Old Rural Community, Success, Gets Some Recognition
The area east of Traditions Parkway wasn’t always called Success. When the community got ready to open its school system in 1917, its founders decided they needed a name to rally behind. Etric Gartman, President of the Success Alumni Organization, says, "We’ve got God in our life with our church, we’re now going to have an education and we’re going to be successful. So we are Success, and that’s how this community got its name."
Over the years, the elementary and high school grew into two separate wings, but the community only grew closer. Billie Lee, Success High alumnus, says, "We’re all family, and you knew everyone, and the elementary was on one end, and the auditorium that way, and the upper class was that way."
Lee was in 10th grade when the school shut down in 1954 and merged with Perkinston High and other local schools. During its 37 years, Success saw generations of talented students and held bragging rights for its girls basketball team. Raevell Browadus, a Success basketball player, says, "Almost every year for several years, many years, we went to state. We didn’t ever win, but we were always able to go."
Wednesday, Success alumni traded tales and memories, but now the community hopes to share its heritage with others. Connie Rockco, Harrison County Supervisor for District 5, says, "Success has a tremendous amount of history that this community cares about. They love their community and they really wanted some type of recognition, so that when people went by they’d go, ‘Success, hmm what would that be?’”
With Rockco’s help, Success now has a welcome sign to tell those driving by that while it may be quiet now, this is a place where history was made. The alumni at Wednesday’s event also pointed to the veterans’ plaque in their community hall. Some say as many as 97% of men in the community have served in the military.