Saturday, October 08, 2005


(Run originally 4/7/04 on our old site)

Anita Hart Fuller

Gloria Mason was one of my friends in grammar school, and I vividly remember learning of her Dad's death. I don't remember how it came about, but Gloria came to my house that afternoon (or that evening) and spent the night with me. I remember her crying herself to sleep that night. Her sister, Betty, spent the night with one of her friends. Gloria eventually moved to North Little Rock, where she graduated high school. She went to - and graduated from - Hendrix - was a classmate of Bob's, married a Hendrix track star, Harold Henderson. She has a PhD. and teaches English in a college in Georgia. We see her occasionally and, the last time we saw her AND Betty, they were here in Ark. trying to research White County archives, etc. about their Dad. If anyone has any pictures, info, etc., I'm sure she would appreciate it. I have her email address.

I do have a little update on Wanda Skaggs, but it's now about 10 yrs. old. I saw her brother, Calvin, in NYC, and he said Wanda had been married two times and divorced both times. I THINK she was living in the St. Louis area, close to their dad, who was living alone, their mother having died some years ago. If you guys want, I'd imagine Calvin would give you her email address. I have his.

Betty Taylor Emerson

Wanda Skaggs is a retired school teacher living in Cape Girardeau, MO. Wanda is divorced. Sadly, her only child committed suicide. It was thought she was so depressed over the loss of her grandmother, Ruby Skaggs. Wanda's dad, Roy Skaggs, sends a note in his Christmas card to my mother keeping us updated each year.

I told Marlene Garrison Palmer about the picture with her back to the camera. Her friend is planning to give Marlene some lessons on how to use a computer while they are on vacation this month in Florida. Maybe she will get around to buying one before long.

Wallace Evans

Mr. W.L. Mason missed the Little Red River Bridge at the V.F.W. Club and drove his 1937 or 1938 Chevy into the river, and drowned in his car. I witnessed the removal of the car by a wrecker. A very tragic day for the Mason family, especially Gloria, and for the Searcy School System.

Don Thompson

Attached is a copy of the Citizen article about W. L. Wilson's accident May 17, 1947. (See the clippings at It happened on the Little Red River bridge between Judsonia and Searcy. The clipping was in Annie Windsor's scrapbook.

If we can get Wanda's brother, Calvin Skaggs ('54 grad) to come to our reunion in May, then you can ask him about Wanda. I think Anita knows something about her (see above).

Here is a bio of Calvin:

Calvin Skaggs - an executive producer of LOCAL NEWS ... One station fights the odds ... - is president of the company he founded, Lumiere Productions. With more than two dozen films to his credit, Skaggs has spent over 25 years creating both dramatic and documentary films for telecast and theatrical release, all of which reflect in some way his fascination with American history, politics, media, and the arts, and a keen interest in issues that divide society as well as ideals that unite it. Skaggs is best known to public television audiences for the landmark six-hour documentary series, WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE: THE RISE OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IN AMERICA. He made his producing debut in 1975 with the award-winning PBS series, THE AMERICAN SHORT STORY. He went on to create major productions for American Playhouse, including an acclaimed feature adaptation of James Baldwin's GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, and for other PBS series such as American Masters and WonderWorks. Elsewhere on the TV dial, Skaggs's work has included THE CIRCUS for HBO and VANISHED: INSIDE THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM and DIAMONDS! for Discovery. Among his theatrical features are Horton Foote's ON VALENTINE'S DAY (America's official entry in the 1986 Venice Film Festival), FLY BY NIGHT (winner of the Filmmakers' Trophy for Best Dramatic Film at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival), and THE WASH, directed by Michael Toshiyuki Uno. Skaggs grew up in Missouri and Arkansas. He has a B.A. from Henderson State College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University in American Literature.

Harold Gene Sullivan

A quick response to a couple of Sunday’s remembrances. Lester Mason, our school superintendent was killed out at the old Little Red River bridge, towards Judsonia. He was returning to Searcy one night. There was a jog to the left just as one entered the bridge. He didn’t make the jog and ran into the river and drowned. My mom and dad went over to Daniels Funeral Home on a regular basis to play Rook. It was on East Arch Street then. These are the parents of Marion Daniels. Elvis was coroner at the time, and we were over there when the call came in about Mr. Mason. My dad went out with Elvis to investigate and retrieve the body.

Mr. Mason had a daughter, Gloria, who moved, with her mother, to Little Rock soon after her dad was killed. When I went to Hendrix College in 1953, Gloria was in the freshman class there, also. I’m still in touch with her. She has a PhD and is an English professor at a college in Atlanta.

My dad ran track with Mr. Mason at Hendrix College in the late 1920s. Mr. Mason was very good in the dash races. My dad was a very good distance runner. In fact, my dad held the Arkansas college records in the 880, mile, 2 mile and 5 mile events at one time. His mile record held until the late 1960s, about 40 years.

The Benton dairy I am familiar with was on the corner of N Olive and W Academy, a couple blocks back of our house at N College and W Race. They pasteurized milk there, but I always thought it tasted funny, so I wouldn’t drink it when at friends’ houses. We had cows, so fresh, raw milk just tasted better to me.

(Harold, thanks for the memories, and ESPECIALLY mentioning the Benton Dairy. I’ve been going nuts trying to jibe my memories of delivering cream to a dairy – how’s THAT for a switch? – in that neighborhood, but I couldn’t get that memory to mesh with a dairy burning down in the late 40s. Mystery solved: different dairy. Thank you. –tlp-)

Ernest Simpson

Oh my goodness, thank you, Ramona, for adding your part about Crosby! This was great to read about! There was a preacher at the little church at Crosby, a man named Dub Black. His wife, Ima Jean, was the most beautiful lady in the world. When I was about four, I ‘lowed as how I would grow up and marry Ima Jean.

I hope Rev. Black is still living, last I heard he lived out close to Four Mile Hill on Highway 16. If he were, I would apologize now, sixty years later, for interrupting his sermon one morning by giving a four-year-old's loud and untimely imitation of a braying jackass. I guess some things never change … braying jackasses, I mean.

Crosby, where the one-car train brought folks to town, was a little place that could sustain itself, I believe, if it had a fence built around it. Ramona, I'm glad you're still there, it's a great place, and not many are lucky enough to be able to go back 'home'. You are one of the lucky ones.

Harold, this was a great story. I had forgotten about those steps at Bee Rock, but they were scary! I do remember Mr. Oran Brewer and Mr. Buel Holleman were the two families who lived at the water plant. That was such an interesting operation.

I do understand that Bee Rock is now called Riverside Park; a relative mentioned that they had heard of someone being hurt while climbing there recently. Anita, I believe you're right about Harold Lee Benton, but I don't know what happened to him. Tom Pry Anita & Ernie, I “Googled” Harold Lee and, in the Bloodworth family archives, is this entry:

sp: Harold Lee Benton Bk 45, p330 b: 24 Nov 1945 Searcy, White Co., AR
d: 15 Oct 1991 Little Rock, AR bur Foster's Chapel Cem
Don’t know if that’s the right Harold Lee Benton or not, but that’s what it says.


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