to a deep navy-blue and yellow (they still called it gold).
He wasn't the only one at the time. I remember Norman calling Fox97 and requesting Edwin Starr's "War" and them telling us that they weren't going to play it during the war. The irony was astounding; "We'll not play a war protest song during the war because it might offend someone." Sheesh!

I was in Georgia last week for Spring Break. We drove up to Dillard, Rabun County, Georgia to spend two nights, and on the way back we stopped somewhere on US 441 in Habersham County so my mom could use the loo. While I was waiting in the car, I noticed a big dude get out of his truck and walk inside. I looked at him and thought to myself, "that looks like Freddy Sneed." I told my wife that I thought I had gone to high school with the guy. She thought I was crazy. When he came out of the store (my Mom fell in), I got out of my car and said something like "Pardon me, but you look like my friend" and before I could say his name, he recognized me. It was Alan "Freddy" Sneed. Most people that went to Etowah won't remember him unless I mention that he was one of about only 10 African-Americans at school, and that he was the only one with an afro. We talked for a minute, and he handed me a self-made CD by his band Rusted Soul (see their MySpace page below). They're not half bad. It was great to see him. You can see on the page that he now goes by "Mellow." Cool.

Later on that week I was watching TV and a commercial came on for the Woodstock Outlet. The girl on camera was vaguely familiar, and then I realized that I had gone to high school with her too. She was the editor of the 1991 yearbook. I can't remember her name, but she was one of those involved-in-everything type girls that really used to bug me (the old me).

So it got me to thinking: Who is the most famous Etowah High School alumnus? Is it the girl in the Woodstock Outlet ad? Is it that one girl that was on Star Search but last I heard was stripping? I put it out there to you, comb the web and find me the names of famous Etowah alumni, if it is that there are any. I nominate myself for all the movie scores that I've written.

I just glanced over at the Etowah web page. Buddy Walker won teacher of the year. Mrs. Hayes, Gustafson, Hunsucker, Payne, Lucking, and Coach Childress are all still there. The secretaries are all the same. Hannah Kelley is still there, looks the same (was the woman ever young?), and doesn't have a webpage or email link.

Woodstock, Georgia, ¡Cómo has cambiado!


Andy Sirmon said...

Hi Mac -

I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I have really enjoyed reading your blog - I have been reading for quite a while now (I think I saw the link from an email that Paul sent Abe at one point a while ago), and have truly found your blog to be very insightful and thought-provoking. Thank you for bringing it back public - I missed reading it while it was blocked (and I didn't have your email address to send a request to directly, and kept forgetting to ask Abe for Paul's email to get yours). I have really enjoyed your stories about Marley - my wife and I have a one year old girl ourselves, and we have laughed out loud to many of your Marley stories - what a sense of humor she has!

Anyway, I haven't felt compelled to write anything until now, because I didn't find a good entre to comment, but I did want to let you know that it was Kim Jackson who was the Woodstock Outlet girl, and darned if she doesn't look exactly the same as in high school. Still sounds as "chirpy" as she did in high school.

As for the girl on Star Search, the only one I know of is Anetta Haynes (the smallish African-American girl), but surely she isn't stripping (?) - if so, what a waste of some great vocal talent!

Don't know of what's going on with any other Etowah alumni - other than Abe (who I see quite frequently) and updates I get from him on Paul, Brad, etc., don't hear/see much of anyone from there much.

Anyways, I'll go back to quietly lurking (my wife calls me the consumate web lurker - I read lots of blogs/boards but hardly post), but just wanted to send you best wishes and the best of luck in your future endeavors. Take care and God bless -

Mac said...


Thanks. I didn't know that you were lurking, so it's good to know. Thanks for the Kim Jackson tip too. My yearbooks are in my parents storage unit, who knows where, so I couldn't look them up. Are the Windfall's copyrighted, or could we digitize them and put them online? Marley is a hoot and a handful, but she's a good kid, and constantly cracks us up. I don't write the hundredth part of the funny stuff she says. I still think her rejoinder from May 2005 about my correcting her about having gone to school in Alabama, with "well you used to suck on boobs here" is her best.

You're always welcome here, and please feel free to post. The comments let me know that I'm not just typing to the void, and someone with my sized ego needs all the praise he can get.

Anonymous said...

hello mac. I read your blog from time to time and I quite enjoy it. I just want to congradulate you for your job in the college in SC. Good on you mate. (I tried reading your blog a little while ago and it was closed and I assumed that you were doing some job searching.) Well anyways, get made professor soon so I can invite you down to New Zealand as a visiting professor.Thanks, Nathanial Gardner

Paul Dunn said...

Famous Etowah alumni? The most famous I can think of would be T.J. Vines. He was a little after our time and played basketball for Georgia Tech. I'll never forget hearing "Etowah High School" on ESPN on numerous occasions and going wild. Once I was in Maryland watching a game at a friend's house and thinking that was the bomb.

From our "generation" Nicole Foerschler was a reporter with channels in Macon, GA and Dothan, AL for a while. That would probably make her some sort of regional "personality".

I remember the deaths of Brian Head and Leland Franz making big headlines, but that was probably just locally.

Other than that, Daniel Mikkelsen's brother, Kris, was trying to get on the PGA Tour. He played golf at Tech.

The fact that you are able to bump into people (I recall the Eric Burns bump-into) all the time is astonishing. I still live in the area and work in Kennesaw and I never bump into anyone hardly. I did bump into Brad Dobbins back in November at IKEA... but I can't remember anyone since then.

BTW, Andy, nice to have you here. If you and Abe ever got Xanadu published, I know you'd be the most famous Etowah Eagles ever.

Chris Hansen said...

Hi Mac,

I just discovered your blog and this post in particular and just wanted to say hello. I graduated from Etowah, class of 89, and it's always nice to read about Etowah.

I'm an Asst Prof of Film and Digital Media at Baylor University, by the way, and a filmmaker as well...

Nice to meet ya.

Tony Fields said...

Like the blog, but at present I can't quit place who you are. Although Freddy Sneed is a blast from my past. We went to elementary school together, skating and so forth. Had a mutual friend (shane darby).Kim jackson does not seem to have aged as I too have seen those commercials. It was said that some of her kin own the store. Don't know but seems logical. Anyways as far as famous alumni....Our last reunion(class of 91)I remember getting a book telling what others were doing. John Reinhardt was working in Washington D.C in some type of government position.Seems like a famous job but I guess we need to define famous and to what degree. Would love to have another reunion but haven't heard anything. Anyways good to see Coach Walker get something for all his work. Rode by the school a couple weeks things change. Doesn't look like the same school. Anyways ,I'll go , but good to hear Etowah again see alumni.

Anonymous said...

Whats up Mac?Freddie here.Just saw your blog and had to say hello.Tony Im gonna look him up.We were budds in elem school.Hope all is well.Hit me up bro.The link has changed .Now its
Look forward to hearing from you.Im trying to be the most famous.My album drops in less than a Hit me back mang.