Retired from EPB, Gary Hughes (’64) is Now a Champion Fisherman

CENTRAL ALUM GARY HUGHES NOW A CHAMPION FISHERMAN -- Central High Schools was home to Gary Hughes in the early 1960s.

Jacob Johns

CENTRAL ALUM GARY HUGHES NOW A CHAMPION FISHERMAN — Central High School’s was home to Gary Hughes in the early 1960s.

Shelby Campbell, Copy Editor

Central High School alum Gary Hughes graduated from Central High School in 1964 with a B plus average and a lifetime supply of memories and stories that will never grow old.

During his time as a Purple Pounder, Hughes was always involved with his student body, from being a hard-working student, to expressing his school spirit on the football team, who had four great seasons during Hughes’ time there, with a “perfect” season in 1962.

“It was a totally different school than what it is now. I don’t think they have the same school spirit now that we used to have,” admitted Gary. “Our’s was great, and we had a super football team who even won the state championship!”

Though Central is now a totally different school than it was when Gary was in attendance, he reminded the Central Digest that one thing has not changed: the teachers were as great back then as they are now.

“I just really enjoyed the teachers… they just were down-to-earth and wonderful,” shared Gary.

After graduating from Central in 64′, Gary went on to work at DuPont Performance Polymers, where he first saw Linda Hughes, his late wife who passed away last year, before joining the United States Military in 1966, where he remained for almost two years. During those two years, Gary could not Linda Hughes off his mind.

“She was too short and they wouldn’t hire her in the plant… so her dad got her a job in the cafeteria and I saw her and I just thought, ‘Man, that’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen in all my life.’ But I didn’t have the nerve to talk to her at that point.” admitted Gary. “So I joined the army, I was gone for almost 18 months, and she was on my mind the whole time. I came back and I was looking for her. I went into the restaurant [she was working at] and she was there and I worked up enough nerve to talk to her then. We started dating and we were married within two months. Everyone was convinced we wouldn’t last, but we proved them all wrong; we were married for 49 years.”

After returning home from the service, Gary then went on to work at EPB, where he stayed for 36 years. In addition to that, Gary also made his way into the fishing world, along with his wife Linda, who both become professional fishermen.

Gary started fishing some of the local tournaments, such as the CBA’s, and eventually started fishing some of the larger tournaments as they came to town, winning four tournaments on Lake Chickamauga and than another one on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina. He fished several tournaments with Linda, who shared his passion for angling, and won a tournament, put together by Ray Scott in Chattanooga, together. Linda then went on to win the World Championship in 1994, though she always made time to fish with her husband.

Gary has since retired from working at EPB and now spends his days out on the water with a rod and reel, and he always has fond memories of his time at Central in the back of his mind.

“I enjoyed Central… everyone kind of just took care of everyone, if you know what I mean,” concluded Gary, and we know exactly what he means.