November 8, 1934
Cliffside, Nov. 7 — A MAN AMONG MEN:
As a citizen who is also vitally interested in education I feel it my privilege to answer Mrs.–––– ‘s article concerning Mr. Clyde Erwin’s lack of a college degree. That the best school man in the State should be superintendent of public instruction is the desire of every true citizen. The best man now has the position. Our standard is less liable than ever to suffer a fall.
Drawing a comparison between the school teacher and the superintendent of public instruction is out of line. What profit a teacher if he should know everything generally and is not specially trained in his particular field? What profit a State Superintendent of public instruction is out of line. the French there is to be learned and is not a specialist in the field of general education where a college degree is of no avail. [There seems to be something missing in the latter part of this paragraph — Transcribers]
A careful survey of Mr. Erwin’s life and achievements may clarify matters a bit. His meteoric climb from obscurity to success has been no rose-strewn path. Since his student days he has studied constantly and earnestly. The Clyde Erwin of today is the product of a hard-working Clyde Erwin of yesterday.
The “numbers” who are wondering whether the superintendent of public instruction will not feel embarrassed when it becomes his duty to enforce the certification laws may dismiss their worries. Our present superintendent is the kind of man who would never have accepted the position he now holds had he not felt capable of meeting its every requirement with no hesitation. When the doubtful ones come to know Mr. Erwin, they will regret that they once felt need to worry for his sake.
Men with college degrees come by the dozens. Self-made men with an education that is far superior to that enclosed within the precincts of any degree come by the one’s and two’s. A man among men, Mr. Erwin belongs to the latter group.
Isn’t it strange that the man in question received no criticism because of his lack of degree when he was superintendent of Rutherford county? But every one knows that the bigger a man gets the better target he makes for the knocker. And so long as he is the best, what does it matter?
—A Cliffside Teacher
The Open Forum
The Charlotte Observer
Blind musicians on the street corner present an awfully sad spectre. Some say that the blind have a greater and keener understanding of human kind—of the human side. How be it that they are happy, as some say? Maybe it is that we who have sight are blind. He that is blind may see beyond a horizon that we do not even see. I waited on a Shelby corner Saturday a. m. A blind accordionist, to me, was sad. She may have been at peace with Him and fellowmen—then she was happy. Her clothes were pitifully dirty. She wore a dirty apron. In that apron string she had hanged her cane that assisted her at step-off places. She walked in the space of a half block, as from the accordion came different sad melodies I did not know. And then she stopped, back to wall, playing on. As I started for the automobile which stopped for me, I was happy that she turned to an amusing light tune—“The Man On The Flying Trapeze.”
Today I am a Ned Sparks fan. Yet I could reflect that Saturday evening vaudeville in Spartanburg. Dan Fitch’s blackface boys were good. One blackboy said his dog was a half dog and dog and half long. I refuse to get a giggle now though. I am as jolly as Walter Hampden playing “Richelieu” right now—I just don’t wanna play.
Some parts of this article do not appear to be complete. It has been transcribed as printed in the Courier.