The idea to do this story came from two people; Paul Tate('65-'83)(English Teacher) who sent me a note about Tallapoosa Hall and Robert Rozelle('64) who asked me to do this story sometime before that. To read Paul's note see:
The following story, by the above title, first appeared in our school paper, "The Stiletto", in the 1959-60 school year. If anyone has a copy of the original story as it was printed we would love for you to send it to: Phillip Potts. If you remember it better or even if you don't know the original story, but have your own story about Seven-Toes, as Paul Tate did, please, send it to us.
The Stiletto Story as Best I Remember
Story and Photo by Brian V. Brunner('64)
Sometime before the 1959-60 school year.
Cadet Corporal John Smith(There's no one alive to remember his real name.) was on CQ* duty that night. Taps had sounded and he had to check the campus to see if all the lights were off. Well, of course the upstairs bathroom lights in Tallapoosa Hall were on. After he had turned those lights off he went to check on some lights that were on in the kitchen in the back of Ross Hall. (The kitchen had been added to North side of the building when the first floor was remodeled into the dinning hall. It's on the left side of the picture. This area is now the Armory.) He found the kitchen door unlocked and he knew that was wrong. Then he went inside to turn off the lights and see if he could lock the door.
When he got inside he heard someone downstairs in the food storeroom moving things around. He did not know what to do at that point, so he grabbed a meat cleaver from inside a drawer and went to see who was in the storeroom.(Back in those days the cadets had to do KP duty, so we knew where things were in the kitchen.) By now he thought it might be just some hungry cadets looking for a late night snack and he would try to scare them when he opened the door. As he was opening the storeroom door someone came running out! It was an old bum(homeless man) who lived in the backwoods. He had broken into the kitchen to steal some food. Corporal Smith grabbed the guy to try to stop him. They got into a fight and somehow the meat cleaver came down on the bum's foot cutting off three of his toes! By this time some of the other cadets came running down to see what all the noise was about. They found this bum about to kill Corporal Smith, but they all rushed in and the bum limped out the back as fast he could go.
Just before he went into to the woods, he turned and they heard him yell,"I will kill any two stripes who come in these woods!" So, to this day no cadet Corporal will wear his chevrons into the woods.
*In the early days of the military program there were only a handful of cadet officers. There was no OD(Officer-of-the-Day), just an NCO to perform CQ(Charge-of-Quarters) duty and a PFC or Private to pull Orderly(Runner) duty.
Now you know how he became "Seven-Toes".
No, Seven-Toes did not die from his wounds. There were more sightings of footprints and campfires in the woods. I know of someone today who saw seven-toed footprints around Russell Hall later in the 1960's.
For all I know the stories about Seven-Toes may be older than this story. This was just the first time I ever heard of him.
THE 1959-60 STILLETO STAFF*
W. F. Barnes (half standing),
L. O. Basque, W. D. Seccuro, C. E. Dickerinson,
J. T. Riley, C. D. Oldham
L-R - Standing - J. W. Nipper, C. J. Rhodes,
* The Sitlleto was our school news paper in 1959-60.
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