Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A cheerleader's recollections from back in the day

Hi Craig,

       Purchased and read November Ever After this past weekend. I attended Marshall University from 1972-76. I was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, the daughter of a high school coach who was a stand-out letterman at West Virginia State College.
       I remember the night of the plane crash even though I was just a sophomore in high school at the time. One of the things I remember about my time at Marshall is that no one spoke of the tragedy even though it had happened only two years earlier. It was only more recently that I fully realized how many wounded schoolmates and acquaintances were walking around on campus during those days.
       Your book mentioned some folks I hadn't thought about in three decades ... some I couldn't even remember. It was enlightening, to say the least. I was a cheerleader at MU, first for the freshman basketball team, and then for the varsity teams during my sophomore, junior and senior years.
       I did not know about the racially-motivated resistance to blacks on the (cheerleading) squad prior to Debbie. In 1970, Debbie Bailey-Bowen became the school’s first black cheerleader. Debbie was a senior my freshman year. I cheered on the varsity squad with Marilyn Johnson and Radine Anderson.
       By the time I arrived at Marshall, I think the racial tensions concerning the Kappa Alpha fraternity may have cooled out just a bit. I don't ever remember seeing the Stars & Bars (Confederate flag) at any Marshall games.
- Carol Richardson McCullough

Carol Richardson McCullough is a Marshall University graduate and former Thundering Herd cheerleader.


  1. I enjoy the articles on your blog. Keep it up!

  2. My very good friend Dave Riddell sent me a copy (a signed copy, thank you) of "November Ever After" as a Christmas present. Dave is a Marshall grad and I graduated from
    West Virginia State College (now University), a historically black college located in Institute, West Virginia, which is near Charleston (state capital). Dave and I have been rabid Thundering Herd football fans since the mid 60’s and we suffered through the tragedy and many lean years of football. So, you can imagine how far our chests were stuck out during the 90’s! It was difficult to put down the book once I started. And I did so only once. I appreciate the time you took to pierce the veil of many folks who repressed their feelings and emotions in their subconsciousness.
    And I appreciate that you brought to light the mounting tensions between black and white students, a topic that seems to have been overlooked by other authors. Again, thank you for sharing the insightful details about the affected friends of players during that difficult time at Marshall.

  3. Cannot wait to order the book and revisit MU in the 70's. Marilyn Johnson MU Varsity Cheerleader