The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


February 16, 2013

Jim Bailey: Multitalented Jerry Brandon kept his priorities straight

I first remember Jerry Brandon playing quarterback on the then-Anderson College football team. The Ravens, as I recall, were then running the old single wing where the quarterback didn’t line up under center, giving the quarterback freedom to block or go out for a pass when the center snapped the ball directly to another back. Jerry took full advantage, often going out for a pass himself, invariably catching it for a big gain.

And football wasn’t even his best sport. The Alabama boy was an outstanding left-handed pitcher, throwing three no-hitters as he led his high school team and helped pitch his American Legion team to a state championship. He later threw a no-hitter for the Ravens during his college days.

His Legion team was in a national tournament the week he insisted on keeping a commitment to attend a national church youth convention. He then traveled directly to the tournament and went directly to the field where he pitched and won the game.

Major league scouts were camping on his doorstep. A future in baseball seemed to loom ahead. But he had other priorities. He felt a call to the Christian ministry, coming to AC and going on to the Anderson School of Theology. The rest of his life was spent in ministry at pastorates in Arkansas, Alabama and Indiana and 26 years with Church of God World Service. He was one of the church’s most successful missions-minded fund-raisers.

Brandon, who died Jan. 25 at age 78, never worried about what might have been. He felt he was working where he should be.

The jovial Jerry had a usually-humorous story for every occasion, loved to eat, loved sports and loved to have a good time. Most of all he loved his high school sweetheart, Normarie “Norma” Elmore, his high school coach’s daughter who was still in high school when they married 58 years ago.

It was his youngest brother Don who made a name in the athletic world, playing three different sports in high school and at AC, then becoming a career coach. Anderson University’s Don Brandon Field is named for the longtime Raven baseball mentor.

When Don Brandon was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, people remembered his older brother’s exploits. “I was honored mainly for what I had done in coaching,” Don recalled. “But I remember one old guy saying, ‘Huh! He wasn’t even the best player in his family.’”

Jerry’s health began to deteriorate several years ago. But he wasn’t one to let it get him down. As long as he could, he continued to support his brother’s Raven baseball team as well as other sports.

Now Jerry Brandon has a new home. And I can envision him greeting friends and relatives, spinning yarns and inquiring where he can find a good meal. Hey, he might even be out there pitching a few innings.


Regarding my last column, Ike Weatherly Sr. and Buster Miller and matron Lena Ramey preceded Lucius Teague as African-Americans on the Anderson Police Department. Before my time, I suspect.

Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Wednesday. He can be reached by email at

Text Only
  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Front page

Do you plan to attend any of the local Little 500 Festival events in May?

What events?
     View Results