Paige Davis: Wanoca Boy

Published 1:28 am Friday, July 29, 2011

Paige Davis is a Wanoca Boy. He’s also an insurance agent with Sia-Tideland Insurance in Washington. By the way, Wanoca stands for Washington, North Carolina.

My friend and former mentor, Bartow Houston, stirred my memory bank with his words about Kugler Field. I am a Wanoca Boy – Charlotte Street from Main Street to the hospital and to the river (Runyon Creek). I grew up two blocks from said facility. What a place!
In 1956, my family was eating dinner when “Choppy” Wagner walked in. “Gilbert,” he said to my father, “you have got to keep Paige away from football practice. He is bothering my boys.”
That same day I had watched Bartow and Fritz Tanner run into each other, not once, but twice. I think my laughter might have been a distraction.
Girls’ fast-pitch softball did not originate with the female gender. A thriving league existed — yes, men at Kugler Field. Manuel Housley and Ben Woolard could bring the heat in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
Does anyone but me remember the Goat Man? He traveled eastern North Carolina in a wagon pulled by goats. Again, Kugler Field. How about the yearly horse show? They had, or said so anyway, the only living horse that survived a broken leg. How about Ricky Lanier, a Beaufort County boy who played football for Williamston? I saw him throw seven touchdown passes in the first half against P.S. Jones High School.
From pee-wee softball to the King and His Court, from seventh- and eighth-grade football to fantastic high-school contests, from the January burning of discarded Christmas trees, to more than one little girl being kissed behind the bleachers — Kugler Field is full of memories belonging to the children of Washington and Beaufort County.
Wow! What a place!