George West High School football films from 1954 to the early 1980s sit in a closet deteriorating.
GWHS got rid of them years ago. One man who couldn’t see them thrown away took them home and thus saved them.
Other individuals it seems took a game or two as well, so we do not have them all.
Later, he gave them to the Grace Armantrout Museum, where they have taken up space in a closet, and deteriorated further.
When old film begins to smell like vinegar, it is deteriorating. As time goes on, it will turn to a powder and the gasses from it will corrode the metal tin it is in, and any metal nearby.
To convert them to digital format is not cheap. So what do you do?
Our greatest desire would to be save them all. Our minimum hope would be to save the ones where George West played Three Rivers and by doing so, save the ones that would connect to the most people in our immediate area.
After the minimum, we would add the playoff years of 1958 and 1963 for George West, and then one from each year not covered by the first two criteria.
We had a benefactor who offered to fund personally the conversion of the films that contained both George West and Three Rivers.
His connection being a past coach himself, a Three Rivers Bulldog alumni, and his father was one of the coaches of the Three River’s football team of that era.
He, himself, is not in the games because Three Rivers did not play George West during the years he was in high school. He gave us enough financial support to go forward with at least our minimum desire for the films.
As we looked at the pricing just before meeting with the Dobie West Theatre Board, just before Thanksgiving, we found the company had a sale which would allow for us to do double the number for the same price.
We didn’t feel we could, in fairness and honesty, ask the Bulldog to fund George West only games so we returned part of his money, but placed the order, confident we would have others help with the additional films we would now be able to do.
That brought us to my article in last week’s Progress newspaper, submitted on Friday for the following Wednesday edition.
Out of the normal way I do things, on Wednesday the article appeared in The Progress, I followed it by posting on my Facebook page.
We began to immediately get response. One caller, a good supporter and benefactor to the museum, called and offered to back the needed $600 mentioned in the article and specifically with interest that the Three Rivers films be saved.
Sallie asked that he hold off on that donation to let us hear from the George West people.
By word of mouth, a George West man heard of what we were doing and he called me to tell me that he and his two brothers would be glad to help and he would be contacting others from George West to help as well, possibly donating to get certain full years converted.
A lady on Facebook contacted us, and said she would give $100 towards games from two specific years with her father in them.
She later contacted us back to say that they would donate to convert an entire year and then three from the next year.
She then said her mother jokingly said, “He better have been as good as he said he was.”
Yet another lady contacted us offering $1,000 to use towards getting another three (specific) years converted, years her father-in-law played.
We began with the minimum of our hopes, and surpassed that.
As we still get pledges, we are able to add some complete years, as well.
To convert all the films we have would be just under $7,000. As I write this, only one day after the plea, remember my deadline is Friday, we have $1,500 in hand, pledges for $1,100 more, or closer to $1,400 more, and with people from whom we are waiting to hear back, and potentially others from whom we will be hearing from that have not moved as fast.
That means we should be able to do more than half of all the films. I told you we needed help, and help we are getting to preserve Live Oak County history.
There is an added benefit to being able to convert games other than the George West vs. Three Rivers games.
With each additional game converted, we will be preserving history of other schools George West played as well. To a somewhat lesser degree, they will benefit from what we do here with this project.
I would like to update you on Daniel Eugene Goodin, whom I wrote about two weeks back.
He was the veteran whose name appears on the Vietnam Wall and for which a search is being done to find a photograph of him.
We had a limited amount of information with which to work, the main being he is buried in Three Rivers and his father Fred Goodin is buried in California.
One website related to the Vietnam Wall has communications from four of his siblings, a brother and three half siblings.
His memorial on Find-A-Grave links him to a mother, a woman who is buried with his father. It is very unlikely that is his mother, as his mother was divorced from his father, and later married a man named Faulk.
The plot in which Daniel is buried in Three Rivers was purchased by John Faulk. If the mother was remarried, it is very unlikely she would have her first husband’s last name and be buried with him in a National Cemetery.
Fred Goodin had remarried as well.
Daniel had a troubled life, spending time in several foster homes along the way. Since his 1/2 siblings are Faulks, and the man that paid for the plot in which he is buried is a Faulk, it is likely John Faulk was his step-father.
John Faulk had some connection to this area. Think back to 1971 and see if anyone remembers a Faulk family, a John Faulk, and a soldier who died in Vietnam being buried in Three Rivers.
You, the readers of mine and Sallie’s articles in The Progress, and readers of our articles as they are posted to the Grace Armatrout Museum Facebook page, have already proved you are an awesome and very helpful people, more than once.
A great thank you for all that help. Please see if we can help find out more of this young veteran’s story that might help us track down a photograph, so his face will be remembered.
If you can help us, contact us on Facebook or at 361-449-3325.