Monday, May 16, 2005

VOX POPULI (The Voice of the People)

(Ran originally 11/10/03 on the old site)

Tom Pry

My last couple of pieces shook some things, some very welcome things, out of the attic. There is, for instance, this note:

I'm Donald Thompson, SHS class '54. Anita Fuller steered me to your web site. I lived next door to Ollie Mae in 1944- 1947, when she lived on 4th St. and Academy. Her nephew would visit and I would play with him and his pet pigeon.

Ollie's father lived on her property and would plow a plot of land with a mule. Ollie was a first class lady and her cooking was good. She was Dr. Porter Roger's cook, also. Thanks for the memories. My wife Paula, formerly Paula Windsor (class '53), and I have lots of pics of Searcy. Mostly from her dad, Paul Windsor, who managed the Safeway store on Spring St.

Don was good enough to send me the URL for some of those pictures. Most I recognize, some I don’t. How good are YOUR identification skills? Take a look here:

From my site buddy, Ernie, who was Best Friends with Frank Thompson:

Yep, Frank Thompson did what no other kid did in Searcy or anywhere else with that switch from clarinet to trombone. I have taught a bbbbuuuunch of all-staters, and none have made that progress. Frank came to school every day that year with swollen lips; the inside of his top lip was practically hamburger. He would not relent. When you look at the word “persistence” in the dictionary, you see Frank.

He went on to be a good band director, too. Married the Chief Majorette, Sandy, from the ole Miss Band. The two of them were or are living here in Searcy.

Speaking of Anita Fuller, husband of Bobby Scott Fuller, and mother of KARK-TV’s Karen Fuller, (now working television in Kansas City), she and hubby (a trombonist) were members of the SHS Band, too. I made District Band trips with Bobby and, being a tympani/bells player in the concert band, and Anita the string bass player, we stood next to each other, which eventually made us thick as thieves.

She and Bob graduated in 1954 (that’s me, all the way to the right, standing, counterbalanced by Al English, also standing, on the left). If memory serves me correctly, that’s Frank on the very right front of the photo – already first chair trombone, albeit a junior.

Moving on, Anita adds:

I loved Ollie Mae, too. I can tell a little story about her serving at the Dr. Porter Rodgers’ home one night. It's actually nothing, but Mother tells it real well. I can almost taste her cornbread, now that you've mention it. Didn't she also make rolls to die for? Someone in that lunch "kitchen" did!!

Do you remember - and you may not - when Bob "made" Donald Hunt smell some chlorine he had made in Ruth Fuller's chemistry lab? Don took too strong a smell, passed out and had to be taken to the hospital - and I think he stayed overnight.

Anita apparently has a pile of photos, too. I am going to do my best to either temporarily kidnap them, OR wait for Anita to con Bob – the apparent keeper of the scanner – into scanning and sharing them with us.

And, Anita, don’t hold out: what was your Mom’s story about Ollie Mae at Dr. Rodgers’ place?

After all, the intended recipient may never have forgiven you for that stunt you pulled in Mrs. Forrest’s class that day ……

SHS Concert Band 1954 Posted by Hello


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