Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Great BHS Goat Caper

By Glo Cunningham

As told to me by John Olan, with a phone call to Aaron W. to verify certain facts.

Background: Mr. Boss Smythe lived next door to the high school in a lovely brick house. Behind his house was a fenced in area in which he kept several goats.The goats, too, had a little house with a very small entrance.

Setting: Goats right next to the school.

Time: Mid 50's and mischievous teens with time on their hands.

Plan: Unanimous decision. One of these days" we are gonna put them goats in the library".

Halloween: What better time to do the unthinkable?

Who: Well, that is a little uncertain. Or should I say who all, because this sometimes varies depending on who is doing the "rememberin' and tellin".

Participants according to JohnO. and Aaron:Those two, of course, Billy Hamblin, Gene "Ace" McCary, Jimmy Wallis, Robert Thomas, Dr. "Bo" Henry Outlaw and whoever happened to be hanging out around the school that night.

Plan of Action: First catching the goats. Encountered a few problems here. Seems the goats weren't as willing to be caught as the boys anticipated. The goats headed for the tiny opening in their little sanctuary.

Dilemma: Somebody had to crawl in and get the critters out of their hiding place.
Who: John Olan was elected. ( He was skinny enough to slither through the goat-house door.)

(Writer's note: In my mind, I pictured something akin to a bucket brigade here where John O was shoving the unwilling goats out to someone inside the fence and who passed them to someone else outside the fence then to another who had to get them to the school library window to those who had pried the library window open to receive the purloined cud-chewers.)

Conclusion: Or so they thought. Mission Accomplished. The days and even years of promising and threatening to put goats in the library was Done, Finished. Hoorays all around. WE DID IT!!!!!

Now what good is it to accomplish such a feat it you can't brag about it?

Destination: Pool Room, of course.

Antagonist: Bobby Duncan, an older and perhaps wiser ( though his old nick-name does not imply that)guy who hung around the pool room listened to the story and decided the boys were not heroes after all.

Betrayal: Called J.B. BAKER who ( with help I'm sure) removed the animals after less than planned damage was done to the books.

As most remember, not much happened the the "goat boys".

Some parents were called, but no serious consequences resulted. John's father, Papa Red-Mr.O.O., a real no-nonsense kind of fellow, actually found a bit of humor in the prank. However, for many years to come when Mr. Baker would see John O. at ball games, he would ask him if he still smelled like a goat.

Now that the Cunningham version of the goat story has been recorded John O. wants the "Real story" about another Halloween Prank: Who put the fully assembled Wagon on top of the school?? Anyone remember this one?


  1. Thanks for the story, Glo, A must read!

    As far as the wagon is concerned, I think I can help somewhat - I probably know at least two of the guilty. I had the morning CA paper route and in those days we put the paper on the porch or behind the screen door if windy.

    School started a little before 8AM and I would wind my route down near the school. As I delivered Bud Rice's paper, "Dillard" (can't recall his first name) and Billy Wayne Castleberry were sitting on Bud's front porch watching the sight of the discovery. That, I think, being at 6:30 or so, puts the guilty at the scene.

    There had to be others. The wagon, I believe, was the one that was used as a baggage buggy at the depot. It wasn't large, but by no means small. In its' useful day, a horse or mule could be hitched to it for heavy hauling of baggage up the hill.

    Again, thanks for your contribution.

  2. I do not remember that incident, but do remember that a small car, I think a Nash metropolitan was stood up against the flagpole in front of the school near the water fountain. It may have belonged to a teacher (Kesler?)

    That was done during school hours, in daylight.

  3. Delightful story! Thanks Glo and John O. And thanks to Carl for creating this blog where we can share our memories and stories.

  4. Thanks for opening the blog, Carl, and thanks to everyone for the memorable stories. As one who has been away from the area, except for short visits, since '62, sure brings back many happy memories !

  5. I really don't remember that many details on the "Goat Caper" except that I climbed through the window into the library and caught the goats as they were passed in.

    When Mr. Baker "discussed" the matter with me, my defense was that, out of concern for possible injury to the goats, I had climbed in so I could prevent that from happening. In his very own gruff voice and manner, he pointed out a few other options and potential shortcomings to our plan!

    The "Goat Caper" was only a couple of months after the painting of "Go to Hell Booneville" on their schoolhouse. Again, my memory fades on the details, but maybe some other participants will contribute their recollections.

  6. david p said:

    "against the flagpole in front of the school near the water fountain."

    I certainly have a good recollection of that water fountain. At times the pressure was strong and would spray into the air it seems at least 15 feet.

    The pedal required lots of pressure and was hard to control. Even if you got used to it and could get a drink without a soaking, it was best to watch your backside or someone would stomp on it and drown you!

    I've gone to class wringing wet lots of times.

  7. Why didn't we think of this?

    School Prank

    Who says Today's Kids aren't smart ???????
    I wish I'd thought of this...

    At a high school in Montana a group of high schoolers played a prank on the school. They let three goats loose in the school. Before
    they let them go they painted numbers on the sides of the goats... 1, 2, 4.

    Local school administrators spent most of the day looking for #3.

  8. Who was the person that beat Mr. Baker up one day downtown? He had whipped his little brother pretty bad,and he had open cuts from the whipping.
    I remember Baker looked pretty bad the next day.
    Was it one of the Harky boys?


  9. Mr. Baker did get the bad end of a fight wit someone and had a bandage over an eye. It was not publicized very much. I don't know who did it.

  10. I don't wanna say nuttin' about the wagon "caper". I would be afraid that the ghost of Slim Weldon might come and get me.