yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee
People of Action - 1969

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).  Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of the late Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.

Rubelyn Tanner

By Lillye Younger

Practice Makes Perfect For Twirler

DECATURVILLE, Tenn. - A baton is Rubelyn Tanner's magic wand.

It has brought her much success and happiness. Twirling it she has traveled in five states won trophies, ribbons and certificates, appeared in numerous parades and talent contests.

Rubelyn has been twirling for six years and she has a simple formula for her success: practice two to three hours a day, sometimes four.

"I was in the sixth grade when I started taking baton twirling lessons," she said. "My first teacher was Mrs. Janie Evans who lived in Decaturville at that time.

She has won 13 medals, five trophies and a number of awards. Her first win was at the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival in Humboldt. She was Strutting Champion in the Junior division in 1964 and in the senior division in 1966.

She won Drum Major championship at Arkansas State University in 1966 and Arkansas Arkansas State Twirling Championship in 1966. She was runner up in a Strutting Contest at Huntsville, Ala., and won first place in the twirling class. Other wins have been at the Decatur County Fair where she won first place at the twin baton fire twirling contest and in numerous talent shows.

She has attended summer twirling camps for the past four years - two years at Ole Miss and two years at Arkansas State University.

Rubelyn was marching as a majorette in parades when she was in the seventh grade. She began serious competition when she was in the ninth grade when she served as head majorette. For the past two years she has served as head majorette with the Marching Panthers at Riverside High School.

"Costumes are quite expensive," she explains, "and it takes several outfits." She has nine different costumes.

She plans to enter college this fall and continue to twirl in competition. Two colleges have offered her a scholarship. "I want to major in science," the petite brunette said, "and also take home economics and music. I plan to teach science when I finish college."

While Rubelyn spends much time on practice and competition, she has kept her grades at Riverside High School on an average of 3.2. She is a member of the Beta Club, the 4-H club, the 4-H club, Future Teachers Association, History Club, F.H.A. club and Band.

She has also taught a class of baton pupils for a year. "I have really gotten a great deal from my twirling experience," she pointed out. "I have made friends, in five states, have several pen pals and have traveled quite a lot."

"It hasn't been easy competition," she smiled and said. 'I've had my share of losing, not all winning."

She is a good sport and exhibits an excellent spirit of sportsmanship. Her theory is "It matters not who won or lost but how you played the game."

A junior at Riverside High School, the 16-year-old student is the daughter of Ruble Tanner of Route 1, Decaturville, and Mrs. Exie Graham of Jackson. She has two brothers, Randy, 13, and Danny, 12.

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