HELLO AMERICA!—A few weeks ago I received a message from Levi Miller who owns a radio station in Atlanta. He informed me of a book in which he was included concerning America’s dark days surviving Korea. It is titled “League of Friends” by Sunni Rain. Of course, I remember when the Korean War exploded, I was in high school and one of my best friends David Alexander, a brilliant classical pianist, was drafted. It was quite a surprise because he was all set to pursue a concert career debuting in Philadelphia then on to New York. He was that good in his home town of Media, as well as surrounding communities realized his talent and gave him the support he needed.
Upon graduating from Swarthmore High School in ‘51I decided to attend a Quaker College Earlham in Richmond, Indiana. It had a reputation of excellence, as well as having several major speakers from the UN I believed rather impressive. I had been a member of a United Nations Youth Group in Philly; it attracted several hundred young people interested in international political issues. Then too, the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made continued appearances explaining issues we all wanted to know more about. For me, it was a time of discovery, a time to decide where I wanted or needed to explore and feel comfortable in playing a role in.
Then suddenly, the windows of reality opened wide forcing me to see and feel the heat of a world which painted more darkness than light and music.
One afternoon after a music class I returned to my dorm room to find letter on my bed from my mom. She informed me that my friend David Alexander has been shot down while jumping from his plane over Korea. Of course, I was devastated and it forced me to have a second look at the world I was being challenged to deal with one way or the other.
Excerpt from the forthcoming book: League of Friends
As told to by: Author Sunni Rain
Publisher: Alkaline Nature Publishing Company
This is the real meaning of friendship. Group picture of real men in their late sixties to early seventies who bonded together in 1963 while playing Little League Baseball on a team called Simpson Road Trojans from two sets of apartments in Atlanta, GA. They were the first African American Little League team during the Jim Crowe Era who should have made it to the Little League World Series but denied. They beat everyone that was put in front of them to stop them from advancing to the Little League World Series. After that failed, they were stopped from advancing due to a minor technicality which was later fought hard by African American politicians in Atlanta.
The Simpson Road Trojans went on to produce 2 MLB players, 1 NFL Player, 1 Minor League.
Player, Military Officer, Bank President and more. As of today, their friendship still remains. They continue to provide moral support, financial assistance, and family hardship support with the drop of a hat. Below is some of the members who attended the funeral of one their own, Gregory Ragsdale. Three other members, not shown on the picture, were unable to attend. Our hearts go out to our former friends and teammates who are deceased, Melvin Slack, Stanley Cody and Gary Thrasher and Larry Malcolm; other members, not shown in the picture are (2B) James Waters (P) Charles (No Hitter) Gullatt and, (OF) Roland Cleveland were unable to attend. Back Row (C) Ellison Lawton, (2) Ron Malcolm, (OF) Johnny Moore , (3B) Levi Miller, (P) Elmore Benton, (BB) Roland Malcome, and (Coach) Larry Morrow Sr.