June 3, 1974

A story in the June 3, 1974, edition of the Watauga Democrat boldly stated in a headline “Hi (sic) School Seniors Accept Challenge,” during their commencement speeches.

The story stated that:

“Watauga High School’s senior class took ‘the challenge’ Friday night as they accepted their diplomas in graduation exercises in the school gymnasium.

“Students Bill Greene, Angela Greene and Eddy Gibson delivered graduation speeches on the topics of ‘The Challenge: Learning Teaching and Involvement.’

“Life in the complicated world of today is a problem,” Bill Greene said in his speech. “One must adapt to one’s surroundings and to the times. A well-rounded education is a help, but will twelve or sixteen or twenty years of schooling prepare one to live ten or five years from today?” Bill Greene questioned in his speech on learning.

“The answer is an emphatic, No!” he said. “Education is a teaching process. An embuling of basic knowledge, but life is a learning process, an acquiring, with the aid of acquired knowledge, of the means of existence.”

“Angela Greene expressed the challenge in teaching as one of learning to communicate knowledge to others or the benefit of all.

“As each of us move from the protection of school and probably home, we will essentially on our own and we must be able to impart information, knowledge and help in this society,” she said.

“Delivering the last of the three speeches, Eddy Gibson addressed to the topic of the loss of faith in American institutions.

“At the time of our graduation the people of the country are in trouble. They are in trouble because they have lost faith in their representatives in government and in their fellow citizens.”

May 30, 1988

Watauga’s knack of producing distance runners goes back to at least 1988, according to a May 30, 1988, story about the Pioneers’ boys’ 3,200-meter relay team winning a state championship.

“The Watauga High School boys’ track team felt the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, all in the game day,” the article started.

It continued by saying, “The thrill of victory came in the 3,200-meter relay, where the Pioneers claimed the state championship of the state 4-A Track and Field Championships, which were held here Friday.

“By a mere three-tenths of a second, the team of Andy Whatley, Jeff Graybeal, Patrick Phillips and Rob Mahoney edged out Richmond County for the title.

“The squad, which entered the championships with the best time in the state, making it one of the favorites to capture the event, finished with a time of 7:58.77.

“Richmond County was second with a time of 7:58.80 as Mahoney, who was running the anchor for the Pioneers, just did come across the wire ahead of his Richmond County counterpart.

“Later, Philips suffered the agony of defeat as he was disqualified from the 3,200-meter run a little more than 100 meters from the finish.

“On the last turn of the last lap, he and Northern Nash’s Sam Bobbitt were battling stride-for-stride for third when Bobbitt suddenly went down. Phillips was disqualified for what the lane judges said was impeding Bobbitt’s stride.”

June 1, 1998

A story in the June 1, 1998, edition of the Watauga Democrat told about a fire that broke out at a Sampson Road trailer residence that the Blowing Rock Fire Department responded to and put out.

“Still, the fire caused $8,000 of damage to the home’s structure and $2,000 to its contents, most in the form of smoke damage.”

“Second Capt. Angie Gregg of the Blowing Rock Fire Department said the fire was beginning to smolder when crews arrived at about 10 a.m. Without many flames to contend with, firefighters mainly worked to improve ventilation and locate any remaining hot spots,” the story said.

The article also reported that crews were able to respond faster thanks to a neighbors’ dog, who alerted its owner Verlene Huffman, who investigated and saw the smoke at her neighbor’s residence.

“(Huffman) then called 911 and fire-fighters were at the scene within minutes.”

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