‘Somebody’ was a Central Tiger

| April 1, 2014

By Lisa Turner

Special to Frost Illustrated

Went I was 11 years old, they closed Central High School.

I cried.

I would never walk the halls that   Mary Alice Turner, Charlie Bob, Joyce Graham, Janet Kennedy, Leeann Wallace, Condra Leach or Marjorie Wickliffe, walked. (Just to name a few)

I would never become a Central Kitten. (Oh yes! I would have been a Central Kitten.)

I would never here the bass drum of the marching band, deliberately delivering a beat of soul coming out of the auxiliary gym again.

I would never be inside the fence where the track, field, Pole Vaulters and The Kittens practiced (on the corner of Barr and Lewis streets).

As I would talk to other Central Tiger Wannabes (younger family members, neighbors and friends of the Central Tigers), we all said “what are we going to do?”

How will we know who we can become if we have no one as an example? Who was going to be our Robert Love? (attorney), Wendy Robinson? (superintendent of the school system) or Oscar Underwood (pastor, headmaster.)

We, Wannabes would wait for the Calderon to come out to look at all the Central Tigers. Sometimes we would write in pencil who we thought was cute or UGLY (you will never know)

We, as a community had been divided by streets and sent to the four winds—Elmhurst, Northrop, Snider and Wayne. We had to read the sports pages and try to figure out who was our Clarence Bullock, Batman Kennedy or Roger Turner. Sad day. You see the Central Lights had a sense of pride, they were royalty and they knew who they were. We knew who you were and you didn’t know us.

We watched everything you did. When you were in Azar’s, Murphy’s, and Klaehn’s Record’s store (buying your music) Scott’s Bowling Alley the Rialto Theater and Hanes Drug store. We saw you. We saw you at   Kreigh’s and Link’s Skating Rinks and we even knew your names.

Now  whenever I see a tag on the front of a car that says “Central Tiger,” I look to see if I can identify them, I say to myself there goes somebody.

Every Central Tiger was a Star—and you still are.

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Category: Features, Local

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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