Still Warriors at heart

Front row from left, Ellie Glasscox, Larry Simmons, Allen Fulton, Steve Luker, Eddie Williams, and back row from left, Herman Watts, Donnie Kennedy, Ron Jones, Randy McDonald and Owen Butts. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Each Thursday morning at the new Alabaster McDonald’s, you can find some of our area’s best-known retired coaches, teachers and administrative staff from Thompson High School.

I had the pleasure of being a guest last week, and the fun, stories, disappointments and accomplishments were told as fast as everyone could catch their breath.

“The Retired Warriors Breakfast Club was originally formed to keep Herman Watts from going crazy after retiring from Alfa Insurance with 38 years of service,” quipped Allen Fulton.

Next is Randy McDonald with a total of 43 years in education and Ron Jones with five years at Thompson Elementary School and five years at THS until he became the owner of Metro Goals. Now he is an international amateur golfer and man of ease. Former coach Eddie Williams with a total of 25 years in education and now in real estate is another member of the group. Then there is coach Donnie Kennedy with 15 years at THS and then pharmaceutical sales. Owen Butts, Coach Larry Simmons, former principal and coach for 24 years and crazy, likeable and funny Coach Eddie Glasscox whose always-upbeat attitude endears him to everyone. He put in his 32-and-a-half years at THS, retired to be a “goof-off,” a golfer and a ranch/cattle baron.

I asked how many cows he had and he said “A little less than 500.” Then one of the other coaches said “Yes Eddie, four is a little less than 500.”

Steve Luker, former 1971 player, and son of Martha Luker, who was Larry Simmons’ secretary for many years, attended also. He is a quiet man who truly seemed to enjoy all the “old timers” for the stories and laughs.

Everyone in Shelby County knows that Larry Simmons and Ellie Glasscox were the amazing duo who led Thompson to the state football championship in 1983. These two are still big buddies and tease each other unmercifully.

There have been births, deaths, personal tragedies, jobs in the business world, new country homes for several of them, new horizons and accomplishments, but the bond of friendship forged years ago is still alive and active within this group of friends.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached  by e–mail at