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Friday, May 20, 2011

A Flash Mob Story of 1947



When I see the commercial of the fellow at the station that breaks into a cheer only to find out the the Flash Mob has been rescheduled, I am reminded of a story my Dad tells.

He and at least 8 other WWII vets returned home to MS to attend Southwest Junior College in Summit, MS, during the summer of 1947. They called themselves The Plowshare Boys. My Dad, Paul Smith, and Jerry Clower, renowned comedian and pundit, were members. The Plowshare Boys had a pact. Anytime the song "I Saw the Light" by Hank Williams was heard, they would all stand and sing along.

At least 9 of the men had an English Lit class during the noon hour in a classroom above the Student Union. In the Student Union was a juke box with the Hank Williams record. And most days, someone would drop money in the juke box to play this song. When this happened, these proud vets would all stand and sing "I Saw the Light." 

Luckily for them, their teacher, Ms. Brown, never objected. When the song ended, all sat down and class resumed as if nothing had happened.

Through the years, my dad has sung this song as he walks through the house. We usually joined in. Today he plays Hank Williams on his CD player and tells us often of his days at Southwest. My mother met him when he was a Plowboy and they married within the year. They raised 5 daughters who can all sing along to a Hank Williams song.

We recently lost my mother. We played and sang "I Saw the Light" at her memorial service.