Friday, July 11, 2008


1924 Troy High Basketball Team-Metz is holding the ball
Metz & Mary Catherine

James-while stationed in Panama

The following was written by James S. Faircloth, Rob's great-uncle. Metz was named after James and his brother, Merrill Brooks "Metz" Faircloth (Rob's grandfather) who Brooks is also named after. James passed away last summer but he, like most of the Faircloth's, was a character. When he died we were able to get some of his stories, which he had written as a history of his life. Molly, next time I see you I promise I'll have your copy! Anyway, James wrote about meeting Ruby, the love of his life, about hitchhiking to the 1932 Summer Olympics, and about his 30 plus year career in the Air Force. The following is one of his stories about Metz, his hero.

My older brother (by nine years), Metz, was the ideal athlete-a natural born one. The year he finished elementary school, construction of the new Troy High School, on Elm Street had just been completed. He enrolled there in 1919 and his superior athletic abilities soon became unmistakable.
That very year the football team made a trip to play Hartford, Alabama High School. Metz, being a seventh grade, third-stringer and new to the game, didn't make the trip. Several players were injured in practice at Hartford on the day before the afternoon game, and Metz was rushed there to play in his first varsity game. He was not the deciding factor in the outcome. Nevertheless, considering his age and experience, he more than held his own, playing exceptionally well.
In all of his athletic career his weight never exceeded 140 and his height held at 5 foot 8. He played and lettered in football, baseball, and basketball each of his high school years. In his senior year his teammates recognized his superior abilities and honored him by electing him to be Captain of all three teams. He graduated in May 1924.
Working as a waiter at Mary's Place, the top resturant in town, earned him enough money to enroll at Troy State Teachers College (later to become the world renowned Troy State University) Tuition was only $90 a year. He managed to excell in his studies, continue as a waiter on the weekends, and participate in all the sports programs, graduating in 1926. Once again he demonstrated his athletic adroitness. In his senior year ( it was a two year college) he was again Captain of the Baseball, Basketball, and Football Teams. In football he played either as quarterback or safety. Due to his speed, he earned the appellation "scat-back".
On one cold November day Troy hosted Marion Alabama Institute at Pace Field on campus. I watched the game from the lower limb of a pecan tree just over the fence from the fifty yard line. Why pay 10 cents to enter when one could have elevated ringside seats for nothing?
Troy won the toss, Marion kicked off, Metz caught the ball near his goal line and ran it for a touchdown. It was called back- off sides! The crowd screamed, "Robbery!" And so did he! Catching the second kickoff, he proved his point. He ran it for a touchdown! And he had a whitlow on one middle finger and a carbuncle behind one knee! He was my childhood hero!
Some few years after graduating from Troy State, he and the members of his graduating team challenged the Troy State team to a game shortly before Homecoming. The game was played, they didn't win but Metz broke a small bone off his knee. It healed quickly but the broken piece of bone, while healing, covered the nerve to his foot and the nerve was severed. As a result Metz had to lift his leg high at the knee with each step and sling his foot forward for the remainder of his fruitful and useful 90 years.

No comments: