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Indians vs Eagles: Remembering Thanksgiving In The '50

A half-century ago, a highlight of Thanksgiving was the football rivalry between Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce. Four students from that time recall those magical days.

1948-49 VBHS Lettermen Football Players. Front row: Warren Rice, Everett Randall, Jim Calhoun, Donald Smith, Bryant Tillis, Jamie Buckingham, Albert Coleman, Charles Roberts, Cecil Calhoun, Wendell Harris, Charles Gifford. Back row: Bill Rymer, Harry (Bump) Holman, Jack Trezise, Dickie Anderson, Tam Moody, Pete Knight, Carl Elliott, David Roddenberry, Karl Petersen, Carl Green, Sam McCall and Coach Paul Jenkins.

1948-49 VBHS Lettermen Football Players. Front row: Warren Rice, Everett Randall, Jim Calhoun, Donald Smith, Bryant Tillis, Jamie Buckingham, Albert Coleman, Charles Roberts, Cecil Calhoun, Wendell Harris, Charles Gifford. Back row: Bill Rymer, Harry (Bump) Holman, Jack Trezise, Dickie Anderson, Tam Moody, Pete Knight, Carl Elliott, David Roddenberry, Karl Petersen, Carl Green, Sam McCall and Coach Paul Jenkins.

Like so many small cities across the country, Vero Beach has always had an obsession with local football, including a rivalry with neighboring towns that dates back to the 1920s and peaked during the ’50s.

Thanksgiving and football were all but synonymous during those years. Locally, it meant it was time for the annual showdown between the Vero Beach Indians and the Ft. Pierce Dan McCarty Eagles, and many of their most memorable matches were played on Thanksgiving Day.

“Our mothers had to wait to see what time the game was scheduled before they could think about planning the Thanksgiving dinner,” recalls Celeta Haffield (now Arden), one of four Vero Beach High students from those days who got together recently to reminisce about Thanksgiving in the carefree years that followed World War II.

Read the entire article in November 2012 issue