No. 1 These are random thoughts from the fifth grade to this past Friday. In fact, the thoughts actually go back before my birth. One woman in my thoughts I met in fifth grade. Another woman in my thoughts was in my parent’s wedding. This week those two women were connected to each other in a way that not even Hollywood would believe. Their story blows my mind.
No. 2 Schools integrated in McMinnville when I was in fourth grade. It was in fifth grade that really made the impression on me, and Babs Biles made the difference to me. I am talking more about personality than race, but I was white and she was black. It was a cross-cultural experience meeting her.
No. 3 When I walked into my fifth-grade class on the first day of the school year, what I saw is as vivid to me as though it happened yesterday. On the very back row with a big afro and large, gold-circle earrings looking like she was on
the Mod Squad was Babs Biles.
I was mesmerized, and her friend sitting next to her, Phyllis Smith, started saying something about me looking at Babs … and both Babs and Phyllis started laughing. Babs was the coolest girl I had ever seen.
No. 4 The other woman in my thoughts is Mary Don Bixby, who was in my parents' wedding. She is the little girl pictured next to my mom. Mary Don was actually forced to babysit me and my sister a few times in my youth. It has blown my mind that Mary Don named this cool girl Babs Biles.
No. 5 Everyone I know and everyone I have ever talked to about Babs Biles loves her. People LOVE her with a passion. Read what Gwynn Taft Pearlman said about her. Babs was clearly bigger than life in high school. Another legend in her grade was Glen Powers. They both were athletic stars who had tons of personality.
No. 6 No one was a better teammate for Babs than Betty Hardcastle Wood. They played 5-on-5 AAU basketball together and were on a team from Tullahoma that was national
runner-up in an AAU tournament in New Orleans. They were big time!
No. 7 Babs is a gift to McMinnville, and Babs should be in the Warren County Sports Hall of Fame. I guarantee I could get a ton of votes for her in a flash. Hopefully, I will be able to show at least one of her game films in the future. She is a legend who deserves to be remembered.