Tifton Gazette


February 13, 2014

Do or Dye: Obstacles were opportunities for former coach, teacher


Turner County was a much different place in 1952.

For most travelers, Ashburn and Sycamore were not mere exit signs and a peanut statue on I-75. Mainly because I-75 did not exist. To see an Ashburn sign was to be on US 41 or GA 32. Downtown had a theater. Fast food chains were not available, but a variety of local places were.

In 1952, there were high schools in Ashburn and Sycamore and the one in Rebecca had recently closed. They would not unify to form Turner County High until 1957. Those were the major white schools.

Over on Lee Street, there was another building. It was small, wooden and painted white. It was also a school, one called Eureka. Schools operated in Georgia — and most of the south — under the law of "separate but equal" which enforced segregation. The Supreme Court outlawed it in 1954, but no major changes hit the area until the Civil Rights Act 10 years later, which forced school systems to act.

That is the building where John Dye started his teaching and coaching career. 

Eureka was also not a unified school when he began. There were county schools. "Sycamore and Rebecca," he remembered. They would also unify in 1957, the year that Eureka received a brand new brick building on Washington Street.

Dye is not a Turner native. He was raised in Brooks County and graduated from Fort Valley State. That's when he received an offer, he said, to go to Ashburn.

"Jobs at that time were hard to come by," he said. He accepted. That was in 1952. Dye stayed in Ashburn through the closure of Eureka and total integration of schools and became part of the coaching staff at Turner County High.

When he arrived, he found a bit of a sports program. "[They had] basketball, a little track and a little baseball they'd tried to play."

Text Only
Local News
  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

    Continued ...
    Posted Apr 19, 2014 8:22 pm 1 Photo
  • Gerhart named CIO Posted Apr 19, 2014 8:18 pm 1 Photo
  • Flexibility key for Worth’s Carlson Posted Apr 19, 2014 8:20 pm 1 Photo
  • Beckham named to Bar advisory council Posted Apr 17, 2014 9:13 pm 1 Photo
  • Don’t return that voter card – it’s a scam Posted Apr 17, 2014 9:11 pm 1 Photo

Local Sports
Police Reports
Your Agenda
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content
Business Marquee
Weather Radar
Sen. Chambliss addresses farm bill in Tifton
Riding the Steam Train at Ga. Museum of Agriculture
Nature's Beauty in a Tifton parking lot
Peanut Prices Remain Strong