Monday, June 20, 2005


(Originally run 11/21/03 on our old site)

Don Thompson

First, a story. As you are aware, the combined 54, 55, and 56 class reunion in 1999 yielded about 100 souls, all crammed into the Patti Cobb Dining Area, and there was that long drawnout raffle of sorts. We all brought some kind of gift that would be given to someone. I had a tape of pop music I’d made in 1956, with songs like Ruby, Laura, etc. I selected some of those songs and put them on a cassette as my gift. I also made a dupe for Anita and Bob. When my tape was drawn, it went to the chap sitting right next to me. Out of the approximately a hundred folks! He was Larry James, husband of the former Mary Kay Van Patten.

Mary Kay has e-mailed me several times and I bet she would be willing to write something. Maybe Larry, also.

Elois Bleidt Pelton

I have a Ph.D., but you would never know it when it comes to spelling.

Talking about spelling … in the seventh grade down at the L building with Mrs. Stewart as our teacher, Roger Duncan would poke me and say, "Elois, when we have our spelling test today, if I kick your chair, lift up your paper and play like you are checking your words, so I can see if I have spelled my words correctly!"

Today, I truly believe my back pain is due to the many hits on my chair, because the chair was rocking and rolling from many kicks that year!!!

Of course, Roger would kill me if he knew I was writing this!

Besides, it wasn't "cheating," but only "sharing knowledge," which was legal back in the seventh grade.

They say the best way to learn is to teach, but this sounds more like the old definition of “Honor System:” where the teachers have the honor, but the students have the system.

Incidentally, if Roger doesn’t know you snitched, I bet he will by the end of the week.

Hey, do you remember The Pit out on Race Street, where we all would meet, have a hamburger, put a nickel in the juke box, and dance the night away on the concrete pad that was put down for us so we could have a place to gather? What fun!!! And the Community Center that was opened each Saturday night for us to dance -- and, boy, could Marvin Sowell dance and do the dip and twirl me around the hall to the great music of the '50's -- great fun!!!!

And now a newcomer to the party:

Don't know if you remember me. I was Mildred Taylor (Wilbourn), class of '54. Don Thompson hooked me up to your journal over the weekend, and I have had a lovely time wading thru the verbiage.

There were so many memories that I can't resist adding some of mine.

Band trips -- the time we went to Fayetteville was for Gabalee, the annual spring festival on campus, that they still had when I was up there. The band went in the spring of '50, when I was in the eighth grade (I remember that John Gabe marched beside me in the sax line, and he graduated that year). Don't remember where the boys stayed, but all the girls stayed in a dining room in Carnell Hall, on cot-type beds.

We marched in the parade, which was competitive.

As we rounded the corner off the court square and dropped to a half-step, Bobby Collins (who played the bass drum) didn't get the message, and rammed his drum into John's back. John automatically proceeded to turn around and cuss him out.

We later learned that this spot was where the judges were!

Despite that, the other bands must have been terrible, as we won the trophy.

SHS Marching Band (year unknown) Posted by Hello

Before I forget, someone moved the band-room directly from the east end of the high school building to the stone building. The entire time I was in the band, it was in the white frame building between the grammar school and the stone building. The lunch room was in the west end of the building.

I was the one who moved the band to the stone building – in HUGE error. For the hundreds of hours I spent in there, it’s surprising that I could make a boo-boo that monumental. Thanks for the correction.

I was in the 9th grade when we went to Dallas in our wonderful white coveralls (those things were not easy for using the bathroom if you were a girl). We stayed at the Baker Hotel, which was across from The Dallas Morning News Building. I roomed with Suzie Wasson, and we had the wonderful idea of unpacking our clothes and hanging them in the bathroom, turning on all the hot water faucets and closing the door. When it was time to go to supper, everyone was complaining that there was no hot water on our floor. We were scared to death that someone would notice our unwrinkled clothes and figure out what we did!

Anita remembers Frank Sinatra, and I remember Sally Rand, the famous fan dancer of burlesque days; we didn't see her, but her theater was across from where our buses were parked and we were endlessly fascinated, but couldn't work up the courage to go see a naughty show. (My, how times and we have changed).

The buses were also next to the first and only roller-coaster I ever rode.

Anita remembered that after we got home that the Colonel of Hadacol fame sent us the money. I remembered that Bill Laas contacted him and asked for money and, if we hadn't gotten it, we couldn't have afforded to go.

One last band thing. Someone talked about the shows we put on at halftime. Part of the reason for the theatrics was that we couldn't march our way out of a paper bag!

(I forgot to say that Carnell Hall where we stayed in Fayetteville was the old Women's Dorm. It’s since been restored, and opened in September as an inn and restaurant. It serves as a lab for the hotel and restaurant students. The restaurant is run by the famous James of The Mill at Johnson).

Ernie, Mildred’s got the answer to your question:

The three sisters at the Mayfair were Rose Neeley, May Branch, and Margaret Yarnell. The younger reddish-blond, who walked like she was plowing and was on the desk, was Phyllis Smith, a niece of the old girls.

Mildred also gave me my comeuppance for the second time in one letter:

The old Country Club is not one of the buildings on the fair grounds: that was the poor farm. The Country Club was the old Hilltop Club, and was where there are several small houses at the corner of Moore and Davis Drive.

Ollie Mae Dockens took over the lunch room when Angie Mae Dellinger retired. Her three daughters Thelma, Barbara (Bobbie) and Mary Evelyn remained my good friends ‘til they died.

Can't think of anything else that rang a bell. Hope I haven't bored you out of your skull.

Not at all, dear. Now, I’m going to eat my daily serving of crow and then creep quietly under a rock for awhile. -tlp-


Post a Comment

<< Home