By Thomas Sellers Jr.
On a football Friday, she would try to get a moment away from her post to get a quick look at the Munford Cougars in action.
When it came time to work the ticket gate for Cougar Volleyball or Basketball, Deborah Timbs would either have her adopted granddaughter Bee Barnes nearby or a crossword puzzle book.
The crosswords and even a coloring book might appear when Timbs worked the gate for Cougar Baseball. For almost 20 years, the Tipton County native has been a part of the Munford High School and Cougar Sports fabric working the gate.
When the 2016 baseball season concludes, Timbs will no longer hold that post announcing her retirement earlier this year.
“I just think I’ve been here so long and my husband has had some health issues,” Timbs acknowledged. “I’m at that stage that right now I just need to retire and spend time for me. All my kids are out of the house. All my grandkids are almost grown. I think it’s just about time I concentrate on myself.”
The wife of Danny Timbs, mother of five, grandmother of 16 and great-grandmother of one turned 62 last Thursday.
When she was in her 40s, Timbs joined the MHS family as a substitute teacher. From 1991 to about 1997 she fulfilled those duties at the school.
Then she took over In-School Suspension and even handled the two-hour detention program after school. For an hour, Timbs supervised the students’ community service like picking up trash around the school. The next hour was time for the students to return to the classroom and take care of classwork.
Residents of Tipton County didn’t see that side of Timbs. But most Cougar Sports faithful were introduced to Timbs walking through the doors or the stadium gate.
“I’m the first person they see,” she said. “I’ve been doing it ever since I’ve been here — 19 years. It started out if a teacher didn’t want to do their gate, they would get me and another lady Connie Vaughn to take their games. We would do it and it eventually grew to no teacher wanted to do it. And we were eventually put out here. We’ve done every type of game there is.”
One game Timbs had a hard time working was the M&M Bowl or any contest between Munford and Millington Central High School. Growing up in Tipton County, Timbs attended Munford schools from Kindergarten to ninth grade.
When her family moved to Flag City, Timbs was a Trojans from 10th grade until her graduation.
“I’ve been rooting for both teams,” she said. “(Those games) have torn me up. Sometimes when those games have happened, the only way I could get through it was not to go to the game.”
But Timbs has still seen her share of games from district showdowns, to Sub-State contest. During her years at Munford she has seen college scouts and fans come to see players like Scarlet Gable, Cody Overbeck, Jasmine Brown, Lizzie McLean and Mitch Huelsing to name a few.
“It’s fun to know I was a part of these history of this school and making it what it is,” she said. “Its nice to see parents and get to know who is always going to come. I can visit with them and get to know them.
“It’s been an experience for me to be able to sit here and see the brightness we have here and the intelligent kids,” Timbs continued. “We’ve had some talent people come through this school. I’ve seen the coaches coming to scout. I’ve seen Ole Miss, Mississippi State. There was even a Florida school that came up there one time. Memphis State to Memphis, I’ve seen a bunch of them come up to recruit.”
Like the scouts, opposing coaches and fans, Timbs took time to watch the players in maroon, black and white.
“I can always sneak down to the door and get a good look at that,” she recalled. “Volleyball, I get to see a bunch of those games by walking to the door.
“I know those kids,” Timbs added. “ I’ve seen more people come through and to know some of the people, I have done these gates for so long. I can pretty well tell you who comes in and who has a pass and who doesn’t.”
Timbs said she will remember the true fans who show up to games regularly. But the lasting impact on her job will be the reason why all comers walked up to her ticket gate.
“I’m going to miss the kids,” Timbs said. “Even thought I can say I did the roughest class with ISS.
The last five years I’ve been back in SPED with them. And I’m going to miss them.
“It’s nice to be able to walk down the hall and here kids say, ‘Hi Mrs. Timbs, how are you doing?’” she concluded. “My husband said, ‘You’re not actually going to miss much of that. We can’t go anywhere without a kid that says, ‘Hi Mrs. Timbs. I love you.’ I’m going to miss that — the brightness of the kids.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.