This 1997 column for the Lexington Herald-Leader landed me a televised interview on ESPN and several interviews with sports radio shows that served SEC country. It's about when the University of Kentucky was then-considering hiring Tubby Smith to be its first black basketball coach. There was a lot of hand-wringing at the time about whether UK basketball was ready for a black head coach. Fellow journalists seemed to particularly like the second sentence, which answered the questioned I posed in the first. I was also surprised by the degree of support received from UK fans.
In support of the fundraising campaign to erect a statue of Rosie the Riveter, part of the Automobile Heritage Collection, at Flint's Bishop Airport, it was an honor to contribute a portion of my family's history to the effort. Mom's story is below.
Rose Holliday Campbell, born February 14, 1925, in Detroit and raised in Flint. After graduating from Flint Central High School in 1943, she went to work at AC Spark Plug on Industrial Avenue to help produce munitions for soldiers in World War II.
She was a machine operator – considered a semi-skilled position – and quite possibly operated a lathe turning gun barrels or some other type of production machining operation. AC produced .50-caliber machine guns on Industrial and test fired the weapons in the basement. (Her mother, Rosa Holliday also worked at AC during WW II)
Her husband, Clarence, was a U.S. Army staff sergeant and served in combat with the 92nd Infantry Division in Italy.
After the war, Rose left AC to make room for the returning veterans and became an elevator operator at Citizens Bank’s headquarters in downtown Flint. Rose and Clarence, who returned to AC where he had been employed when the war began, raised six children. Married for 65 years, they are buried together at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.
(c) 2020 Bob Campbell/bobcampbellwrites.com