Seniors paint the Ninth Street Hill

Wyatt Kendall and Shieann Wilson

  Nobody knows an exact date to when this tradition started, but fellow Delta grad and human geography teacher, Mr. Hamilton said, “Maybe mid ‘60s.” Seniors at Delta High School  painted 9th street hill on May 10 throughout the whole day. The road was closed for easier painting access. All students had to bring their own paint and tools for their masterpiece, and the weather was not good for painting due to winds blowing and a little sprinkle of rain.

Aspen Jackson, a graduating senior, said  “My idea came from the yin and yang of how they are light and dark.” Not everyone does it but most kids do it and express themselves as much as they want with their little square.”

 When it started, many students would just paint their names and if they played a sport they would put their jersey number next to it. Huntley Hamilton said,“ I don’t remember exactly what I painted, but I remember in the night time while I was painting it, it was phenomenal but when I came back in the morning, it was the worst thing I had ever seen.”   

Cheri Reese said, “Back then it was not a supervised thing. You did it at night. I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken at the time and my boss told me I could have the night off and then gave me the leftover chicken, so I showed up with a trash bag full of chicken for me and everyone else.” 

Von Mitchell, a teacher at Delta High School took a part in painting the hill when he graduated in 1987. “ I didn’t take paint but a buddy of mine had some real can paint and gave me some and I started to pour my name. Right about then, a Jeep came up and drove through the middle of my name.” Mitchell said “White soaked their tires; they had white walls for months.”