Published: Sep 21, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Sep 20, 2011 02:02 PM
Having performances at the new Cary Arts Center will not be a new thing for that building. Folks remember lots of events there, including sports events, when it was a school:Robert Heater:
At the old Cary High School building preceding the one there now, they used to have movies on Saturdays. I saw my first movie there, sitting up in the balcony.
The first movie I ever saw was the "Last of the Mohicans." It was in a series. I went back each Saturday to see a little more of it.
I don't remember it costing anything.
They tore that building down in 1939, so I'd guess the movies were shown between '36 and '39.Robert Godbold:
At Cary High School on Academy Street, all sorts of things were going on in that auditorium at night. That auditorium was used a lot for the general public.
Everybody in town went there. There was a professional group that came here and put on plays, and they were great. They charged 25 cents admission.
I've seen the school classes put on plays. I've seen that auditorium packed. It will hold 200 to 300 people.Marie Seeger:
Clare Marley was the English and drama teacher at Cary High. Every year she put on a big production with the senior class.
She even ordered costumes in from New York. That was a real big deal for little Cary.Robert Heater:
People in Cary wanted a gym at the high school so bad that they got together and built one behind the dormitory. It had real wide seats.
We used to play basketball against Apex.
I remember men - 45, 50 years old - coming out of the stands and getting into fights.
In the gym on weekends we had boxing matches.
Back then we had a first-class boxing team. A lot of schools had boxing teams, and ours was by far the best.
The football stadium was where the playground is now. It was built with WPA (Works Progress Administration) funds and it was first-class. There were bleachers on both sides.
It had a running track around it with 12 inches of cinders on it.
It was a first-class track. They had drains built into it. They'd mow the grass and when it rained, the grass would stop up the drains.
My daddy would send me up there to wade in the water and find the drains, clean them out and let the field drain.
Apex and Cary were big rivals.
One football game between them in the summer between '47 and '55, we had an outright brawl between the football players and the fans. Nick Pleasants was the sheriff at that time.
He grabbed one fighter and said, "I'm not going to have this. You quit fighting or I'm putting you in jail."
The whole field was full of people fighting.
Cary's Heritage is taken from the book, "Just a Horse-Stopping Place, an Oral History of Cary, N.C."