|Note the add-on laces for the dancing shoes.|
|Dresses were made in home ec class.|
Miss Kay (Kay Wilkins) ran an extraordinarily tight ship and during her years at the tiny school, retired the Old Smokey trophy of the Mountain Youth Jamboree and won three national championships. I don't know which was more prestigious, but let's just say she had credentials.
Miss Kay is in a nursing home in Marion, N.C., now, closing in on 90. A couple of years ago, I wrote a story about her for Blue Ridge Country magazine ("The Ballad of Miss Kay" won an international award) and turned that piece into the novel CLOG! recently.
|Miss Kay's license plate.|
Today, I was back at the old school for our 50th reunion and visited the virtual shrine to Miss Kay that is her old room these days. These photos contain some of what I found. I toured the room with former Wildcat dancer Regenia Street Clark, who filled in some of the details for me. Regenia was on at least one of the national title teams.
|Her coaching jacket (with whistle).|
The dancers, developed by Miss Kay (who also coached basketball) were extraordinary and she was creative beyond words, always keeping a step (dance step, that is) ahead of the competition. I watched her teams at a distance. With my mouth open. Some of our football players danced for her. They always said square dancing was much tougher. I had no doubt.
|Hand-made boys and girls costumes.|
|This is the tiny school auditorium where the national champion square dance team performed.|