Posted in Personal History by Central Alumni

The Varsity by Marshall Harris

The Varsity Varsity, located across from Central, was where you wanted to be.  It was the first place to go every morning before school, to meet your friends and listen to the latest jukebox hits of the day.  It was also the perfect place to end the school day before heading home.  You could drink a Coke, make new friends and of course, enjoy the music while learning the latest dance steps.  Bill Hay the owner, always made you feel welcome.  He allowed us to bring in new records for the jukebox and if it proved popular, it remained.  He provided great selections of gifts and Valentine’s candy and was kind enough to let us charge it, if we spent more than we had in our pocket.  I usually bought 5 or 6 heart shaped boxes for my best girl friends.  However, the center of attention was always the jukebox, because it attracted the girls who wanted to dance.  That’s how I managed to get free dance lesson’s in those days.  Sometime, during the year of ’62, Bill bought a new 1963 Corvette.  From my fading memory, I think it was silver. We joked with Bill about how we actually helped pay for his new car with all the money we put in that Jukebox over the years. At the time, he said the salesman told him it would be a classic.  With it’s split back rear window, it proved to be a classic indeed.  However, that design was never used again because of complaints about visibility through the rear view mirror.  Good thing it had side mirrors!  Bill Hay often was invited to attend some school functions like parties and proms.  I remember him getting up and singing at one of our proms.  He loved to sing, “That Old Black Magic,” especially if we goaded him enough.  Historically, as I understand it, the Varsity originally opened on the corner of the Central property around 1956.  It later moved across Dodds Avenue when Central bought the property to make the school’s baseball field.  Bill later opened a place in East Ridge, near Kingwood Pharmacy some time in 1967 or 68.  This probably means the Varsity closed in 1966 or 67.  This seems to coincide with the demolition of our Central.  The Varsity was an important social addition during our time at Central.  A time that gave us all some wonderful memories.  Good friends, beautiful girls and happy times.  Marshall Harris, Class of ‘62

Author:

Graduated from Central in 1965. Had the honor of being Mr. Central 1965. Started on the Central Basketball Team for three years and was a member of the Track Team in my senior year. Shared command with Bryant Millsaps of the Central JROTC unit in my senior year. Other activites at Central are documented in the 1963 -1965 Champions. Received an athletic scholarship and played Division I College Basketball for four years. When I graduated from Auburn in 1969, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corps and served 25 years on active duty, retiring in 1994. Some of the military awards I earned include the Legion of Merit, one Meritorious Service Medal for Achievement, six Meritorious Service Medals for Service, Joint Service Medal for Achievement, two Army Commendations Medals, and Viet Nam Service Medal. After retirement in 1994, I became a Real Estate Broker until my second retirement in 2010. I am passionate about Central History and am pleased to be Administrator of this Blog/Site.

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