Kenny Wayne Fields, 'Streetcar 304',
was born in Lex, West Virginia in 1940
to Kennard (a coal miner) and Elizabeth Akers Fields. Lex is a small coal mining community named after Kenny's great grandfather, and has a population of less than 100. It lies in the southern most portion of W.Va. between Bradshaw and Iaeger in McDowell County where Welch
is the county seat. During grades 1-4, he attended school in Bartley, W.Va.
In 1950 his family moved to Evanston, KY (near Salyersville, Kentucky) where
his dad was the General Mine Foreman with the Pond Creek (later Island Creek) Coal Company. During grades 5-6 in Evanston, the school was one room, but expanded to two rooms when Kenny began the 7th grade.
Pond Creek #1 coal mine
tipple in Evanston, KY
During the 9th grade,he "boarded" with an aunt in the Cincinnati surburban village of Lockland, Ohio and attended Lockland High School . There, he was a member of the 'Panther's' varsity football
team, and a member of Lockland's 1955 Ohio Class B championship baseball team. Grades 10-12 were spent at Big Creek High School in War, West Virginia (photo on right)---where he was a schoolmate of Homer Hickam who authored the best sellers, Torpedo Junction' and 'Rocket Boys' (the movie,'October Skies'). At Big Creek, Kenny was a starter on the varsity football team, and during his three years the 'Owls' football team won 28 games and lost only one with Kenny playing first at end and defensive halfback, then halfback and linebacker his senior year. Each summer, he was a starter on the Big Creek American Legion baseball team. He graduated in 1958.
Kenny received a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Math in 1962 from Lincoln Memorial University at Harrogate,Tennessee (near Cumberland Gap). While at LMU, Kenny married Shirley Jean Garrett, an LMU cheerleader and former Lynn View High School valedictorian from Kingsport, Tennessee. She is 2nd from the left in the above photo....
Kenny lettered three years in baseball as the Lincoln Memorial University 'Railsplitter's' second baseman and he is 4th from the left in the photo below.
After graduation from LMU, Kenny reported for sixteen weeks of "pre-flight training" at the Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida---the same one
depicted in the movie, 'Officer and a Gentleman'. After completion, he received his commission as an Ensign, and eight months later he e