Concert fundraiser will honor former Ragsdale principal

May. 20, 2013 @ 02:56 PM

Tim Carter chuckles about his days as a student at Ragsdale High School during the mid-1970s, under the helm of highly regarded principal T.G. Madison.
“We weren’t exactly the best students in the world, and I think we gave T.G. a pretty hard time,” says Carter, who is now half of the successful Carter Brothers bluegrass and folk rock band.
But when the Carter Brothers — Tim and Danny — were asked to perform at a fundraiser benefiting a project that will honor the former principal, they had an easy time making that decision.
“We were right on board with it,” Carter says during a telephone interview from his home in Nashville, Tenn. “It sounded like a great idea.”
The fundraiser, dubbed “Mr. Madison’s Music Mash,” will feature a concert by the Carter Brothers, as well as opening act Jeff Evans — another Ragsdale alumnus — and his band, Jamestown Pride.
Proceeds will benefit the T.G. Madison Project, through which Ragsdale alumni will create an outdoor learning space and garden on the Ragsdale campus. It will be called the T.G. Madison Outdoor Learning Space, in honor of the man who served as Ragsdale’s principal from 1957 to 1979.
“He was such a great guy when we were in school,” says David Bolding of High Point, a 1977 Ragsdale graduate who is one of the fundraiser coordinators. “You could talk to him about anything. He was just a super man to be around. He’s going to be 80 in June, so we wanted to do something to honor him and give back to the school at the same time.”
According to Bolding, the space will include a newly poured concrete pad with new and refurbished benches, accented with mulched areas featuring shrubs and other natural surroundings.
“It’ll just be a nice area for students and educators to gather and enjoy being outside,” Bolding says.
Work should begin once school gets out for the summer, and the organizers are planning workdays for alumni to come out and help haul mulch and plant shrubs, he adds.
“We’ve got people from the class of ’73 through the class of ’82 that have donated money for this, but anyone is welcome to help,” Bolding says. “The whole town has been getting behind this. Local restaurants and other establishments have been helping us promote it.”
Madison, who still lives in the area, is expected to attend the June 1 fundraiser.
Tim Carter, who graduated from Ragsdale in 1976, says he remembers Madison as a principal who was stern, but who obviously cared about his students.
“He always looked out for us,” Carter says. “He was always looking out for our best interests, and we knew that — even though we gave him a hard time, we knew he was looking out for us.”
Carter specifically recalls what a stabilizing force Madison was at Ragsdale during the era of integration.
“I’ll never forget it,” he says. “The integration of the South was a big deal, and we were all concerned about what might happen. But he talked to us about it and stayed very involved. Things went very smoothly at Ragsdale, and I think he had a lot to do with that. To me, that was a big feather in his cap.”
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579

Want to go?

“Mr. Madison’s Music Mash” will be June 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at Centennial Station, 121 S. Centennial St.
The Carter Brothers will be the headliners, and the opening act will be Jeff Evans and Jamestown Pride.
Tickets are $25 apiece and are available in Jamestown at Potent Potables, 115 E. Main St., and at the Jamestown Town Hall, 301 E. Main St.
Proceeds will go to the T.G. Madison Project to create an outdoor learning space and garden on the campus of Ragsdale High School, in honor of former principal T.G. Madison.
Donations can be made by writing a check to RHS Alumni TGM Project and mailing it to P.O. Box 1714, Jamestown, N.C. 27282.
For more information, contact David Bolding at (336) 847-9012.