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Friday, November 24, 2017
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  • Linden Cheerleaders Part 1
    Monday, July 3, 2017 4:00 AM
    What would high school basketball be without cheerleaders? It would be as boring as the NBA where their cheerleaders are just performers. High school cheerleaders in the early days actually led cheers and raised the spirit of the team and the crowd. They were perfectionists and had a variety of chants and cheers to keep the crowd in the game.
    This series of columns is for any parent who has ever watched sons and / or daughters as cheerleaders for their high school basketball team. We have written about the Denhart family and the six Denhart boys who played basketball for Linden and North Montgomery. You will remember that the Denharts had basketball goals all over the farm; there were goals in the barn, outside in the barnlot and in the basement of the house. You can only imagine the noise and the shaking of the house when the boys started going one-on-one. The same thing can be said of households where there were cheerleaders. When cheerleader tryouts came about every year in the basketball-crazy Hoosier state, cheerleaders everywhere rolled up rugs, pushed all the furniture to the sides and the rooms and practiced their routines—routines that had to be perfectly synchronized. Basketball players could always free-lance a little, but the cheerleaders had to always be together.
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  • Larry Rice: 500 Miles from Linden-Part 2
    Monday, June 26, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    The break Larry needed materialized in 1978 when he met a race fan from Lima, Ohio. The fan knew an owner who was building a car and, being an admirer of Larry’s driving skills, repeatedly told this owner of Larry Rice. When the car owner had completed the car, he called Larry to offer him a ride in the Indianapolis 500. Larry’s luck had taken a big upswing!!
    Driving the car entered by Robert LaWarre, Sr. of Lima, Ohio, Larry survived Bump day and qualified 30th of 33 drivers. On May 28, 1978, Larry had reached a race driver’s pinnacle and was in the starting field of the Indy 500, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Larry drove a steady race before the engine of his #35 Lightening-Offenhauser blew on lap 186 of the 200 lap race. Larry was in 11th place when the winning car crossed the finish line. Larry was awarded Co-Rookie of the year with a driver named Rick Mears. (If you are Indy 500 race fan, you may have heard of him. Mears only went on to win FOUR Indianapolis 500 races.) The team earned $22,750 and Larry used his driver’s share winnings to build a new house in Brownsburg. Things were certainly looking up for Larry Rice’s racing career!
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  • Larry Rice: 500 Miles from Linden Part 1 of Larry Rice
    Monday, June 19, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written By Keith Airey
    Montgomery County has produced many fine basketball players throughout its rich basketball history. Many credit the disciplines learned while competing in basketball with assisting them in their professional endeavors. Individuals develop passions to become doctors, engineers, dentists, teachers, businessmen, farmers, police officers, etc; A Linden Bulldog had two major passions as he progressed through high school. Larry Rice pursued becoming a good basketball player and race car driver. Not too many Montgomery County players grew up to race in two Indianapolis 500s. While growing up, Larry Rice had the determination to be successful in his two passions. 

    Larry Wayne Rice was born on March 24, 1946 to Bob and Thelma Rice. The Rice family resided a quarter mile north of Linden on the west side of 231 North. They also had a daughter, Beth, who was one year younger than Larry. At Linden, it was customary for boys to begin playing basketball at 10 years of age in the fifth grade. Also, around age 10, unbeknownst to most members of the community, Larry began racing quarter midgets on weekends.
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  • Bill Raynes makes ultimate WWII sacrifice – Final Part
    Monday, June 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Allied charge to take Okinawa began April 1, 1945 as Bill’s Sixth Division attacked along with the 1st and 2nd Division. The last great battle of WWII had begun. The battle of Okinawa would not only be the last battle of WWII, but the longest and bloodiest. It would take 82 days, from April 1 until June 22 for hostilities to end. The eventual victory at Okinawa would come at the cost of 12,520 American soldiers killed or missing and 63,000 wounded. 90% of the buildings on Okinawa were destroyed.
    Gunnery Sergeant Bill Raynes did not survive the Battle of Okinawa, 55 days into the terrible fighting, on May 25, Bill was killed in action. Bill had been in the Marines for almost 4 years before being killed instantly by mortar fragmentation that struck him in the head. Bill received from the Marines posthumously the Asiatic-Pacific Medal on June 1, 1945 and the Purple Heart on August 13, 1948. 
    Following the devastating Okinawa fighting, the Allies planned to make the final invasion of the Japanese homeland in November, 1945. American military planners feared that the invasion loss would be another half million lives. The atomic bombs were dropped in early August 1945 and the Japanese surrendered. 
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  • Bill Raynes makes ultimate WWII sacrifice Part 2
    Monday, June 5, 2017 4:00 AM
    By 1943, the US Navy had won several decisive victories on the Pacific Ocean and had wrested control from the Japanese Navy. The Allies’ strategy now was to take the offensive and begin the arduous task of advancing toward the Japanese mainland in hopes of defeating the Japanese. The Marines and Army in the Pacific Theatre were presented with a difficult job. The Japanese infiltrated and entrenched themselves on any island in the South Pacific that provided strategy and resources to their war effort.. The Marines were normally called upon to land first on the hostile islands while the Japanese waited in their fortifications to open fire on the US soldiers slogging ashore on the open beaches and moving sands. 
    This grueling process of taking island by island was named “Island Hopping”. The Allied command decided which islands needed to be wrestled away from the Japanese and which Japanese-infested islands could be bypassed. As each island taken brought the Allies closer to mainland Japan, the Americans invaders encountered greater Japanese desperation and Japan’s strict military code that required their soldiers to fight to the death and not be captured alive. Each island victory brought with it a staggering American death toll.
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  • Monday, May 29, 2017 11:35 PM
    Millions of young men in the United States volunteered for the armed services after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. World War II had begun and the US and its allies fought for freedom against the Axis powers of Germany, Japan and Italy. Thousands of young US soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in the years from 1941-45. William (Bill) Arthur Raynes, a former Linden High School basketball player in the class of 1940, was one of those brave soldiers who gave all.
    Bill Raynes grew up in the Russellville, Indiana area in Putnam County. He lived with his mother, Elizabeth Potter, and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Potter. The family moved to the Linden area during Bill’s high school years. Bill was the vice-president of his senior class in 1940 and everybody liked him, according to an underclassman of the time.
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  • Clint Wilkins and the World War II Parachute
    Tuesday, May 9, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    It was not supposed to be sent home. It was against Army Air Corps regulations. Maybe the footlocker wasn’t checked because he was a highly respected First Lieutenant Corps pilot, the veteran of numerous bombing missions. Maybe it was passed over because there wasn’t a locked padlock, just a short stick through the bracket to keep it closed. The contents of the footlocker made it back from Far East Asia to the farm in Linden, Indiana. This story’s subject is Clint Wilkins and the World War II parachute. 
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  • Clint Wilkins and the World War II Parachute Part 2
    Monday, May 8, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    Next, Clint was sent to Salinas, California, where the Army put together the 10-men crews that were to man the bombers. Each crew had a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, coordinates navigator, ball-turret belly gunner, nose gunner, tail gunner, waist gunners, etc; these new crews trained in the Nevada desert in combat techniques to best protect their bomber as they would soon face menacing enemy fighters. These fighters would be desperate to shoot the bombers out of the air before they could deliver their payload of bombs. In late 1944, Clint and crew returned to Salinas to pick up their shiny, brand-spanking new B-24 Liberator bomber.
    Assigned to the 380th Bomb Group, nicknamed the “Flying Circus”, Clint and the crew departed to Hickam Air Force Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They then proceeded on to a base in New Guinea in the South Pacific. Now the lucky parachute issued Clint would take on even more importance.
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  • Monday, April 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    After his commission as an Army helicopter pilot and ten days after traveling home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, Bill was deployed to South Vietnam. He arrived on Dec. 7, 1967 and began flights on Dec. 11 from Bearcat Base 10 miles north of Saigon. On Dec. 14, one week after arrival, Bill was killed when the craft he was piloting caught fire during a combat mission due to mechanical failure. Bill had volunteered for an additional combat assault mission and was leaving the landing zone. He and his crew were returning to pick up another load of combat troops. For an unknown cause, Bill’s helicopter transmission froze and the craft crashed into the jungle canopy near Phan Thieu at a high rate of speed, killing himself and all others aboard. Bill had been in country one week.
    Bill’s body arrived back in Linden on Dec. 21, 1967. With the Christmas holiday fast-approaching, the calling was held at Linden’s King Funeral Home on Saturday, Dec. 23. On Sunday, Bill’s funeral services were held at the Linden-Kirkpatrick Methodist Church. Following the service, WO Bill Clawson was laid to rest at the Linden Cemetery with full military rites conducted by a detail from Fort Benjamin Harrison.
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  • Bill Clawson: Linden’s Vietnam Hero
    Monday, April 17, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    Over 58,000 American soldiers, women and men, lost their lives in the Vietnam Conflict between 1959 and 1973. The Vietnam War raged in Southeast Asia through the mid-sixties and early seventies. At the height of the war in 1969, 543,000 U.S. soldiers were serving in Vietnam. American boys, mainly 18-20 years of age, were sent to mysterious places named Hue, Khe Sanh, Long Binh, the Mekong Delta, DaNang, Quang Tri Province, etc. Many towns, villages, and bergs dotted all across the United States suffered the loss of maybe one, two, or more of their favorite sons to the Vietnam War.
    Montgomery County lost a total of 10 young men. New Ross lost Samuel Benge (A 1967 Blue Jay graduate and cheerleader), Wingate gave Samuel Howard, and from Darlington Carl Alexander and Harold Abbott were fatally injured. The community of Linden was no different. William (Bill) K. Clawson, former Linden High School basketball guard and track star in the class of 1961, died of injuries sustained in Vietnam.
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  • Triumph and tragedy in 1948
    Monday, April 10, 2017 4:00 AM
    Special thanks to Keith Airey for his contributions
    The year of 1948 was a year of triumph and tragedy for the Bulldog basketball family. Led by senior Al Brown and juniors Bob Vail and James “Bud” Kitsmiller, the Bulldogs won the County Tourney in January by defeating Ladoga 35-31, Alamo 46-31 and Waynetown 47-42. Bob Vail led all scorers in the tourney with 47 points, Bud Kitsmiller had 29 and Al Brown had 25.
    Tragedy struck in February as popular junior cheerleader, Kathleen Goode was killed in a car accident as she was on the way to the Covington ball game with her brother. Kathleen was a member or the class of 1949 and had been a cheerleader her sophomore and junior years. Her parents established a Good Citizen Award in her name and presented the honor to the outstanding member of the senior class every year.
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  • The Bulldog who could sing
    Monday, April 3, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    Some people have dreams in their life, but never act upon them and sometimes people have regrets all their life. Life gets busy, children and responsibilities appear, and sacrifices have to be made. This is the story of a Linden Bulldog from the class of 1949 who, in time, followed his love of music.
    Morris L. Smith was born Dec. 2, 1930 near Wingate to Bernard and Pearl Smith, the sixth of seven children. Morris had three brothers and three sisters who all graduated from Linden High School.
    Morris was a reserve guard on the 1948 Linden Bulldog Montgomery County Basketball Champs. In Morris’s junior year, he scored a single point and in his 1949 senior year he accumulated 18 points. Woodrow Barton, team manager from the class of 1948, described Morris as a fine student, musician, teammate, and practice player. All teams need good practice players to be ready as substitutes and challenge the starting five every practice.
    At Linden High School, Morris was a talented music student, playing an excellent trombone and singing in the choirs. Morris had a beautiful tenor voice, singing solos and in quartets. There is a 1949 plaque in the Linden Public Library for first place in the All-State Vocal Solo Contest to attest to his musical prowess in singing.
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  •  Don White Part Two
    Monday, March 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Polio, sometimes called infantile paralysis, is a serious infection caused by a virus. Many infants and children before 1955 were struck by the disease that attacked the nerves in muscles. In 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the vaccine that has all but eliminated polio in developed countries. Linden High School had a varsity player from 1947-1949 who refused to allow polio to affect him through his determination, strength, and courage. That was Don White and this is the second part of his story. Editor’s Note: Bill Boone would like to give a special thank you and credit to Keith Airey for his contribution to this column. 
    Although Don was not a high scorer, he averaged 8.8 points as a junior and 8.2 as a senior. One highlight of his basketball career was starting and contributing on the 17-5 1948 Linden Montgomery County Champs.
    Another highlight of Don’s career was on his 16th birthday. The Linden center was ejected from the game for rough play. Don took advantage of the center’s absence and scored 16 points on his 16th birthday!
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  •  Final years of Floyd Miller at Linden
    Monday, March 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    Floyd Miller wore 11 ½ and when they were lined up for a free throw, he’d notice Fritz’s long feet over the line by a couple inches. Floyd would nudge Fritz and say, “All right, get those big feet back.” They’d laugh and he’d pull back. One other unusual game that year was with a team from Melott. The game was at Linden and in spite of a good reputation the opposing team couldn’t hit anything. Linden ran up a score of 34-0 before Melott scored. At the beginning of the 2nd half, the Linden coach put in the 2nd team. The other coach put in his 2nd team, too.
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  •  Floyd Miller Era Part 3
    Monday, March 6, 2017 4:00 AM
    Another excerpt from this 1925-27 section tells about a middle school tournament and the Clarks Hill gymnasium of that time.
    A basketball tournament at the Crawfordsville YMCA took place that year. One of the requirements was that the boy must weigh less than 120 pounds, and Floyd qualified. Linden played the Crawfordsville Midgets who were very good. Linden was eliminated after the first game – 72-6. In the newspaper write-up the following Monday the only mention of Linden was “Miller was the outstanding player with two field goals.”
    Clarks Hill gym was in a Quonset type building. There were bleachers on one side with 7 foot enclosures on both ends. The dressing area had a pot belly stove, but no toilet or shower. The team went outside (to use the restroom).
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