Tuesday, August 30, 2005


(Originally run 3/9/04 & 3/10/04 on our old site)

Mary Kay James

Joe Phillips died ... I do not know the date. He was the cousin of Judy Owens. Judy married Darrel Max Palmer, who is also deceased. She lives in Texarkana.

Harold Gene Sullivan

It is interesting to see the references to Joe Phillips. When I was at Searcy last summer for my 50th high school reunion, I drove by his old house. I tried and tried to remember what his name was. I was 3 or 4 years older, it seemed a lot older in those days. I remember helping him learn electronics, as I was an avid ham radio operator. As soon as I saw the picture posted yesterday I said to myself, that’s him!

My ham radio days made lots of use of war surplus equipment. It was really dirt cheap, and had to be for me to afford any of it. One could buy great transmitters for $5 which worked well for the ham bands with only small modifications.

The one I liked the best was the ARC-5/T-19. (Now if I could just remember anything important.) It used a pair of 1625 tubes in the power output. As a ham, I would over-power them until they ran cherry red on the plates. The tubes didn’t last very long at that power lever, but I could go out to Harding College and get all of them I wanted for nothing. I don’t remember why they had crates of them.

Dan’s mentioning of John Davis reminded me of my last year in high school. I worked as stock boy at Federated Store for several years, $0.40/hour. Big money. In the spring of 1953, Wayne Dale approached me as I was washing the windows out front (a daily chore). He asked me how much I was making there and I told him. He said he was shutting down his appliance store out on East Race and needed someone to tend it for the summer and would double my pay if I wanted the job. Since I was going to college in the fall, it didn’t take long for me to decide to take him up on his offer. So I spent the summer selling off his inventory. I remember one time asking him how much of a price cut was he willing to take to sell things. He only said, “Just don’t let a customer get away!” He never complained about what prices I was getting for things and some people got great deals.

Anyway, John Davis, who was also engineer on the DK&S train, had a radio/TV repair shop in Wayne Dale’s appliance store. He worked there afternoons and weekends. I was fairly knowledgeable about radios and TVs in those days. He told me he would pay me for any of them that I fixed when people brought them in. So not only did I make the fantastic salary of $0.80/hr, but made lots of extra money fixing things for John Davis. Some days only one or two customers would come in all day so I had lots of time to fill doing what ever I could find to do. Mr. Bauer at Federated Store kept me very busy and never wanted to find me just sitting around goofing off, so I was really nervous at the appliance store because, many times, I just couldn’t find anything to do and Wayne Dale would come in finding me just sitting there reading. However, he never said anything to me about it.

One day I was working on a TV someone brought in and I got my screwdriver near the horizontal oscillator, which generated the high voltage for the picture tube. The high voltage broke down the insulation of the handle and knocked me across the room. I hit the back of my head on the door jamb and was sitting there trying to get my wits about me when Wayne Dale came in and saw me bleeding. After that, I wasn’t suppose to work on TVs when no one else was around.

I didn’t get too near the SHS library, any more than necessary for study hall. However, I did visit the Spring Park library. It was always so cool there in the summer when every place else was hot. I don’t remember the mold on the books that Ann referred to, guess that was not in my concerns. I remember the little, old white headed lady there, I’m sure others will come up with her name for sure, but I think it was Dorothy Dillinger. To me, she had always been there.

One story I remember about the SHS library was from some years before I was in high school, when some kids, for Halloween, disassembled a farm wagon and reassembled it in the library. There was a big witch hunt to try to find out who did it but I don’t think they ever pinned it on anyone. Maybe someone else remembers more details.

Had a nice long chat with Suzy Hoffman Boyette (who, thanks to Roland King, is a pretty steady visitor to the site), who’s the County person in charge of the White County Library System. She says that Dorothy Dillinger (Young) was never an employee of the Library. Suzy noted, too, that Dorothy recently died, at age 90. Dorothy ran the school cafeteria up till about the 52/53 school year.

Most probably, you are thinking of either Blanche DuBois or, succeeding her, Inez Bishop (whose framed photo hangs in the Arkansas Room at Library Spring Park building).


Joe Phillips and I were pretty close. I remember him as having a super-dry pokerfaced sense of humor. Shortly after I met him, I asked him before History class one day, "Joe, are you nearsighted, farsighted, or have an astigmatism of some sort?" He stared straight at me for a few moments through his Coke-bottle lenses (which, later, were not enough to keep him out of the Navy) before, without a change of expression, he said, "Yes."

Period. -tlp-


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