The Claiborne County Progress, Thursday, December 22, 1966

I found growing up in Claiborne County and having a brother who was always overseas would draw such curiosity from locals. I often was asked if my brother was a "spy" and, after explaing to them that he worked overseas for the State Department would be asked "Oh, for the Tennessee State Department?".
County politics and the kind of politics he was involved in certainly was hard to explain. An example of how such misunderstandings from the rural environments can occur follows in an early letter back home to his local newspaper. My brother, no matter what part of the world he resided insisted on receiving the local "rag".
Letters To The Editor

American Embassy, Belgrade
December 14, 1966
The Claiborne Progress,
New Tazewell, Tennessee

Dear Sir:
Mr. C. L. Jordan's account of football, having come to CCHS in 1926, as reported in your October 6 edition, spurs the memory to recount that great season of 1947 when a group of CCHS students brought intra-county football to the sandlot. For all which this 1947 group was short in the way of equipment, techniques and rules, they made up for in determination and sheer energy expended.

The 1947 group, consisting of such stand-outs as (Dr.) Bill Cloud, Roy Giles, Kenneth Seymour and many others, saw action twice against the Lone Mountain contingent which posessed the fearless "Goathead" Hamic, "Cocoa" Jennings, et al. Tazewell also met Gibson Hall to receive the challenge of "Buckshot" Overton, the Jennings brothers and other fleet-footed classmates from that area. Matter of fact, a few stray items of football equipment which had been in storage since CCHS's 1926 debacle with LMU were used by the 1947 teams. The scores of the 1947 season have been lost for posterity, but the competition and sportsmanship remain firmly embedded with those who participated in and observed these efforts. The rousing battle-cry of one particular Tazewell rooter, who did not understand the finer points of the game, should prove an inspiration for future CCHS teams. After a hardhitting gang tackle by the Lone Mountain defense against a Tazewell back early in the first game, the fan started onto the field with clenched fist, shouting, "If there is going to be trouble around here, then there is going to be beaucoup trouble !".

The boosters who have brought this fine team sport in its current form to CCHS are to be commended. Some of these were either boosters or participants during the 1926 or 1947 eras, or perhaps in both. It is true that football in present formal sanctioned form only came to the Tazewells recently; however, for many years the first crisp mornings of fall and the pungent smell of burning leaves, has brought football to the hands, feet, minds and hearts of Tazewell Youth.

/s/ George E. Payne
Attache, American Embassy
Belgrade, Yugoslavia

In Memory of my brother George E. Payne who died August 16, 2000.

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