Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winky Dink and You - Kids' TV in Kingsport

Jack Barry hosted Winky Dink. (Click to view the show.)

Below is the kit you could order from the show or buy at a local store.

Ads in the Kingsport Times News for Winky Dink kits.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bobby Cifers - D-B's Greatest Football Player AND Greatest Athlete?

Bobby Cifers scored 490 points during his four years on the D-B football team:

1936 - 32 points
13 points against Jonesboro
6 points against Chattanooga Central
7 points against Nashville Humme Fogg
6 points against Tennessee High

1937 - 59 points
16 points against Jonesboro
2 points against Saltville
12 points against Chattanooga Central
1 point against Bradley County
2 points against Johnson City
9 points against Tennessee High
6 points against Elizabethton
1 point against Morristown
10 points against South Port Ind.

1938 - 235 points (35 TDs and 25 extra points)
This broke the national scoring record.
27 points against Rogersvllle
13 points against Peoria Manual Ill.
22 points against Pennington Gap, Va.
39 points against Jacksonville Landon, FI
32 points against Morristown
33 points against Johnson City
14 points against Erwin
33 points against Tennssee High
9 points against Knoxville
13 points against Chattanooga Central
0 against Elizabethton (next year scored five in five carries in second half)

1939 - 164 points
l4 points against Bradley County
6 points against Asheville, N.C.
8 points against Chattanooga Central
12 points against Louisville Manual, Ky
27 points against Erwin
7 points against Knoxville
14 points against Tennessee High
34 points against Elizabethton
22 points against Morristown
20 points against Jacksonville Landon, Fl.
1,753 yards in 195 attempts

Among his many honors was being named to the All South team twice.

He broke the national scoring record for a single season during his junior year. It was reported in newspapers all across the country. Here is the story from the Billings Montana Gazette:

He was held scoreless in 1938 during a state playoff game (!!) against Elizabethton. D-B lost 39-0. He atoned the next year in a big way, with 5 touchdowns and over 300 yards.

Here is the game story for that 1939 game:

He was even the subject of a cartoon that was published in sports sections all over the country. This is from the Charleston W.Va. paper:

His picture was also published in numerous newspapers. This is from LaCrosse Wisconsin. He was a handsome kid and after one photo was carried by the Associated Press he received over 400 letters from girls all over the country.

Bobby was more than just a football star. He was a member of three D-B track state championship teams 1936, 1937 and 1940 and won ten separate state championship trophies:
1936 Shot Put 50'0" State Champion
1937 Discus Throw 115'1" State Champion
1937 Shot Put 49' 11" State Champion
1939 Long Jump 21 '2 1/2' State Champion
1939 120 Yd Hi Hurdle 16.0 State Champion
1939 200 Low Hurdles 24.7 State Champion
1940 Discus Throw 147'10 1/2" State Champion
1940 Shot Put 52'11 1/2" State Champion
1940 120 Yd Hi Hurdle 15.5 State Champion
1940 200 Low Hurdles 24. 7 State Champion

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Howdy Doody Arrives in Kingsport in the Fifties

The Howdy Doody Show arrives in Kingsport in 1951 from Charlotte's WBTV.

Kingsport merchants discover Howdy sells!

Howdy mask for Halloween 1953.

1954 ad for cable uses the Howdy Show as a selling point.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kingsport Makes 'Official Detective' magazine - 1946

From the December 1946 issue of 'Official Detective Stories'

And here's how the Kingsport Times News covered the story.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mr. Fanslow Honored - Posthumously Selected for Yankton College Hall of Honor

Here's a column I wrote about Mr. Fanslow in November 2003.

The Teapot Dome Scandal had just broken and President Harding’s Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall was feeling the heat when Bob Fanslow ended his American History class last week.

When class resumes at the Kingsport Institute for Continued Learning in March, he’ll pick back up for his roomful of avid students, a few of whom were born during the Harding administration.

Bob Fanslow started teaching American History to senior citizens a decade ago. Eight years ago he asked the class, “What would you think if we started at the bottom and worked our way up?”

The class agreed and so he backtracked to the voyage of Columbus. A hundred or so classes later he is up to the Harding administration and the jazz age. With any luck, World War II may arrive this spring. If not spring, then maybe next fall.
When it comes to the teaching of American History, Bob Fanslow is a Kingsport institution. He began teaching American History here in September 1950. Except for a two-year time out for the Korean War, he’s been teaching it ever since. He retired from Dobyns-Bennett in 1991 after 39 years, then a couple of years later he picked back up at the Kingsport Institute for Continued Learning.

After his wife and his children, history is his love.

But I probably didn’t have to tell you that. Not after a half century of teaching in this town, some 6,000 students in all. You probably learned history from Bob, er, Mr. Fanslow.

He admits that his current class may “take as long to teach as the period itself. We flow from one period to another; we’ll work eventually to the present day if we’re all around. And I don’t wear out.”

There’s no chance of that, Bob Fanslow wearing out on history. “I do enjoy doing this sort of thing. If you don’t use it you lose it, as they say. I may be a stimulant to the class but the class is a stimulant to me.”

He’s been a learning stimulant in Kingsport for half a century and his former students still give him credit.

“Mr. Fanslow was my Mr. Chips and John Keating of Dead Poet's Society,” says Paula Bennett-Paddick, a D-B grad and retired teacher in Birmingham, Alabama. “He always caused me to study and learn more than I ever thought possible. And, the miracle of it all was that he made me want to do my best.”

Bruce Haney remembers, “I took Mr. Fanslow's class because my cousin Jack Windle told me what a good teacher he was. He was the first ‘college lecture’ quality teacher I can remember; one who was interesting enough you wanted to show up in class and actually listen instead of goofing off.”

Kingsport native Betty Hyder Stone, who now lives in Montgomery, Alabama, says, “I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for awakening in me some sense of the world! I began taking Time magazine during his class and still am a subscriber.”

He did more than stimulate, he also inspired. Dominick Jackson, a Kingsport native who now lives in Greeneville, says, “My Masters Degree in history is in many ways derived from the inspiration and support I received from Mr. Fanslow.”

Bennett-Paddick believes, “His model of teaching was evident in my career as a teacher. I worked hard at not just handing out challenging assignments, but dancing, cajoling, and nurturing my students to have a desire to learn. I found there was a massive difference in requiring an assignment and having students become excited and involved in their learning.”

The curriculum is a bit different in the senior classes. It’s mostly lecture. The unique aspects of teaching these classes are not lost on Mr. Fanslow. “No tests, no written work. People who want to be here. All the advantages of teaching and none of the disadvantages.”

Stone says wistfully, “Since technically I'm a ‘senior’ now, I'd love to take his class again. I'm so impressed that he continues to impart knowledge and to inspire. Wow.”

Mr. Fanslow's General American History Test and key (don't peek!)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Skateland building bites the dust

Skateland building in 2004

Grand opening in 1946:

Thimble drome races, whatever they were, in 1949:

Ad from 1960:

Before there was Skateland...

1924 skating rink in Kingsport

And Kingsport's skating rink in 1927: