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Wendell Meeks - Family Memories

Born in 1944, Wendell Meeks grew up in the southern Illinois town of Centralia, graduating from high school in 1962. Wendell talks extensively about his home town, about its early efforts to integrate the schools, and about Centralia High School sports, especially Orphans basketball. During his junior year, the team made it to the Super-Sectionals, and in his senior year when Wendell started at center, the team made it all the way to the Quarterfinals, where they were defeated by the eventual state champion, Chicago-Carver. Following high school, he attended Oberlin College, where he continued playing several sports. Upon graduation from Oberlin, Wendell went on to a long and successful career in education.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Centralia Lost

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Interview Session (Audio)


Photos

Caption

The Centralia High School Orphans gathered for a team photo during their highly successful 1962, when they were rated first in the state. They made it to the quarterfinals, but were beaten by Chicago-Carver. Meeks is in the first row, second from right.

Where:

Centralia, Illinois

When:

1962

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Captain Wendell Meeks (on the left) and Coach Bill Davies (on the right) with the 1962 Centralia Orphans, a winning team that made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

Where:

Centralia, Illinois

When:

1962

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

A Centralia Orphans cheerleader reacts to Carver’s winning shot during the Orphans’ title game with the Chicago school in 1963. (Photo from “100 Years of Madness: The Illinois High School Association Boys’ Basketball Tournament.”

Where:

Unknown

When:

1963

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

The Centralia Orphans made it all the way to the state finals in 1963, where they lost a nail biter to Chicago – Carver by one point. Meeks followed his old team closely while attending Oberlin College that year.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1963

Ownership:

Photo from “100 Years of Madness: The Illinois High School Association Boys’ Basketball Tournament.” May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Wendell and Loretta Meeks celebrate Wendell’s 70th birthday at the Lincoln Greens Golf Course in Springfield, Illinois in the July, 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

July, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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