Thursday, August 04, 2005


Tom Pry

Following my return to television Monday, when I hosted the ribbon-cutting at TV6, My Town TV, I stopped in at Ace Hardware on Beebe-Capps and met an interesting guy named Roger Elliott. Roger did NOT grow up in Searcy; like my father, he was a transplant from Ohio. He IS, however, married to Carolyn Harrison, whose dad built and ran Harrison’s Grocery.

If you’re in town, stop in and say “Hi!” to Roger and, if you’re a member of the Class of ’53 and are wondering whatever happened to Carolyn, there’s your answer.

Now, let me tell you about Eddie Best.

Eddie is a retired staffer who used to be with the Democrat-Gazette. Since his retirement, he’s taken over as editor of the excellent newsletter of the White County Historical Society.

Recently, he sent me a photograph of the SHS Marching Band, wanting to know (a) if I’d sent it to him and (b) what kind of caption should’ve gone with it. He added that Anita Hart Fuller though it was the only picture floating around that showed both her and Bob marching with the band.

My reply was that I thought it was 1952, which would’ve ruled Bobby Scott out as a marching trombone player. Her reply was:

You can tell Tom Pry that Bob is, indeed, marching in that band picture. He didn't get polio until l0th grade and we both are convinced that pic. was 9th grade.

I joined the band in 9th grade and we went to Dallas to the Texas State Fair that year. Bob and I were "sweethearts" and I wore his band coveralls and have pictures to prove it. Tell Tom he wasn't even living in Searcy then! And I hope you know I'm kidding, for I like to catch Tom on memories of our glorious days at SHS.

I was born in l936, so you can do the math! I was l7 yrs. old when I graduated in 1954.

I was born in 1938 and 17 when I graduated from SHS (I’ve always loved older women). The consensus was that this was 1950.

Eddie puts a lot of work into his newsletter and, from it, passes out some really interesting information. For instance, our “new” high school in the early 40s, was projected to cost $100,000. The “new” City Hall/Fire Station was built in 1939 and cost $25,000. If you’d like to subscribe to the 11 issues a year, plus yearbook, it’s only $16 a year. Send your check to WCHS, P. O. Box 537, Searcy 72145 – be sure to also visit their web site, .

FINALLY …. A few of us have been keeping a secret. For some months now, our buddy and site contributor, Ernie Simpson, has been battling prostate cancer. He has not made a big issue of it, and it is only now that he has given in to my requests to let you in on it. His attitude toward this whole thing is pretty much summed in this note from him recently:

Ernie Simpson

I'm feeling somewhat better today...yesterday I actually got on the rider mower and cut the grass.

This week is better, since I didn't have to go for chemo....still nauseated, but they started me on Prilosec yesterday and it seems to help. Also a really good medication called Marinol, a derivative of marijuana (haha) in pill form. Unfortunately I don't get a buzz from it, only a more calm stomach, which is good. I'd tried Zofran and Anzemet, phenergan, Reglan...didn't work.

I'll see Dr. Scroggin for tests on August 15...( I'm off chemo two weeks) I need the break from this, six weeks of it plus two three-week treatments takes all your stuff right out of you. No stamina, and my muscles are like jello. Anyway, we'll see what plan of attack he has...I will listen, ‘cause he is so smart. I've appreciated this doctor taking an interest in this case, I am confident he is focused on what's going on here.

This is a process, and I'm learning to become a student of prostate cancer and its treatment. Nobody has a definitive answer, that's one concrete thing I've found. This is not disrespectful, I think they all are doing the best they know how because each patient and case is so different.

Anyway, I'm going to enjoy the couple of weeks without the stuff, to bolster my attitude for another round of chemo. I am ready to attack this disease as long as God gives me the strength.I hope you're having a good week....cause I am.

(And, yes, Ernie blew his “To the Colors” for his subdivision in the wee small hours of July 4th. –tlp-)


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