Jerry Summers: Ray Hudgens - 100 Years Young

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - by Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers

The news media, friends and politicians acknowledged the 100th birthday of Ray Hudgens World War II veteran, retired East Ridge building inspector, and proprietor of Pop’s Drive-In on Ringgold Road that is on property presently occupied by Linda’s Produce.

Channel 3 News anchorman, historian, and author David Carroll presented a special segment on the Fourth of July nightly newscast honoring Ray’s longevity and military service.

His connection to East Ridge sports is also of long duration.  He was a member of the Blue Ribbon Sports Committee headed by the late Stump Martin as part of the East Ridge Parks and Recreation Department in 2016.

Around 1960-1961 and for several years he sponsored an amateur baseball team in the Bi-State League that included future college and professional ball players from Baylor, Central and other local high schools who would receive athletic scholarships from Vanderbilt, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Auburn, Carson Newman and elsewhere.

His late son, Ken, would sign a professional minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies until an injury ended his career resulting in a job at Vanderbilt University as an assistant baseball coach and head athletic recruiter.

Ray’s younger son, Bobby, is a successful banker and became East Ridge High School's softball coach after a career at Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.  He is a 1974 East Ridge alumnus and also a Greater Chattanooga Hall of Fame member for fastpitch softball.

Happy Birthday Ray and “Thank you for your service!”

* * *

Jerry Summers

(If you have additional information about one of Mr. Summers' articles or have suggestions or ideas about a future Chattanooga area historical piece, please contact Mr. Summers at jsummers@summersfirm.com)

 


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