In January 1948, I was expelled from Globe High School, where I had become a "social problem." Four teachers, all of whom liked me, had tired of my antics and together reported me to the principal. All testified that I should become a former student. When I flippantly remarked that I was in school only to play baseball, Mr. Cromer gave me permission to play baseball daily, anywhere, but not at Globe High.
In April 1948, I was expelled from Miami High School for sneaking into the room where girl students stored their lunches in their lockers. I and my buddy Tony would remove the fruit from the sack lunches for snacks. We were caught red handed by Mr. McClain, who bade me goodbye forever. I had been accepted in Miami High School on a trial basis, but the caper in the girls locker room ended my probationary period. The next morning my older brother Dave, a WWII Navy veteran, found me sleeping at 9 a.m., lifted me by the head of my hair and escorted me to the basement of the Globe Post Office where he enlisted me in the U.S. Navy.
I really liked MHS, and was amazed at the school spirit. At GHS, pep assemblies were more like chaos than support for teams. Except for the Annual Thanksgiving Day football game.
Sadly those games often resulted in outright bedlam. Defensive and defiant Loyalists guarded the large G's and M's from being bathed in dirty oil. Conference ratings meant nothing. This was a grudge game that wasn't played, it was fought over. Either team could win. The first Thanksgiving game was played in 1946. Globe won 21-07. Even adults sometimes joined in the brawling during half-time intermissions and continued at games end on the field, and local saloons. (The first seasonal game was in 1927, Miami 19, Globe 7.)
By Friday the hype was out of hand. At the pep assemblies players swaggered on the stage smugly promising victory. Cheerleaders led a crescendo of hysteria, music and shouting. At half time both marching bands would strut proudly past opposing spectators and execute complex formations, so as to upstage each other. Behind bleachers in small groups, little bitty buddies played their own game, raising dust, angering fans and teachers on duty. Cowboys with happy eyes smiled and sipped from paper bags, having not the slightest idea of the score. More reserved adults (many former players) discreetly poured from flasks, and prudently remained seated with their wives.
It was downright dangerous for anyone from Globe to be seen in Miami on the night before the game, during and after. The same risk applied to anyone from Miami found in Globe. Ironically, after this organized belligerence, Globe HS graduates often married Miami scholars and vice-versa. Former students, with families, would travel great distances, at great cost to be at this pageant.
I remember a Miami player streaking downfield for a sure touchdown was tackled by an over-zealous spectator from Globe. The incident was the delight of the game.
All that tradition ended in 1964 when both schools agreed to stop the "violence" as the Genteel et alia from both towns prevailed against the yearly athletic enthusiasm. The final game score was Globe 7, Miami 0.
To the chagrin of the beautified Globe & Miami Chamber of Commerce, no other single event or activity has more effectively attracted the travelers dollar. All who took part in the festivities around those games greatly miss them. When discussing the contests, they become purists, waiting for the slightest error so that they can rush to correct the misstatement, and castigate the speaker. Being accurate is crucial.
The heirs to yesterday's Thanksgiving Day games are today's Senior Citizens. Time has taken its toll on the remnant of these Vandals and Tigers. These contests are now sentimental Old-Timers Reunions.
The only games played now by Senior Citizens are, accusing one another of "guiri guiri" (gibberish) and reciting "dichos" or "refranes," sayings, or Spanish proverbs. Mexicans often involve themselves in jocularity and seriousness. When one person gets under another's skin, the aggrieved will indicate his distress with the oft used "burla burlando le dijo buenas claridades." An oblique retort translated; "between joke and earnest he told him some plain truths." In the vernacular, "he set him straight."
They need the memories and jokes that they are "raiment and food for the soul." In the past few years nearly all mining companies have shut down. Globe is economically better off for now and there is a move to unite the two towns. Elders don't say much but when the subject is broached they sentimentally speak against unification. To romantics and nostalgists such talk is blasphemy.
There are not many lifelines for the older folks. A good number frequent the Senior Centers in both towns for company, food and infrequent entertainment. Bingo is played, mostly by women. A very few men hang out at Miami Liquors, and let TV watch them. Deaths are spoken in the form of short commentaries and testimonies. They believe a fortunate person is one who lives a long life and dies without suffering. Others attend wakes to commemorate and celebrate, knowing that life and death are one.
By April 2002, there will be a total of fifteen Antique Shops and Art Galleries in Miami.
Spanish Proverb: A BUEY viejo no le falta garrapata. (Every old ox has his cattle tick.) Old age is a series of ills.
Ricardo M. Lucero