Thursday, November 10, 2005


(Originally run 5/6/04 on our old site)

Anita Hart Fuller

I wish I could conjure up a memory of graduation day, May 2lst, 1954, Ernie. All I can remember is that Judy Rice and I had "hired on" at the Birdseye Processing Plant and had to report to work that night, right after graduation. Therefore, we didn't get to attend the party or ANYTHING -- just wore those hairnets or whatever on our heads and processed spinach or greens till the wee hours. I guess when work was over, we just went on home to bed.

I've just asked Bob what he did - he just remembers going over to Calvin Skaggs’ house for a little party. Calvin was our Valedictorian and Mildred Taylor Wilbourn our Salutatorian .. I THINK, but it may be the other way around. I don't think there were any wild celebrations, etc., just naive little kids graduating in the middle 50's and thinking we had the world by the tail. Little did we know! Thanks for the memories, Ernie.

Al English

Hi Dan. Finally, I'm able to be at the comp. to send a note. I had two "close calls" ... 1 on Nov. 19 '03 - trouble w/ventilator .. wasn't getting oxygen ... EMS, Hospital.

The other close call - Feb. 19 '04 - "mild heart attack" ... again EMS, Hospital. Thanks to the prompt help of EMS, doctors, nurses, they again saved my life. I have been confined to bed since Nov. 19. '03. I'm recuperating very slowly. This is the 2nd time to attempt to email anyone.Since my time is very limited to be at the comp ... I don't have time to participate in the Searcy Yesteryear program. I hope everyone understands. I enjoy PERSONAL NOTES, however, & appreciate any news.Kindest regards to you & the Searcy Crew.

Understand perfectly, Al … and glad you’re still in our world. You mean/meant an awful lot to a lot of us. We’ll be happy to pass on any messages we get aimed at you. –tlp-

Don Thompson (1)

Ernie, I find your stories interesting and well written. They bring back memories of my early years of college and starting my first job. I think you and Larry got a pretty good salary for a teaching job in a small town. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your story.

After my brother-in-law, Ward Seitz, retired, he decided he wanted to write a book about his 7 near brushes with death, and he spent 3 years writing his story. His daughter-in-law's mother was an editor and he passed the manuscripts through her and she helped him smooth out the ramblings. He finally finished the book and was trying to get it published without any success. He could self publish it for about $5000, because of minimum quantities.

The morning of April 24, 2003, Ward, age 73, died in his sleep of an apparent cerebral hemorrhage. His wife had his story published in his honor.

Keep up the good work.

Ernie Simpson (1)

Hi Don: first of all, thank you very much for your feedback on this story (Larry & Ernie, parts 1-6). It is highly personal, but a lot of it was shared with many who were band kids, went to Searcy High, and it gave me a chance to relive some of those things we all remember, and to pay tribute to a very unique man. And truly he was that.

I think your late brother-in-law's book published by his wife will be a priceless treasure in years to come. Several years ago, I ran across an ad from Pathway Publishing House, Lubbock, TX that promoted a 'fill in the blank' memory book to be filled out and left for your kids or grandkids. I sent for one, and it was interesting the questions it asked. It prompted me to wonder how my grandkids would ever know about stuff in my life they might enjoy knowing about, thirty years from now. For me, those same questions exist, but now there's very few of those folks left to ask.

Tom started the web site, and I told him that, at the risk of sending mundane drivel, I would try to contribute a little. He was very encouraging and, as you can tell, he is quite bright in his editing and making the site interesting.

I hope my grandkids will at least have an idea about Grandpa from a different perspective. I want them to know about me, good, bad, warts and all.

I appreciate your encouragement, truly.

Don Thompson (2)

Ernie, one thing I did for my 4 grand kids was to prepare a little book for each of them. My son and daughter and their families visited us in 2001. As a momento of the visit, I decided to put together little books of stories and pictures. I saw no need to do Arkansas visit scenes foreach kid, so I did one book of pictures and stories that featured the recipient, but included the sibling.

The first book was about the Pecan Boll Weevil. I had found a Hickory Nut with weevil holes, and I did a little pic sequence of the grubs exiting the nut, then boring into soil in a little observation plastic box. That book went to my grandson, who had a tough time during the visit because he had broken his leg 2 weeks before in a bike accident.

His sister got the Arkansas visit book, which featured lots of quartz crystal digging scenes.My oldest grand kid got an Arkansas visit book and she was thrilled. It included pics and stories of her catching fish and chasing lightning bugs. Her sister got a book about horses. I found all these horse pics on the Internet and made quite an extensive book of horse scenes. She is very fond of horses.

I'm hoping these books will be a good memory of their granddad in later years. I'm not sure what my kids will do with the Searcyyesteryear Journal stories I wrote, but they have commented on them, and were pleased that I wrote them.

I have also prepared a genealogy record for my kids, complete with pictures.

Ernie Simpson (2)

Don: This is such a great idea! Yep, these books will be a precious treasure in years to come. You make me want to start compiling a similar thing ... it's that neat an idea.

I love those old pictures, too ... wonder what the grandkids will think of OUR own pictures in years to come.

I hope you will keep contributing to the web site...

Tom Pry

We only have one grandkid geographically close to us and, as an idea, my wife, Karen, started her own little tradition. We shoot events in Kayla’s young life (she’s 8, almost 9), dance recitals, school shows, birthdays, etc., and then Karen makes a couple-or-three digital collages, prints them on photo-grade glossy paper, and puts them into plastic page protectors. They’re given to Kayla, who has a large notebook in which she carefully inserts them. The collages always have shots of Kayla and grandma together at the event, of course, and include date and place. Hopefully, she’ll continue that record into adulthood, which’ll create a treasure trove for HER children, I’m sure. (UPDATE: Kayla is now ten, and one of her Christmas presents is a scrapbooking kit. She also now lives in Central Ohio).

Just an idea.

The columns I’ve done here and on my “personal” site, plus a llllooonnnngggggg series of “memories” items (much of which has been seen here first) I’m writing for Wagon Wheel Publishing (Searcy Sun, White County Record, Bald Knob Banner, and the White River Delta Dispatch) in Bald Knob will be, methinks, the only written legacy I’ll leave behind.

Never did write a book I could put my name on.


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