Kinney (Marietta High School Class of 1941) was a three-year letterman in baseball who began writing as a part-time “stringer” for the old Cobb County Times newspaper in 1938. Back then, his nickname was “Scoop.”
“I covered Marietta High School sports back in those days as a ‘cub’ reporter — free of charge!” Kinney told Around Town on Monday.
He also was a substitute second baseman for the baseball team.
“We barely had enough players to field a football team,” he recalled.
Asked why he didn’t play football as well as baseball, he answered, “Shoot, I was keeping score!”
“I could write a bit but I couldn’t play very well,” he said. “I was too small for football and not tall enough for basketball. … Football was the biggest sport there back then, just like it is now.”
The Blue Devils’ biggest rivalry game back then during the Coach Jode Hollis era was the annual contest with Cartersville High at Thanksgiving. The Blue Devils’ star player was quarter back Arthur Bacon, future Smyrna mayor and (later) the father of longtime current Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon.
KINNEY, 89, retired from the MDJ in February and now spends most of his time watching TV and going to doctors, he told Around Town.
After graduation he went on to cover MHS (and other local schools) as a reporter and sports writer for the Times and (on weekends for) the Atlanta Journal, and later as publisher of the old Smyrna Herald (now the Smyrna Neighbor), editor of the MDJ and weekly “Around Town” columnist. A lifelong supporter of Blue Devils athletics and season ticket holder for a half-century, he was the recipient of the Marietta City Schools Distinguished Alumni Award in 1988 and later was instrumental in the creation of the MCS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Kinney recalls attending the dedication of Northcutt Stadium at the old Marietta High School on Winn Street in 1940.
“I probably covered it,” he said. “I just don’t remember.”
OTHER INDUCTEES will be Ed Baskin (MHS Class of ’48), a four-sport letterman in football, basketball, baseball and track, and later captain of the Georgia Tech track team; David Russell Chambliss (MHS ’94), a three-sport letterman in cross country, wrestling and track and the MDJ Cobb County Athlete of the Year in 1994; Jason King (MHS ’98), a two-year letterman in football, four-year starter at Valdosta State and named to three All-American teams in 2001; and Sarah Trew (MHS ’01), a four-year letter winner in golf, the MDJ’s Golfer of the Year in 2000, currently head golf coach at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Being inducted in the “Team” category will be the 1948 North Georgia Interscholastic Conference Championship Varsity Boys Track Team. It was coached by legendary MHS Coach James “Red” Pressley and consisted of members Richard Anderson, Baskin, George Bishop, William Garner, Boland Glover, Larry Johnson, Julian LeRoy, Ben Northcutt, Joe Ed Smith, John Tate, Robert West and Don Keenum (manager).
The Hall honors those who brought recognition, honor and distinction to Marietta through outstanding contributions to the athletic program at Marietta High School, at the former Lemon Street High School, at the collegiate level or beyond.
The Hall of Fame Luncheon will be at noon Sept. 20 in Marietta High’s seminar room. All inductees also will be recognized during half-time of the Marietta football game that evening. For tickets to the ceremony and more info, contact the athletic office at Marietta High School.
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POLITICS: Ward 2 Marietta School Board candidate Jason Waters will host a campaign kickoff and BBQ at 4 p.m. July 27 at The Anderson Family Farm, 1100 Burnt Hickory Road in Marietta. Hosts are Veronica and Tee Anderson, Brittney and David Bottoms, Katrina and David Elliott, Amber and Robert Harris, Emilie and Whit Smith, Stephanie and Matt Swanson, Carrie and Jud Thompson and Katie and Daniel White. Suggested donation is $25 a person or $50 per family.
COBB NAACP President Deane Bonner will be recognized at the 104th national annual convention of that group in Orlando this week for recruiting more than 100 members in the past year. Also attending from Cobb are Jeriene Grimes, Mattie Small, Sylvia Ramey, Demetria Patton, Sydnee Grimes and Bria Bringham.
JULY is usually the deadest month on the theater calendar. But not this year; not at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on Marietta Square. In fact, this July is already the busiest month in the facility’s history, at least in terms of fundraising.
The Friends of the Strand has taken in more than $200,000 already this month, reports Friends head Earl Smith. Last week’s Call-a-Thon raised more than $100,000; the Motown show more than $60,000, plus $9,000 from a Sunday matinee; and last Thursday’s showing of “Mama Mia” more than $8,000 (plus bar). The theater also has stayed busy with summer music camp running at capacity.
In short, the departure of the Lyric Theatre hasn’t hurt the Strand’s bottom line.
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ELF ALERT: For all the “Elf on the Shelf” fans out there put it on your calendar — Marietta authors Carol Abersold and Chanda Bell will host a sneak preview of their new Christmas-themed book on Oct. 20 at the Cumberland Mall Barnes & Noble. It’s the much-anticipated follow-up to their first “Elf” book, which has sold more than 5 million copies since the mother-daughter team self-published the original in 2005. Their company has grown from a shoe-string living-room operation to one that employs 40 people in Cobb, a number that will likely grow to 70 by the time the holiday season rolls around, Abersold says.
THE MABLETON Improvement Coalition will host a public meeting to discuss preservation possibilities for the Civil War-related Chattahoochee River Line (aka “Johnston’s River Line”) at 7 p.m. today in Barnett Gathering Room of the Middle School Building at Whitefield Academy, 1 Whitefield Drive in Mableton. The Line features some of the most unusual earthen fortifications dug during the war, some of which are in county hands. For more information, contact Robin Meyer at 770-948-5394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PEOPLE: The Marietta Rotary Club has elected new officers for 2013-14: Russ Wood as president, Glen Owens as president’s advisor, Dawn McEachern as president-elect, Susan Upchurch as secretary, Chris Bailey as treasurer and Chad Wittemore as assistant treasurer.
The Club also handed out its annual awards. The Norman Shipley Award went to Doug Haynie; The James T. Anderson Award to Lesia Miller-Schnur; the Rotarian of the Year to Dale Covington; Presidential Awards to Dan Kirk and Richard Cope, Past President Mark Barbour, Walt Walker and Neva Lent; and The Henry Hill Award to Bill Dunaway. Lent, Miller-Schnur and James Eubanks were awarded Paul Harris Fellows Awards. ... Lassiter High grad Mark Bloom, son of retired Cobb Magistrate Judge Joan Bloom and retired Lassiter soccer coach Neil Bloom, has moved up to Major League Soccer, the sport’s highest rung. His contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League was purchased last week by Toronto FC.