Late to Bed, Early to Rise

…makes a student late, hungry and sleepy. It was a time when everyone connected with Montgomery Bible School/College had very little money. The teachers would often go without being paid for their work because of the lack of funds. They would supplement their sparse income by having paper routes. This was also true with many of the students. At one time I thought there were two authorities, The Bible (in religious matters) and The Montgomery Advertiser (in secular ones). I have since learned better about the latter. There was a time when I was in high school that every student in the men’s dormitory got up about four o’clock in the morning to throw papers with the exception of two – Don McKee and Mike McCrickard. I thought they were lazy but now I can see that they may have been the smart ones. I was only thirteen when I began throwing the Advertiser with brother Marvin Wiser. The routes were in West End and Maxwell Field. I was responsible for throwing 230 papers. He would ‘spot’ the papers at various locations where I would pick them up and put them in my paper bags. Because of the number of papers I had to have two paper bags hanging around my neck, one on each side. One morning when the papers were ‘heavy’ (thick), I had the two bags full and as I was walking and throwing the papers I began to feel dizzy. I soon realized I was cutting the oxygen off from my head so I had to remove of one of the bags. I learned my route on Maxwell Field in the dark. When I went with brother Wiser to help him collect payment for the paper I was lost as I could be because in the daylight every residence looked the same. I only recognized the places in the dark. One morning while I was waiting for brother Wiser to pick me up I was sitting on the curb near some businesses on Bell Street and I found a five dollar bill. I thought I was rich.
I also threw papers for Charles Stidham, Leonard Johnson, Owen Calvert, Frank Faircloth, Thomas Weaver and perhaps some others. One route was near Huntington College and as I walked down College Street I thought how beautiful the campus was in sharp contrast to the block buildings where I attended. There were many exciting, funny and sometimes scary experiences I had while throwing papers in the pre-dawn hours. I will mention that brother Weaver often entertained me while we were traveling to our route that was off Court Street. I would be trying to sleep and he would often ask me what I thought of this song and he would begin singing, “Give Me Some Men Who Are Stout-Hearted Men…” Brother Leonard Johnson had a new 1951 Kaiser that had a ‘hot’ motor in it. Sometimes the other carrier and I would be intentionally late finishing our routes when throwing papers for Frank Faircloth because his lovely wife would then cook breakfast for us with real eggs and not powered eggs like we had to eat in the dining hall. Staying awake during classes was a real problem for us. We would do pretty good during the morning hours but after the noon meal it was a different ball game. With stomachs full it was a challenge to stay awake during afternoon sessions. If you fell asleep during brother Ed Holt’s class he would wake you by calling your name and quoting from Ephesians 5:14: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” We would often hold a pencil in one hand and if it fell to the floor we knew that we had fallen asleep. One quarter I had a teacher the first class after lunch that had a monotone voice and the course was American History. I slept too much and I made a D and that woke me up so I made a B under him the next quarter.There was an art to throwing papers. Most of us had to walk the routes. We would remove the papers from the bag as we walked on the sidewalks or in the streets and roll the paper and bend it near one end and throw it with gusto. I remember breaking a pane out of a bay window at one house. The gentleman was kind when reporting it to brother Johnson and his only regret was that it didn’t make it all the way to his bedroom. Of course I had to pay for the window pane. Oh, I have almost forgotten to tell you how much a mere paper boy made each morning. It was usually a dollar per day and sometimes you might even make a dollar and a quarter from a generous brother. On Thursday and Sunday mornings the newspaper would be ‘heavy’ and you could not roll them so you learned to fold them and having done that you would have to get nearer the porch in order to throw them ‘underhanded’. When I threw papers for brother Weaver he taught me how to fold the newspaper in a different way. You would fold the paper into a triangle and throw it with a twist of your wrist and it would go sailing through the air. You can’t tell the story of life on the old campus without mentioning those ‘paper throwing days’. It is a part of the history of the old Montgomery Bible School/College.

Now before I add the following contribution to Ann Street Memories I should tell you that I lived with Van and Gloria Ingram and children the summer before Virginia and I married on August 19, 1955. I was traveling with the college quartet (Paul Brown, Bill Hall, Charles Westbrook and myself). The Ingram children were Tommy, Rebecca and Patsy, who was the new baby. Gloria will often remind me that I would not permit Patsy to cry very long before I would pick her up and hold her. Rebecca was a pretty little girl that was at an age when she was very impressionable. I told her that I would be embarrassed to include her remembrance of me on this blog but she insisted that I do so. In the school year of 1954-55, Virginia and I were awarded the titles of Mr. A.C.C. and Miss A.C.C. but that is not what they called the men’s award back then. Like other colleges the male was referred to as the ‘Bachelor of Ugliness’ (The Sheaf, 1955). That title was changed the next school year to Mr. A.C.C. Now for you younger people, that is a part of the ancient history of the old campus years.

“My grandparents, Van and Bessie Ingram and my family lived on Ann Street across from the Montgomery Bible College campus in the early fifties. After we moved away for my dad Van B. Ingram, Jr. to preach for the church in East Point , Georgia , I would visit "Mom Emy" and go to the dining hall with her to "help" her cook for the students. Those were good times, but this memory comes from much earlier during my preschool years. I thought Raymond Elliott was the handsomest man I had ever seen! I think he lived with us for a little while and I just loved to look at him. One day I overheard the grown-ups talking about him being named bachelor of ugliness at the college and I was crushed! It made no sense to me how anyone could think my beautiful Raymond was ugly! What was wrong with those people, and what would they consider handsome?! I remember feeling appalled (although I didn't know the name for that emotion then), confused, and a bit angry, and the funny thing was no one else seemed sad about it. Probably I never discussed it with anyone, nor did I change my opinion--guess Virginia agreed with me!” ~ Rebecca Ingram Click

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