STEVE INSKEEP, host:
It is Friday morning, which is when we hear from StoryCorps. That's the project that records conversations between friends and loved ones across the country. We've been going for several years now. And our latest story comes from retired English Professor Robert Strozier, who was interviewed by a former student. He explains how he got into a fight with some neighborhood boys in Georgia during the late 1930s, and his older brother Frank got him out of trouble.
Professor ROBERT STROZIER: Frank was a big guy. He weighed 13-and-a-half pounds when he was born. And one day - I was about nine - and we had these little neighborhood gangs back then. They were these little kids all about the same age who played together all the time, but then all of the sudden they would have raids on each other.
And one day, we were out playing marbles when we looked up and the Hill Gang came around the corner. There was about five or six of them. And so we picked some rocks, they started throwing at us and we started throwing back at them. I was pretty athletic when I was little, and at the time my hero was Bob Feller. And I was going to be a Major League pitcher like Bob Feller.
So, I picked out Freddy Almond(ph), who was the oldest guy, and I hit him right in the middle of the forehead, and it decked him.
Mr. ROGER SMITH: Did it draw blood?
Prof. STROZIER: It drew plenty of blood. He was screaming like crazy and all the other kids disappeared. And we were about ready to disappear ourselves. Freddy came out with his father, Mr. Almond, and Mr. Almond called me out. He said I'm going to give you a whipping. I was scared to death.
About that time, my brother, Frank, came down the side of the house on his bicycle and skidded into the front yard and dropped the bicycle and said, you know, what's going on? And so Mr. Almond said your brother has laid out my son's head, and I'm going to give him a whipping. And so my brother Frank said, no, sir.
He said, what do you mean, sonny? He said my name's Frank, sir, and you're not going to give him a whipping. Frank was about 5-9, and Mr. Almond was probably about 5-8. His son was standing there, and my brother said you're going to have to whip me first sir, and I don't believe you can do it.
My father can take care of this and my family can take care of this, and I will not let you touch my brother without coming through me first. He backed off, and they left. Frank was a very authoritative kid. I've never known anybody as totally fearless as he was. And Frank was just a wonderful big brother.
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INSKEEP: That's Robert Strozier with his former student Roger Smith in Savannah. Their StoryCorps interview will be archived at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. And you can subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast at npr.org.
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