A Father's Day tribute to one of Timpson's "golden boys"

My father, Sherrill T. Bailey

My father, Sherrill T. Bailey was one of Timpson's “golden boys” in his youth. Born here in 1918 to W.I. and Vera Bailey, he was handsome, outgoing, and good at everything he tried. He loved sports and the outdoors and developed an interest in baseball, football, and guns at an early age. He was nicknamed “Boob”, after a comic character of the day, which he hated. As a pitcher, he attracted the attention of a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, who offered him a minor league contract. He turned it down because it would require him to play baseball on Sunday, which he said would break his mother's heart. As a young man, I was told by several citizens that they witnessed him throw an orange from the sidewalk in front of the barbershop across the railroad tracks onto the roof of the Blakenship Hotel. He played center for the Timpson football team and clarinet in the Timpson band. Offered a scholarship to Baylor University in both football and music, he chose the former. He played football for Baylor for three years but left college in 1939 to join the Army Air Corp. During WWII he flew a C-47 transporting paratroopers to their drop zones and towing gliders. He earned a Purple Heart when a piece of flak shrapnel shattered the windshield of his plane and struck him in the eye, nearly costing him his sight in that eye. He also was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. While in the military, he took up golf, and, like everything else, he was good at it.  

 

Adjacent to the Bailey home on Grand Street, where my father grew up, was the J.A. Moses residence. The Moses' had a beautiful granddaughter named Elisabeth, the daughter of Rev. Burnet and Ruby Moses. As a teenager, Sherrill told Elisabeth that if she would stay as pretty and sweet as she was then, he would marry her someday. Sure enough, my parents were married in 1942. They had three children, me, Patricia, and Gail.

 

Retiring from the Air Force in 1961, my father brought us back to Timpson, where he worked as a salesman for both Eakin Motor Company and Shelby Motor Company. He joined the Center Country Club and played golf there frequently. He also indulged his life-long fascination with guns, buying, selling, and collecting them until his death from heart disease in 1992.

 

I moved back to Timpson in 2010 and since then I have been touched by the number of residents who have taken the time to relate some anecdote about my father and to tell me how much they loved and admired him. It is heartwarming to know that others outside our family recognized what a remarkable man he was.