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.

Obie Hendrix

Retiring Parsons Teacher Says TV Is Detrimental

PARSONS, Tenn. — The door closed on a 34-year teaching profession for Obie Hendrix, seventh grade teacher at Parsons Junior High School, when the school term ended May 27.

"I taught my first school at Old Cedar Hill in 1927," Hendrix recalls. "It was quite a challenge to an inexperienced teacher. The most unusual thing was I had two eighth grade students, Glennie and Rance Quinn, who knew more about arithmetic and English than I did and it really caused me to do some studying."

"The big difference in students today in comparison with those enrolled in my first school is there are so many more things to attract their attention today."

"They are not concerned in the fundamentals being taught in the school," he said. "I think television is very detrimental to the student. It takes him away from his homework and diverts his whole chain of thought."

Hendrix thinks a division of students in each grade would bring about good results.

"We all have different abilities, some have a high I.Q. while others have a medium or low I.Q., he explained. "Its causing the high I.Q. student to become lazy when he has to be held back in a class until the slow student catches on.

"It's quite a problem; however, some effort is being made to correct this situation in the public school system."

Born near Bible Hill in Decatur County, the educator attended Mays School and completed high school at Clarksburg. He attended David Lipscomb college in Nashville and received his BA. degree at Memphis State University.

He taught at Lone Chestnut school, Bible Hill, Glenwood, Cub Creek Hall, Mt. Lebanon, Parsons Elementary, Waterloo, Ala., High School and Parsons Junior High School. Besides teaching in the schools, he served 16 years as attendance teacher for Decatur County, which is included in his 34 years of service.

Three years of his life was spent in the United States Air Force in the medical division.

His favorite pastime is fishing and hunting. If "Mr. Obie" can't catch any fish at a certain location, no one else need try.

He has a sizable library on game and ecology, and keeps notes on his observations relating to wild life. "I might compose a book on the subject someday," he said.

His latest interest is in collecting game calls which he has been doing for quite some time.

A wild turkey call is his most recent addition to the collection. "I hope to have time to withdraw to a hillside, with my binoculars and observe the different types of wildlife. Then I will have the opportunity to learn much more about their habitat," the avid sportsman said.

When asked about his plans upon retirement, the gray-headed, slender teacher said, "I am teaching two hours a day at the ARA. School in the Vocational Manpower program. It's a refresher course in spelling, English and arithmetic for those taking welding and electrical courses." He chuckled and said, "I thought I had retired from teaching."

He is a member of the Parsons Church of Christ where he teaches a Bible Study on Wednesday evenings. He is married to the former Louise Howley of Carroll County. They reside on Kentucky Avenue North in Parsons.

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