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Look Back ... to the memory of a boy who laid down his life for family, 1996

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On the occasion of his retirement, a beloved Anniston sports journalist, James Pendergrass, got a nice write-up in the sports section on July 30, 1996, according to this front page "tease."

July 30, 1946, in The Star: Tommy Gardner, a popular member of the 1946 Anniston High School graduating class and chairman of a student committee planning a special day devoted to the signing of annuals, today called attention to this event, scheduled for Aug. 2 the YMCA. That day, high school students will take over the YMCA quarters at 112 E. 12th St. and just generally have a good time hanging out, signing annuals and enjoying music and refreshments during the day. Tomorrow evening, WHMA will use its “Voice of Anniston” broadcast time to let the highlights of the 1946 Hour Glass (that's the name of the yearbook) be described by a group of students. Susan Perkins and Ann Pullen, members of the annual staff, have written the script for the radio broadcast.

July 30, 1996, in The Star: Matthew Kyle Boone’s swimming prowess saved the lives of his sister and his cousin this past Saturday afternoon in Niceville, Fla., but in the end it wasn’t enough to save himself. The 13-year-old, who had recently moved from Saks to Hartselle, drowned while he and five other children swam during a family gathering at Choctawhatchee Bay. He was pulled under water by a strong current right after he had made sure his 10-year-old sister, Janet, and their 14-year-old cousin, Erica Conner, were safe from their own struggles in the water. A family member said the children had been playing safely in that same spot of water for two days, so it’s not clear what changed to make the current unsafe. Kyle was born in Anniston but lived in other states until he was 5. After moving back to Alabama, Kyle attended Saks schools and was a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Saks. His mother, Kathy Boone, said Kyle was a good child with a heart of gold. “He was very soft-hearted. It didn’t take much to touch his heart. He never got too cool to cry,” she said. Said his father, Richard: “He was a perfect kid.”