1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Alex McLaughlin  Sept. 8, 2010

Someone once said that history is written by the winners. Alex Haley who wrote "Roots" is quoted as saying it. But most likely this adage has an older derivation. I am not sure that the “winners” always write history, particularly when the “winners” are not the superior participants in the competition.

Case in point. I got together recently with two of my long term Alderson boys, Allan Galloway and Rick Hughes and we began commiserating about the old days. We came to the conclusion that for every basketball game and every football game that we played in three years at Alderson High School that the seniors of 1961 were the best team on the field or the floor. Now there will be some that will say "yes, but I remember that Alderson played Rainelle back in the winter of 1961 in a basketball game."

I am glad that someone brings that game up. We played Rainelle in the sectional basketball game at Rainelle in our senior year. After much memory searching and analysis we have came up with the unassailable conclusion that we were the best team on the floor that night. Now there are revisionist historians that will say that Rainelle ended up with more points on the scoreboard.  A more in-depth analysis clearly shows that the scoreboard results were skewed because (1) the court was inordinately long and wide, (2) the size of the gym created a depth perception problem that affected our shooting, (3) Rainelle had the most hostile crowd, (4) they had a very tall team led by big John Barker which negated one of our strengths, and (5) very questionable refereeing. When all of that was taken into account it became clear to us that indeed the best team on the floor that night was Alderson High School. I am convinced that if we went through every game that we ever played that a through analysis would lead to the same conclusion.

At least in this case history was not written by the “winners”, who rightfully were us, but the misinformed and those who were easily swayed by all the glitter and glitz of the scoreboard. I forgot to mention the official scorer who most likely took points away from us and added points to the total of the Rainelle Rangers.

Now the more astute among you will determine that if we were the best team ever night how is it occasionally, as with the aforementioned Rainelle basketball game, did we end up on the short side of the scoreboard. That just goes to show you that not everyone is a trained historian that has put in the effort in to determine what really happened 50 years ago. History is not written necessarily by the winners but often by those still standing.

As an aside, Rick Hughes and I are prepared to file a gender discrimination suit against the Charleston Distance Run committee. When Rick ran into Laidley Stadium at the end of the race this year, they called out his name and his hometown over the microphone. This was not unusual. They do this for everyone. What was unusual is that they also called out his age. We are absolutely certain that they did not and would not have called out a woman’s age because any woman would have gone bonkers. Hence, our gender discrimination claim.