Alumnus Norman Bellamy came to TCC in the early 70’s for the same reasons a lot of his fellow Mt. Tahoma grads did: a. it was cheap and b. he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study.
“Back in our time, I think it cost us less than $40 per class,” said Bellamy, who came from a single-parent home where money was tight. “And the first two years of college is pretty basic anyway. TCC was the perfect environment to get some college under my belt, and by the time I got to UPS I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
With a job as well as a full class load, Bellamy would have been a typical “get in, get out” transfer student, with little time or inclination to hang around campus.
“And there was no place to hang around besides the cafeteria anyway,” said Bellamy.
But his friend Roger – last name unremembered – needed a second “Yell King” for the cheer squad.
“I said, sure, I’ve got a big mouth,” said Bellamy. And just like that, he became a TCC cheerleader.
“It was nothing fancy. We didn’t throw any women in the air like they do nowadays,” said Bellamy. “I think it was six women and two guys.”
The squad had just one team to cheer for: TCC’s outstanding men’s basketball team. When the team went on the road, the cheer squad would occasionally hop a ride on the team bus, though mostly they’d follow along in a car.
But even the biggest mouth would have had some trouble making itself heard in the earsplitting racket of yesteryear’s gym. In addition to the noise of the game itself, the Yell Kings would have had to compete with the marching band that somehow managed to cram itself into the bleachers with the fans. So Bellamy went out and bought himself a big megaphone – and maybe one for Roger, too. He can’t remember.
“That part of my brain has spider webs hanging off it.”
He used masking tape to create lines, some blue and yellow paint, and a couple of TCC decals from the bookstore – and voila, he had a TCC megaphone (or two). He remembered the megaphone when he met President Ruhland at a Kiwanis meeting, and she told him the college would be delighted to preserve it in the TCC Archive. Yesterday he brought it back to campus and gave it to Athletic Director Jason Prenovost.
In return, Prenovost gave him a TCC athletics t-shirt and a tour of the gym. Bellamy played some baseball at Mt. Tahoma; he quit sports in favor of a job and a car, but he’s pretty sure he would have at least tried out if TCC had had a baseball team back then. He was pleased to see that TCC’s athletics programs are still going strong.
“I thought maybe the community college was more academic and shifted away from sports, but that’s not true!”
According to Prenovost, the new gym remodel and Wellness Center addition will include a history wall where archival photos and paraphernalia will be displayed. Meanwhile, the megaphone is in the Athletics Department office for the time being. Maybe somebody will bust it out and do a little impromptu cheerleading at the TCC vs. Grays Harbor game Feb. 6. (The women’s game starts at 6 – men’s game starts at 8.) As Bellamy would be the first to say, Go Titans!