Billy Graham’s High School Years
In Billy Graham’s writings, he often mentions his high-spirited personality as a young boy. His typical routine while in high school included milking the cows, chores, baseball practice, homework, church, and hanging out with friends. In his biography, Just As I Am, Graham reflects on his youth.
“Driving cars was every boy’s obsession,” Graham said. “When I was in the ninth grade, I started asking my father for the car to go to a basketball game, or maybe out on an evening date, thus launching a driving career that nearly came to an abrupt end. One night out on Park Road, I was showing off with some of my buddies. My closest school friends were Sam Paxton, Wint Covington, and Julian Miller. Somehow I steered the car into heavy mud. In minutes that goo came up over the fenders. I have gone into a sinkhole. With considerable embarrassment, I went to a nearby house to phone my father and ask him to bring a team of mules to pull the car out. He made it perfectly clear to me that he was upset.
I might have had some tendencies toward crowd-pleasing wildness when I got behind a steering wheel.”
In 1986, Graham hosted the 50th Reunion of the Sharon High School Class of 1936. Above is a picture of Graham with his school friends in 1936, and below is a recreation of the picture at their reunion. At the reunion, Graham said, “I don’t think we are ready to live until we are ready to die. … And I am ready to live another 50 years. I feel 18 in my heart.”
We reflect on Billy Graham’s history as we celebrate his 100th year of life. For more stories on Graham’s childhood, visit here.