Tribute To 'Jimbo'
BY TKRRY POPE
The Rev. Calvin Moore's dream
to honor ihc man known to many as
"Jimbo" began two years ago.
When more than I(X) friends and
family members gathered in Leland
Sunday to pay tribute to James
Franklin Clemmons Jr.. the Bruns
wick County educational pioneer
wasn't there to receive their acco
Clemmons, principal of Lincoln
Primary School for 35 years, died
this past spring before the day to
honor him arrived.
"It's time to present this soldier
with his medal of honor," said
Helping Hands Inc., a non-profit
group that repairs substandard hous
ing for the needy in Brunswick
County, coordinated the program
held at Leland Middle School to
help raise money for scholarships to
be given in Clemmons' name to un
Sunday's program raised S3.036,
said the Rev. Thurman Evcrcttc,
presided of Helping Hands. Dona
tions to ihc fund can be made at
United Carolina Bank branches.
The Rev. Edison Moore recalled
the time Clemmons and some par
ents sewed together burlap sacks
and dyed them red to hang as cur
?sine ni Lincoln School.
"He lived through to see some of
his work pay off," said Moore.
"Thank God that he came this way,
that our boys and girls might have a
Clemmons was a graduate of the
Brunswick County Training School
for blacks in Southport and majored
in math and social studies at N.C.
Central University in Durham. He
served in the U.S. Army, earning
the rank of master sergeant, and re
ceived a medal of honor from U.S.
Army General George Patton.
In 1946, he received a master's
degree in administration and supervi
STAFF PHOTO BV TERRY POPE
FRIENDS PAID tribute to Clemmons and his family at a ceremony Sunday. Pictured are (front from
left ) James Clemmons III, Thelma Clemmons, Tia Clemmons and Durrell Clemmons; and (back)
Linda Green, Dorothy Wilson, Calvin Moore, Angelyn Moore, Thurman Everette and Wilhelmina
sion from Columbia University in
New York ami Wits Humiliated foi a
Rhodes Scholarship to study abroad.
Instead, he returned to Brunswick
County to becomc a teacher, princi
pal and two-term member of the
Brunswick County Board of Educa
tion. He lost his bid for re-election
to the board last November.
"When I sec him, 1 see a scholar,
a salesman, a teacher, a principal, a
board member, a father, a husband,
and above all, an educator," said
P.R. Hankins, superintendent of
Brunswick County Schools.
Hankins recalled the many times
Clemmons dipped into his own
pocket to pay for lunches for stu
dents who did nol have Ihc money.
Fuiiiici Siiiooi Superintendent
Ralph King worked with Clcmmons
for 14 years, including the contro
versial period when Brunswick
County Schools desegregated. Lin
coln, an all-black high school, be
came a primary school for grades
K-3 in 1968.
"He played a vital and key role in
bringing this about." said King, "not
just in this community but the entire
At times, Clemmons appeared to
be possessive of his students and
school. King said, often using the
terms "my school, my students."
"That was motivated by his
strong love, his caring and concern
for his school," said King.
Doug Baxlcy, who served six
years with Clcmmons on the school
board, said he is just beginning to
realize the meanings behind some
of Clcmmons' favorite expressions,
such as, "A kicking mule won't
"He often said that he was color
blind," said Baxlcy. "1 grew to be
lieve it. He's one ol those unsung
heroes that had a commitment."
The man that succeeded Clcm
mons as principal at Lincoln Pri
mary, Joseph Butler, said Clcm
mons never learned how to whisper.
Butler recalled a time when
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Hewett Heads Rerifrow Campaign Effort
Ronald E. Hewctt of Supply will
serve as chairman of the Brunswick
County campaign committee for
Edward Renfrow, candidate for
lieutenant governor in 1992.
"I am proud to have someone of
Ronald Hcwctt's charactcr to man
age my campaign in Brunswick
County," Renfrow stated in a June
26 news release. "He is a very tal
ented, energetic and well-respected
individual who I know will do an
excellent job in promoting my can
didacy for lieutenant governor."
Hcwctl is a lieutenant in the
Brunswick County Sheriff's
Department and coordinator of
Project D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse
Resistance Education). He is a
member of Supply Baptist Church,
treasurer of the Brunswick County
Shrine Club and a member of
Shallottc Masonic Lodge and the
Amy Lois Caison of Supply, a
rising junior at West Brunswick
has been named
in the annual
James B. Hunt
nize high school
students who caison
have excelled in service and leader
ship in their communities.
Miss Caison and her family will
be invited to the Wake Forest cam
pus Sept. 28 for activities and an
She will be eligible for one of
ihrcc collcgc scholarships ranging
from S2,(XX) lo S5,(XK).
Navy Seaman Rccruit Andrew H.
Morris, son of Robert L. and
Constance M. Morris of Southport,
has completed recruit training at
Rccruit Training Command, San
During his eight week training
cycle, he studied general military
subjects designed to prepare him for
further academic and on-the-job
training in one of the Navy's 85 ba
Morris is a 1988 graduate of
South Brunswick High School.
Bobson In Marines
Marine Pvt. Heath G. Babson,
son of William A. and Shirly C.
Babson of Route 2, Bolivia has
completed rccruit training at Marine
Corps Rccruit Depot, Parris Island,
During the 13 week training cy
cle, Babson learned the basics of
battlefield survival. He was intro
duccd to the typical daily routine
that he will experience during his
enlistment and studied the personal
and professional standards tradition
ally cxhibted by Marines. He gained
proficiency in a variety of military
A 1990 graduate of South Bruns
wick High School, Boiling Spring
Lakes, he joined the Marine Corps
in January of 1991.
Spec. Manuel Evans has complet
ed a U.S. Army primary leadership
He received training in superviso
ry skills, leadership principles and
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small unit training icchniqucs essen
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Evans is a fighting vehicle in
fantryman in Vilscck, Germany.
He is the son of the Rev. Emanuel
B. Evans of Route 2, Bolivia.
The specialist is a 1985 graduate
of South Brunswick High School,
Boiling Spring Lakes.
Art Roberts, chief of police at
Long Beach, has resigned that posi
tion to become a Brunswick County
Roberts was named Long Beach
police chief in July 1990.
Following magistrate training,
Roberts will split his time between
Bolivia and Southport officcs.
When a state hiring freeze was
lifted earlier this month, Brunswick
County Clerk of Court Diana Mor
gan appointed Roberts to the posi
School Board Resets
Meeting To July 15
A meeting set for Monday, July
1, by the Brunswick County Board
of Education has been rescheduled
for later in the month, according to
a noticc from the board.
The board plans to instead hold
its regular monthly meeting Mon
day, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the ad
ministrative officc conference room
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school workers were unhappy about
a decision the board had made.
Clcmmons told them, "You elected
me to represent you. II you think
we're not doing what's right, then
go and voice your opinion. I am on
ly one, but if your 're right, you can
bet your bottom dollar I'll be will)
you 1(X) percent."
Clcmmons once attended an auc
tion and purchased a number of
typewriters. He gave one to a stu
dent who couldn't write legibly,
"He once told me, 'You can't say
what I say. I said it to help you,' "
Clcmmons first met Shirley Bab
son when she was elected to the
school board in 1976.
"His day didn't end when the
school day ended," said Mrs. Bab
son. "I would call him a proud man.
MosUy, he was proud of his chil
Clcmmons once told her. "The
best way to free a person is to free
He struggled to bring salaries of
custodians from the "stone ages,"
"He was a genuine man," said
Lcland Mayor Russell Baldwin
said it was Clcmmons' inspiration
that cncouragcd the town to allocate
S6,(XX) of its 1991-92 budget to
ward educational projects.
"We have got to realize, as
"Jimbo" did, that there arc scientists
walking among us disguised as chil
dren," said Baldwin.
"Jimbo" got his nickname from
his parents, shortly after he was bom
July 12, 1920. A longtime friend
shares his middle name. Franklin
Randolph, also a former Brunswick
County school board member.
"'Jimbo's' a name that would fol
low him throughout his life," said
Linda Green, family biographer.
Randolph didn't realize until
Sunday's ceremony lluil ilio twi> jl ?
so share the same birthday.
"Now 1 know why wc arc so
much alike," said Randolph. "If
we've got something to say, we're
going to say it."
The night before Clemmons died,
he called Randolph to talk about
ways to raise student test scores.
Randolph though; it peculiar that
Clemmons would talk lor about 45
minutes on the subject.
In the conversation, Clemmons
had also encouraged Randolph to
tell people to "go down to that
board of education and be in sup
port of those that have their heads
scrcwcd on right."
"The next day, that's when I
heard the word," said Randolph.
Clemmons, a 41 -year veteran of
Brunswick County's school system,
A slide collection recalling Clem
mons' life was donated to the Lin
The Brunswick County Ensem
ble, Spice of Lite singers and Moni
ca Richardson, a former Lincoln
student, provided music.
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