Thursday, August 11, 2004


City Personals
Mary Clay Brooks

Get well wishes extended to May Alice Booker

Frances Fitts of Dallas, Texas, was the visitor of Dorothy Warren over the weekend.

Walker and Heather Cupp and children, Lexi and Cade, were Saturday night guests of Becky Cupp.

May Alice Booker is a patient at Baptist Hospital in Oxford. Well wishes for a speedy recovery.

Ki and Nancy Jones and children, Mary Neely and Jake, returned from a recent trip to Ft. Morgan, Ala. Jack and Michelle Hagins joined the group after spending a couple of days in Gulfport.

(To put your news in City Personals, please e-mail; mail to City Personals, The South Reporter, P.O. Box 278, Holly Springs, MS 38635 or call 662-252-4261.

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Birth announcements

Andrew and Shana Clark are so blessed and proud to announce the arrival of Kinsey Sophia Clark, born Oct. 19, 2004. Welcoming her home are big sisters Shelly Ashlyn, seven-years-old, and Holly Elise, four-years-old, of Sharpsburg, Ga.
Grandparents are Larry and Farrah McAlexander of Oxford and Lois Clark of Natchez.
Great-grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Humphreys of Centerville; Lois Swaney and Verna McAlexander, both of Holly Springs.
Children are a gift from God
Proud parents, Phil and Prentis Boatwright, are announcing the birth of their little daughter, Caroline Nelle Boatwright, on August 2, 2005, at Baptist Women’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. She weighed seven pounds, six ounces and was 20 inches long.
Very proud grandparents are Eddie and Martha Boatwright and Tommy and Vernelle Winter, all of Holly Springs.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17

Lois Swanee
Museum Curator

Fond memories of a good friend

A fond memory lies in the hearts of all football alumni from Holly Springs, when they remember Nat Brooks, their friend, mentor, counselor, first aid man, and line coach. He also had an understanding and sympathic ear for all sorts of their trouble, whether it be with a girlfriend or with a fumbled ball on the three yard line. He had his own famous rubbing compound for the sore muscles of his athletes, which he called “The Nat Brooks Rub.” Nat’s gentle hands rubbed kinks out of three generations of aching backs.  He was born in Marshall County at a time when Marshall County was 70 percent black.

Nobody knows exactly when he was born, not even Nat, just as nobody knew exactly his exact title with the athletic department. He first was a friend to the team in 1909 or 1910. Some of the players with that first team were Fred Tyson, Howard Jones, Jesse Owen, Roderick McDermott, and Leroy Boatwright. Nat could give a history of every player from 1909 until he died. Nat took off time to be in World War I.

Once during the Depression, there was no money for football sweaters, so Nat went around town and asked for donations from businessmen and got the sweaters, including one for himself. Another time, Nat raked up $90 for a special bus to carry the players to a district game. He often drove his boys to dances and other social affairs to be sure they arrived home safely. 

He worked for awhile away from here as the “Rubber” of the heavyweight boxer  W. L. Stribling, who fought along with Max Schnelling, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney, but Nat would come home in the football season to be with his team. Money didn’t tempt him; it wasn’t about money. It was about love for his boys and their love for him. He was everybody’s best friend. He worked around locally, mostly at Sam Coopwood’s store. 

In appreciation, on several occasions, dollar bills were given to Nat. They stretched from one goal post to the other. Once the team went to another town to play a game on Friday night. Before the game the coach received word from the opposing team that Nat Brooks couldn’t sit on the bench; he would have to stay on the bus. So the team got back on the bus and came home without playing the game.

In life there’s nothing like a good friend. Nat Brooks was a good friend for over sixty years to all the Holly Springs High School athletes. He had more friends than anybody I ever heard of. The players loved him so, that when he died they wanted to bury him at the north end of the football field, but, of course, he wasn’t. He was buried in Colonel Walters lot at the cemetery. In 1976, his funeral was held in the school auditorium because no other place was large enough.

This is a story about love. It was a priviledge to be his friend. The devotion that Nat’s friends had for him was a once in a lifetime thing, a beautiful memory to last forever.

Of course, the story didn’t get picked up by the national newspapers. It wasn’t about controversy. It was about love.

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