George Foussekis headshot

George Foussekis

McGuffey Elementary School, Lane High School

I think Charlottesville at the time was a divided community.  We had a lot of pockets of resistance.  And then something happened which changed things, and it’s going to sound a little strange.  But the football team started winning games and more people started talking about the football team and less people started talking about integration.  And George, it was just — those four months was a magical time.  It was remarkable.  And the community got behind and supported the team.  I think previous to that, we may have had on a good night, five hundred people come to a game.  But the more we started winning, we were getting seven, eight thousand people — nine thousand people at the ball games.  And I’m not quite sure what the reason was.  I think people needed something to get behind, pull together.  But Virginia was going through that deal.  They had the longest losing streak in the nation at that time.  And really the high school game was the only game in town.  If you weren’t there, I guarantee you was listening on the radio.