Well, I was just very lucky that Rosemary Reynaud agreed to marry me, May 21, 1944. And our first child was born about a year later, and I wanted to be present for his birth. I was stationed at a base in North Carolina, and Rosemary had left to be in Athens for the birth. I had asked for leave from the commandant of the Marine Corps, and I never got the leave. I was in San Diego in the dentist chair, getting wisdom teeth pulled. That's what they'll do for all officers before they go overseas. There's no dentist out in the jungle. They had their wisdom teeth pulled. Well, this dentist's name was Keyes, lieutenant commander Keyes, and I just asked him in making conversation, "Are you any kin to the movie star, Evelyn Keyes, who played Sue Ellen, Scarlet O'Hara's younger sister." He said "She's my sister."
How about that?!
Anyway, just as soon as he had finished, while he was taking my wisdom teeth out, I heard on the base's PA system, "Lieutenant Magill report to the adjutant's office." So after he took my teeth out and stuffed both jaws with cotton, I went to the adjutant's office, and he said, "Lieutenant Magill, I got good news and bad news for you. The good news is the commandant has approved your request for leave, but it got lost in the shuffle when you were moving from North Carolina to out here at San Diego. The bad news is you ain't got but three days left." I said, "I'll take it." I wanted to be present for the birth. And the Marines, you've learned that they can do anything, so that was going to be a monstrous job for me to go back to Athens and be back to…He said "You gotta be back here by 0900 Monday." This was Friday afternoon. But the Marines have a motto, “can do.” They can do anything, they say,” I can do it.” So I caught a plane over the mountains from the naval air station in San Diego to El Toro Marine Air Station right over the mountain, spent the night there. The next morning, I caught a Marine plane to Eagle Mountain Lake Marine Air Station in Texas. Ned Hodgson of Athens, a friend of mine, he was married to Marion Stegeman, was executive officer there at that air station, so I just went straight to his office, and said, "Ned, you got any planes going to Atlanta?"He said, "No, I don't." I said, "I need to get there." I told him why. He said, "There's a plane leaving in about a half hour from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport." I said, "Well, I can't make that." He said, "Yes you can. I'll have my aide get in the jeep and rush you there, and I'll call the airport and ask them to hold it if they can." We got there on time. I got into Atlanta later that day, the afternoon, took a bus to Athens, and then I took a cab from the Greyhound bus station to Cherokee Avenue and that night Rosemary said "I think I'd better go to the hospital." So we went to old St. Mary's Hospital there on Milledge Avenue, no longer there. Early the next morning, Ham was born. My son Ham, Daniel Hamilton Magill, III. He was born early next morning. I kissed Rosemary and Ham goodbye, got the bus back to the Atlanta airport, caught an Army plane to Love Field in Texas, and then another service plane to Douglas, Arizona, took the bus into Tucson, Arizona, and early the next morning, got into San Diego and got there by 0900”, Can do,” you know, and two days later, shipped out to the South Pacific. That was my first baby, and later we had two daughters, Sharon Reynaud Magill, and then we had a daughter, Molly Harvey Magill, named for my great grandfather, Hugh Harmon Harvey from down in Jasper County, near Shadydale, Georgia. He had, after the war, you know…the one reason the (southern) United States has had so many more officers in the Army and Navy than any other section, is because after the Civil War, they had no money to go to college, but they could go free to West Point or Annapolis, and my great grandfather, Hugh Harmon Harvey, had an appointment to West Point, and he got his education there, served his minimum time in the army, and then he came back to Shadydale. One time I asked my grandmother. I said, "What did Papa Harvey do for a living?" She said, "Why he didn't do anything. He was a gentleman." (Laughter)Oh, boy!
Well let's go back then again and let's talk a little bit about your tennis.
Well anyway, getting back to my daughters, Sharon and Molly were graduates of Georgia, and they were both Chi Omegas at Georgia and pretty girls. Sharon was Miss Cotton Bowl one year when we went out there, they'd let somebody at Georgia be the Miss Cotton Bowl. She was Miss Cotton Bowl one year. And Ham, though, didn't go to Georgia. He was gifted, got his brains from his mother or my grandmother, I mean my mother too had brains, but his mother had brains. When he was in Barrow Elementary, the teachers told Rosemary that he was gifted, and he went to Choate Prep School. One reason she got the nursery school going is she needed some money to send him to prep school, but after the first year he got an academic scholarship to Choate, and he graduated valedictorian at Choate and he went to Princeton because his friends there at Choate were going to Princeton. He was a champion tennis player. He and I won the Southern Father/Son doubles five time. Anyway, he went to Princeton and graduated magna cum laude in three years in English. He was great in English. But he went to med school and I think the reason he went to med school was because Rosemary's forebears were…had started the Tulane Medical School, and he got his med degree at Emory University. During the Vietnam war he was a doctor in the Air Force and now he's got a cardiology group here in Athens, but he doesn't play any tennis anymore, but you see, I had two boys that I…we didn't have any scholarships when I was tennis coach. I just tried to develop Athens boys to be players, and we had one of them won the national junior singles. Danny Birchmore beat Jimmy Connors in the quarterfinals. Billy Lenoir was even better. He was probably the best player we ever developed here, but his daddy, Professor James Lenoir, was in the Law school. Billy was national junior boys 18 champion. But he went to the University of Arizona because Professor Lenoir's oldest son, Carl Lenoir, had asthma so bad. That's the reason he moved out there, due to the climate in Arizona. Billy went to Arizona made All-American and the Tennis Hall of Fame. Ham went to Princeton. If we'd had Billy Lenoir and Ham here at Georgia, of course, we had no scholarship, we'd have been better before we were.
I was getting ready to talk about your tennis program. You coached 34 years, is that right, coach?
Yeah. I really enjoyed coaching. It was stress relief.