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Burro-Basketball game in 1954 raised funds for Grade Center

Great Adair County Revelator Mike Watson solves much of the mystery in Vonnie Koblenschlag's photo, including it's like circa, 1954, a great year in Columbia History. Click on headline for complete revelation, including why Tucker Durham Hume's daddy is on a Democratic Donkey; replete with names of a pantheon of some of the all time greats of a fabulous era
About: Comments re photo 70149 Mystery photo Columbia in days of Rialto Theatre Russell Co

By Mike Watson

Ed, It is difficult not to get into this one. A little research in the files revealed the following:

Columbia Grade Center--Donkey Basketball Game--April 8, 1954

Columbia Grade Center to Sponsor "Burro-Basketball" Game April 8th--Tentative plans for a benefit basketball game, sponsored by the Columbia Grade Center, were announced this week by Mrs. Irene Reece, principal of the school.

The 7:30pmCT "donkey basketball" tussle, to be held in the Grade Center gym on April 8, will pit the husbands of the teachers against local businessmen.

Present plans call for two 15-man squads of local hoopsters, assisted by a team of burros brought in by a handler from the Western end of the state. A special half-time feature will be a burro race, with prize awarded to the winner.

Receipts from the encounter will go into a special fund to help defray miscellaneous school expenses, such as starting a school library and purchasing playground equipment.

Advanced ticket prices will be 25 cents for children and 50 cents for adults; at the gate they will be 35 cents for children and 60 cents for adults. Tickets will go on sale at the grade center on April 1.

In charge of ticket sales will be three members of the teaching staff: Miss Peggy Morris, Miss Miss Mildred Pickett, and Mrs. Harry Lee Dohoney.

Mrs. Reece stated that the names of members of both squads would be released the first of next week to the Adair County News--Adair County News, 31 March 1954.

Donkey Hoopsters Slated to Clash in Tomorrow Night's Tilt at CGC--"Fur will fly," advice will be cheap, and "no holds barred" Thursday night, when the two squads of local cagers lock horns on the hardwood in a benefit "burro-basketball" game, sponsored by the Columbia Grade Center...will pit the "Hubbies," the husbands of grade school teachers, against the "Buzzies," a group of local businessmen. ..

Coaching the faculty "Hubbies" will be Hubert Edwards, physical education instructor, and Brooks Coomer, eighth grade teacher, both of the local grade center. John Burr, coach of the Adair County High School Indians, as been mentioned as the probable mentor of the "Buzzies."

Other members of the "Hubbies" squad are: Russell Miller, O.A. "Cotton" Durham, Franklin Vance, "Cotton" Phelps, William R. Walker, Henry Allen, Lewis Coffey, Leon Phelps, Harry Dohoney, Hallie Stults, Charles Sandusky, Raymond Hutchison, Bernie Paxton, Mack Willis, James Reece, and Ivan Shively.

Comprising the "Buzzies" team are: Roy Owen, Peanut McKinley, Linwood Gore, Lindsey Daugherty, Ray Keltner, James Montgomery, Luther Collins, Robert White, Bobby Collins, J.D. Harper, Ed Williams, Jimmy Maupin, Eugene Dohoney, Pete Walker, Dr. H.C. Randall, Kenneth Hughes, and Hugh Abell.--Adair County News, 7 April 1954.

There may have been other 'burro' basketball games, but I dare say this is the reason for the photo of Mr. Durham astride a donkey--MW

As a side note on two Columbia businesses:

Rialto Theatre Sold to Columbian Owner--The Rialto Theatre, which has been owned and operated by Osby Rowe, was sold last week to Charles Marshall, owner of the Columbian Theatre. Mr. Marshall has announced that the theatre will be closed and its equipment and contents sold. - Adair County News, 17 December 1958.

The Rialto's last ad in the News was in the issue of 3 December and mentioned showing up through the 8th.

Local Appliance Dealer Moves to New Location -Columbia General Appliance, owned and operated by Mr. Gaspard Brockman, has moved to a new location, in the building formerly occupied by the Rialto Theatre, next door to the Bank of Columbia. Formerly located here in the western corner of the Square, the company will continue to handle the same brands of television, radio, and other appliances. The grand opening will be announced in the near future.- Adair County News, 13 May 1959.

Large ad in issue of 27 May 1959: Phone FUlton 4-491. [FU equated to 38 on the dial.]

--Mike Watson

This story was posted on 2016-12-15 11:19:30
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