By MATT CRANE
Roy Ruby will host a panel of former Mississippi State University athletes 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Starkville Cafe as a part of the continuing speaker series in honor of Starkville’s 175th birthday.
Charlie Weatherly, a former MSU football player, said he is excited to reunite with former athletes and current friends on the panel.
“We’ll be talking about MSU athletics as it relates to Starkville and the community back in our times,” Weatherly said. “We’ve got guys who played football, basketball and baseball.”
Along with Weatherly, the group speaking Wednesday will feature Kermit Davis, Bailey Howell, Ken Kurtz, Bill Stacy and J.E. Logan.
Weatherly said he was redshirted at the beginning of his MSU football career and went through the program with Stacy at the same time.
“I had the great please of catching a couple of his (Stacy’s) passes, one for a touchdown against Alabama,” Weatherly said. “We’ll have a lot of stories about our days at State.”
Weatherly said things were different for players back in his days of the 1950s, and the discussion will highlight the relationship between athletes and local businesses in the past.
“We’re going to try to indicate some of the good relationships that were formed with the merchants,” he said. “We knew we could always go down to Mullin’s Mens Wear, and they would give us a players discount.”
Weatherly said those relationships allowed for chances to connect with the Starkville community members who supported them.
“It gave me an opportunity to create friendships that last forever,” he said.
Paige Lawes, owner of Three Generations Tea Room in Starkville, has been an integral part of the year long celebration of Starkville’s birthday. She said the speaker series was formed to connect current generations to Starkville’s past.
“The reason I thought this would work is because it gives an idea of what has happened before,” Lawes said. “I think we need to take a look back.”
Lawes said with no official written history of Starkville available, the speaker series allows members of the community to know what came before them from a first hand account.
“There are many fun stories that can be told,” she said. “I think people will enjoy that.”