Sunday, January 29, 2006


Tom Pry

Well, Thursday night was the now-annual Hall of Honors ceremony at Searcy High School. Among the honorees was Ruth Fuller, our erstwhile and long-suffering Science teacher. One of her presenters was Bobby Scott Fuller, who was Ruth’s nephew.

Of the event, Bob’s wife, Anita Hart Fuller, says, “The do last night was really nice. So many old classmates it was like a big reunion, which is the point I guess. TONS of pics on Do you know this website?”

Well, sort of, since they are advertisers on MyTownTV, for whom I’m privileged to do some consulting work. I was not aware that Wally Jarratt and his colleagues did events other than sporting, but obviously they do. The above picture of Bob is some of Wally’s work, as is this photo of Mrs. Everlyn Green, SHS’s first African-American teacher.

In accepting her honor, Green said that the importance of education is “So that all can feel the exhilaration of a well-spent life.” The other teacher acknowledged was Bobbie Coleman, and the other three distinguished Searcy alumni were Don Christian, Dr. J.D. Patterson and Reverend Emil Williams.

SURE you remember Golden Boy Don Christian, don’t you? Went on to the U of A and became the Razorback Quarterback. Thought you could handle a little memory-nudging, so here it is.

Incidentally, from Philip Holsinger’s piece in the Citizen about the Hall of Honor ceremony: “When Green’s name was called to come forward and except the honor, she was rewarded with a standing ovation.”

We subtract 10 points from the score of anyone who can’t immediately spot the error in that simple sentence.


Moving on ….

This letter appeared in the Citizen Friday:

Dear Editor: I’m wondering, is newer always better? Two of Searcy’s (which equates to White County) landmarks have met the wrecking ball in the past few months. First the Truman Baker building made way for a drug store, now a beautiful, structurally sound grain silo has been leveled to make room for another Burger King. The Truman Baker building was home to the Arkansas National Guard’s 139th Infantry.

I know those two pieces of real estate are prime because of their locations, but I ask, can history not be incorporated into urban spawl? Did Searcy really need another drug store? Does it really need another place to eat hamburgers? If so, couldn’t those older and beautiful buildings have been used some way instead of another pre-fabricated steel building?

I hope Searcy’s planning commission will ask these questions in the future. Sometimes our future lies in our past.

Jerry Case
Bald Knob

I reprint Jerry’s letter because he put it very well. The grain silo to which he refers is down by the confluence of South Main Street and Beebe-Capps, and used to belong to Kelso Feeds (now THERE’S a name out of the past!). This is how it looked the day Jerry’s letter was published and, by thiis time next week, it’ll be leveled. They’re having a tough time with it, though: it was made with poured concrete with rebar all through it and it’s not going easy.



Finally, editorial comment from yours truly …

A couple of weeks ago, in first commenting on Everlyn Green’s nomination to the Hall of Honors, I commented on the fact that most of uis never met any of our peers at the White County Training School, the black counterpart to SHS, which was lily-white until 1964 (with the exception of Ollie Mae Dockens, who was a lunchroom employee, not a student or faculty member), and went on to hypothesize that perhaps 50th reunions might be the time to rectify that.

I expected almost everything but what I got: total and complete silence.

I guess this is another of my bright ideas whose time will never come.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Harold Gene Sullivan

First, a little background: I graduated from SHS in 1953.

I have lived in the Seattle area for the past 40+ years and now live in Issaquah, WA, about 20 miles east of Seattle, along I-90 in an area called “Washington’s Alps”.

After using a manual wheelchair for 20+ years, my shoulder joints have worn out. The shoulder joints are just not designed for all that work. Four years ago I had the left one replaced and last August the right one. As part of my recovery, in November-December, I had an Occupational Therapist coming out to the house to work with me a couple of times a week. Of course, we did lots of visiting during the exercises. One day something came up about both my wife, Carolyn Cranford from McRae, and me being from the South. He said, “I was born in Michigan but graduated from high school in a small town in Arkansas named Searcy. Have you ever heard of it?”

After picking my teeth up off the floor, I told him that was my hometown.

His name is Brian Carlson. He said that his family moved to Searcy when he was in the 6th grade. His dad worked for Vickers. He graduated from Searcy High in 1991, almost 40 years later than my 1953 graduation. He also went to the same church I did, the First Methodist Church. He did know several people who were kids or grandkids of people I knew, but we didn’t seem to have any direct acquaintances in common. We had lots of fun talking about things in and around Searcy. He enjoyed the old pictures I had.

Also, around this time there were some postings about the Rialto Theater which he had fond memories of. After graduating from high school, he went to the University of Arkansas where he got his OT degree. Since then he has been what he termed a “traveling therapist”. He is single and likes to travel so he just takes part time OT jobs and moves every two or three years.

It is a small, small world.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Tom Pry

Well, here we are on Sunday, and I’ve already blown the one item I received this week, Ernie’s excellent recounting of one of life’s little embarrassing moments (see below, if you missed it).

Can’t run ‘em if I don’t have ‘em, folks.

In stumbling around to find something to fill this space, I was reminded that this coming Thursday is the annual Hall of Honor program, at which Ruth Fuller, among others, will be installed.

This reminded me that it was just a year ago that Luther Hardin took his place on that wall, leading to a spate of stories, the final one of which was:

It was Life Magazine for 2/3/41, and they were covering a dance for servicemen. Although they both of them were dancing fools, that is not Krystal dancing with Luther. She says she was in high school at the time this was taken.

FYI, they didn’t meet until he joined the faculty at Arkansas Tech after the war as a flying instructor. By that time, Krystal was working in the Tax Collector’s office, Luther walked in to pay his taxes and that’s all she wrote. True love at first sight.

P.S. Krystal’s rather tall. She always called Luther “Shorty,” as apparently did everyone else in his family.

‘Pologize for the quality of the photos, but there are reasons.

Let’s have some stories, PLEASE: most of you went to school in the Searcy system much longer than did I.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Ernest Simpson

Dan’s story of he and Elois after the Rainbow and Demolay soiree jogged a slight memory for me, also of Elois. We all must have been not much older than fourteen, and not yet to the ‘serious’ having dates as yet, but Dan and I were both fortunate to have parents who were understanding of a young man’s need for transportation that would create a sense of independence, however limited in our knowledge of what that meant in terms of responsibility.

Dad had come home with a ’52 GMC deluxe cab with only 1, 100 miles, and we had a great family celebration, since this was the newest and greatest truck in White county, I believed. Dad was good to let me take it to the edge of town, or ‘you can park it at Uncle Hubert’s’ (Hubert Coward, Jeanette Weir’s father, all kinfolk) What, me park at Uncle Huberts? No way! Sometime during this, I was allowed to call on Elois to take to a movie, and was thrilled to take her in the GMC. She still remembers the truck, if you ask her.

At the appropriate time, and appropriate movie at the Rialto, I asked her to go. I always met her at the door; her mom, Valena, and her dad, Hodge, were great folks and always invited me in and seemed glad to see me when I came around.

We headed out to the movie, only a couple of blocks from their house, and I parked on the right side of the street heading south beside the Rialto.

The movie was fine and when it was over, I thought maybe we could go by the Dairy Queen or the Pit on East Race. But I got a little surprise, in the way of the oldest practical joke known to teen-agers of that day.

Someone, I think I know who, had simply raised the hood of the truck, urinated in a can or container, and poured the contents over the exhaust manifold. In those years, there were no inside latches for the vehicles, and it was easy to get access to the engine.

I cranked the truck up, and made one pass around the court square, when the engine came up to operating temperature, so did the odor inside the truck. I knew instantly what it was, but what do you do? I didn’t say anything, except turn beet red, and mouth a few choice words under my breath. Elois acted like nothing was going on, which I appreciated, but what would a well-mannered young lady say? So, we drove around until the awful smell was gone, and nothing was mentioned about it. I often wondered and wanted to bring up the subject in later years, but never did.

Little things on our way to full blown adolescence come to mind every once in a while, so maybe the mind isn’t going as fast as we think it is at times. As we approach our 70th birthday in a few years, perhaps other little tidbits will cross our paths in memory.

Tom Pry

Ern, our ladies, when we were young, put up with an awful lot from us, especially where transportation was concerned. My very first date at SHS was the opportunity to escort Mary Kathryn VP to a joint FHA/FFA bash at the Legion Hut. The only vehicle I had was my grandfather’s two-ton truck (a ’46, at that). Mary Kathryn acted as if she were being escorted out to a Mercedes limo.

That, boys and girls, is Class.

Besides, Ernie, it could’ve been worse. I remember a nostalgia piece in Reader’s Digest many, many moons ago, a guy telling of how, when he was a young boy, he took a really serious dislike to the young man who was “sparkin’” his older sister. This dislike grew even more intense when the young man got a brand spanking new Ford A model. To fight back, the kid snuck out one night while the young man was in the house, and poured skunk oil over the exhaust manifold. Skunk oil is exactly what it sounds like.

For the rest of the winter, the young man had to do his driving with windows open. The skunk oil had soaked into the soft cast iron of the manifold and would not disappear – and, as he learned later, every penny his sister’s suitor had was tied up in that car, and he literally couldn’t afford to replace the manifold.

He said that, in later years, he occasionally felt guilty about doing that … but not too much.

Count your blessings, lad.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Tom Pry (1)

Nice running into Rabon Price and his lovely wife the other day. Rabon tells us that they finally closed the craft business and moved to McCrory, where they now live. Both of them are very much looking forward to the Class of 56’s 50th Anniversary Reunion coming up July 1st. Nice seeing them, even if it was in a doctor’s waiting room (nothing serious; relax).

Speaking of dates …

Thursday, January 26th, will be the Searcy High School Hall of Honor ceremony, at the Searcy High School Sullards Annex Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are on sale at the Searcy Public Schools Superintendent’s Office at 801 North Elm.

As mentioned here before, one of the honorees will be Mrs. Ruth Fuller. The ceremony for her will feature, among others, Bobby Scott Fuller (Ruth’s nephew) and his wife …


Could you/would you put out a little request on Searcyyesteryear for anyone who has a picture of Ruth Fuller's old Model A (or T, we can't remember which) car? We'd love to have it at the Hall of Fame thing.My memory of Mrs. Fuller as a high school teacher was that, while I certainly respected her as a teacher, and one who knew her subject, I don't think she had much respect for me as a student of biology, chemistry, and physics. WHY I ever took physics and chemistry I will NEVER know.

Later, as Bob's wife, I came to know her personally. I found her very personable and fun to be around. We always had our "Christmas tree" at her house on Arch Street: that house would be packed with relatives and presents. Traditionally we always had homemade hot tamales for our Christmas dinner. This was accompanied by a fruit salad made from canned fruit salad and Miracle Whip, a slaw, lots of catsup and crackers - that's it.

Tom Pry (2)

Anita, I suspect it was a Model A, but you can judge from the photos of the two different models. The T, incidentally, came before the A.

I only had Ruth for one course, Physics. She did well with the limited equipment she had at her disposal, and excelled at coming up with things that would make the point without the expenditure of money. I remember one day when our class (exclusively male, now that I think of it) trooped over to a building just off the square. An outstanding feature of this building was an OUTSIDE set of stairs up to the second floor. We individually ran those stairs, timing each other. The point? As I recall, it was measuring our individual horsepower.

But, among the memories, I find the day she was trying to explain the difference between linking batteries in serial and in parallel. Now, I can no longer remember myself which was appropriate for the occasion, but she had batteries connected through a switch to a voltmeter and was trying to make the point that doing it one of those two ways should usually be avoided when she threw the switch opening the circuit to the little voltmeter … and we watched closely during the brief moment when the needle on the meter instantly pegged, then withered like a speeded up movie of a snowman on a sunny day.

Her comment? “I think I got that backwards.”

Another honoree will be Mrs. Everlyn Green. Who was she? She was the first African-American (a term which, apparently, is now back in favor) to join the teaching staff at Searcy High School, when SHS was first integrated in the 1965-1966 school year.

Mrs. Green is still alive and kicking, and I had a nice talk with her the other day. My reason for calling her was to get some details straight for a little think piece, and this seems as good a place as any for it. Let me first say that Mrs. Everlyn Green’s son, Mose, who now resides in Omaha, Nebraska, will present his mother to the foundation.

Again, the Hall of Honor will be on Jan. 26, 2006, at the Searcy High School Sullards Annex Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are on sale at the Searcy Public Schools Superintendent’s Office at 801 North Elm. For more information call 268-3517.

Now …

I’ve told the story here before about stopping for coffee at a Walgreen’s on Michigan Avenue in Chicago back in 1965 (which, coincidentally, would turn out to be SHS’ integration date) and finding out that my waitress, an attractive, well-spoken black lady of about my age was not only from Searcy, but she was one of Ollie Mae Dockens’ daughters. Then, just a few short years ago, while working for Alltel in Little Rock, I was telling that story to a young secretary named Mallie Jones, adding my regret that there was an entire universe of classmates and possible friendships that we had never formed because we were attending segregated schools.

When I got finished, Mallie said, “That would’ve been my Aunt Alice. Ollie Mae was my grandmother.” Truth: coincidence run amuck.

Students over at what us lily-white little darlin’s referred to as “the colored school” had the same Board of Education as we did, supposedly the same curriculum (remember the motto: “Separate but Equal”?) .. but, according to Mrs. Green, while our diplomas said “Searcy High School,” theirs were headed “White County Training School.”

What’s in a name on a diploma? One of the deciding factors in our decision to move here from Chicago was the discovery that I was slated to attend Harrison Technical High School, with the same overtones of the mechanics class in “Grease” as, to me, does “White County Training School.”

It’s occurred to me that this kind of nonsense has really gone far enough. I wonder which is going to be the first of our classes to really break that barrier for their 50th Reunion, and have a JOINT 50th reunion with the members of the WCTS/SHS classes together for the first time.

Just a thought, but I think it’s time.

Have a good week.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Jim Bohannon

I will assume most of the readers of the Searcy Yesteryear column are retired and, like me, probably spend a lot of time on the computer. If they (like me) enjoy listening to classical music playing in the background while on the computer. May I suggest streaming a radio station located in Washington, DC. The station is the most listened to classical radio station in the world. The station plays classical music 24/7 commercial-free. And one can stream the music right off their computer. As a fan of classical music, may I recommend this great radio station to the Searcy Yesteryear readers.

Tom Pry

Not classical music, sire, except in the sense of oldies from the 20th Century. I’ve had much fun digitizing and “cleaning up” old vinyl recordings and storing them on my PC. I’ve got a nice amplifier and a equally-nice set of old reference speakers stashed under my desk and listen to my own private, customized juke box while I pound the keyboard.

In fact, those of you with old vinyl you’d like to preserve … check out my commercial:

THIS IS A PERSONAL COMMERCIAL, which I’ll be running about once a week until Google – or you – tells me to knock it off.


I have the software and the experience to transfer this material, or anything recorded on a VHS tape, to CD – AFTER it’s been digitally cleaned up to get rid of annoying pops, snaps, hissing.

Price: reasonable. Reaction time: quick. Copies available? Depends on what you send.

Call during daylight or early evening hours: 501-268-7438, or e-mail me at

HELP! Social Security just doesn’t go as far as it used to .. and those old tapes and records don’t last forever, either.

Which reminds me: do any of you have a working reel-to-reel tape deck capable of playing back both 7.5 and 3.75 ips recordings? Let me know.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


First, this news flash from this morning’s Searcy Daily Citizen:

Ruth Fuller selected for Hall of Honor

Jean Ann Bell

“A Renaissance woman is the way I would describe Ruth Garlington Fuller,” said Mary Lou Dunn, director of Searcy Sunshine School. Dunn has been Fuller’s student and her neighbor when she was growing up in Searcy. Dunn will present Fuller as she is posthumously inducted into the Searcy Public Schools Education Foundation third-annual Hall of Honor.Dunn qualified Fuller’s Renaissance characteristics by saying that because she performed such a variety of tasks as a 44-year veteran teacher, she certainly fit into such a category.

Her first year of teaching was in Benton, Ark., in the 1928-29 school year. She then went back to Searcy, where she had attended high school and college at Galloway Women’s College (now Harding University), and taught in the primary and grammar schools. The majority of her teaching career at Searcy, however, was at Searcy High School where she taught biology, chemistry, physics and French.

Fuller was married to John Fuller. While they had no children of their own, they did have several nieces and nephews with whom they maintained a very close relationship. Three of them, Bobby Scott Fuller, Billy Fuller, and Ruth Ann Fuller, will accept the foundation’s auspicious award in memory of their Aunt Ruth.

The posthumous presentation of Fuller will be made at a banquet at the Searcy High School Sullards Annex Cafeteria on Jan. 26, 2006, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Searcy Public Schools Superintendent’s Office at 801 N. Elm.

The full story may be found at

I don’t think there’s a single one of the readers of this site who does not have warm memories of Ruth Fuller. Let’s hear them for next weekend’s follies, what say?

Warren Darden

(Regarding 1/7’s piece on Channel 4 bowing to pressure and dumping “The Book of Daniel” Friday night).

Tom, I think you may have stepped outside the parameters of Searcyyesteryear. Your entry today was a personal matter.

Regarding your comments: First, I think you should go back and think about the statement of the station. Second, maybe YOUR views are in the minority??

I support Channel 4 for their judgment.

Warren (a member of that "very noisy minority")

Tom Pry

Warren, thank you for your expression of opinion, and in such a reasonable tone. This is the kind of thing where a “reasonable tone” is NOT usually the case.

My own comments to the substance of yours: my statements WERE personal, but the issue itself affects all of us. It ended up on Searcy Yesteryear because it happened here in Arkansas, one of three states that seem to be most prone to this kind of errant nonsense (the other two being Utah and Alabama).

It all boils down, you see, to YOU telling ME what I can and cannot watch. This is only one short step away from ME telling YOU what church you can-or-cannot attend, what books you cannot read … get the idea?

This kind of thing is why you can’t buy a drink in White County … unless you’re a member of the Country Club, the Elks, or the VFW. Other people have chosen to tell you and me what we can and can’t do and, by doing so, they are infringing on MY rights. My rights should end at the point where the exercising of my rights starts affecting your rights. This is the reason, for instance, that murder is illegal: that’s taking personal freedom too far. Telling me that I can’t watch a TV program because YOU don’t like it is taking your personal freedom into my patch of real estate.

The citizenship, you see, already has the power to affect all of us with a MAJORITY view. Had channel 4 carried “The Book of Daniel” Friday night and NOBODY WATCHED, I guarantee you that show wouldn’t have had a second network appearance anywhere. This has happened in the industry, just like others have been resurrected because so many people have screamed bloody murder.

As an example, “America’s Most Wanted” was slated to be cut to a half-hour, preparatory to being dropped entirely. Well, both the viewership of Fox in general and, especially, the law enforcement community raised so much hell about that move that AMW sits right there in that prime Saturday night real estate on Fox every week.

It’s Choice, Warren. I want to choose my shows by my lights. I do NOT want you, as nice a guy as you are, telling me what I can or cannot watch. (One of the hottest new films on the market is “Brokeback Mountain.” I have no urge to see a movie, no matter how good it is, about two gay caballeros .. uh .. gay cowboys, but I certainly do not agree with the Utah theatre that, at the last moment, cancelled the schedule of that film in their state).

Maybe my opinion has no place on here, Warren: quite likely it is/was out of place but, until mid-July, things like that will crop up here occasionally.

You don’t have to read them if you don’t want to, but they'll be on here if you DO want to read them.

Have a nice week, gang!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


KARK-TV, channel 4, was the second “major” station on the air here in Arkansas back in the early 50s. It did a good job for us, with good equipment and equally good people to operate it, plus NBC’s programming.

At some point, however, it started going Wrong. In my return to this state, my mind registers the start of the slide as the day the station decided my old colleague and classmate, Tommy Bonner, had been with the station too damn long and ignominiously dumped him on the street after 20+ years with the operation, both on camera and in the executive suite. (When last heard of, Tommy was handling PR for Arkansas Childrens’ Hospital).

Then came the “portal wars.” A “portal” is the home page that comes up when you first go on the internet. It’s your choice. (To change it, go up to “Tools,” select “Internet Options,” and finally just put the URL of your portal of choice in the top slot). That portal or “home page” is considered valuable real estate, which is why some of the sneakier of the internet scam artists will feed a vicious little line-or-two of code in when you’re not looking and, ouila!, your home page has been changed!

A lot of companies operate portal sites and they’d love to have you select them: Google™, Yahoo!™ etc.

I use MSNBC. I like the things with which I can choose to customize it. Among these optional items are headlines and links to stories selected by your local NBC station or other news organization which, if you choose Little Rock, is KARK-TV.

Valuable, valuable real estate on the cyber highway, but TV4 hasn’t figured it out yet. I’ve seen the same headlines up for as long as two weeks at a time. I got so disgusted at one point that I wrote them a letter of complaint and heard from a VP that they were working on it. That was a year ago, and their attention to that site is just as patchy as it’s been for the past several years. Frequently, it’s been national headlines instead of local, and THEY’RE several days old before they get changed.

I may change my option to Conway’s Log Cabin Democrat, which is the option you get if you just select by Zip Code here in Searcy.

But KARK-TV hit the absolute bottom last night. As a DirecTV subscriber, I set my Tivo to record “The Book of Daniel.” I record all my primetime selections and watch off the recorder, because it’s rare for what I watch before primetime to end right on the clock tick.

Anyway, when at 10 past the hour I tuned in to watch the two-hour premiere episode, I got total darkness. I called DirecTV’s English-as-a-second-language Technical Support department to have it suggested that I totally re-set my Tivo/receiver.

Instead, I “live-tuned” channel 4 … and Ohmigod! there was a program on there … but it was NOT “The Book of Daniel.” It was some kind of Not-Ready-for-Primetime hastily thrown-together public opinion BS program called “Voices of Arkansas” which DEFINITELY had no business being aired by any reputable TV station unless the operation was totally desperate.

Going out to KARK’s web site, there was a banner at the top of their home page announcing that they weren’t going to air “The Book of Daniel.” Hitting the banner got you the following message:

“After careful consideration, watching the program and most importantly listening to our viewers and engaging them in dialogue, we have decided not to air the NBC program The Book of Daniel this Friday night. We appreciate hearing from so many of our viewers who expressed their heartfelt opinions on both sides of the issue.

“You can watch the Book of Daniel on KWBF-TV, WB 42 right here in Central Arkansas. It will air Friday, January 6th at 8pm.”

In other words, they caved to the religious right and very noisy minority. WB42 then did what they had a perfectly legitimate right to do, which is to ask NBC for carriage rights, since their local affiliate chose not to carry it (we used to do that in Miami with NBC’s Monday Night Movie. The local affiliate found out they could make more money running their own old movie with local advertising, so we got the good stuff from the network).

Now, there are several problems with this. To begin with, if KARK let Tivo, DirecTV or anyone else know about this programming change in advance, I saw no signs of it, hence my Tivo’s confusion: one program scheduled, a different one actually airing, and 15 minutes of nothing but black and an error message on my hard drive.

No crawl during their half-assed “special” telling people where to go. I have no idea if they made a courtesy announcement at the beginning of that miserable excuse for Friday night programming they aired. In any case, if you didn’t have internet access and the smarts to use it, you didn’t know what to do unless you called long distance on your own dime to ask, and I’ll bet the phone lines were hot!

Moving on …. WB42 is a low-power station that survives by virtue of its satellite and cable mandatory coverage, plus a small network of repeater stations (including channel 56 here in Searcy. Did’ja know that?). I’m glad they carried it, but I was a little put off by their choice of commercials for the local spot availabilities in the two-hour premiere. I like looking at well-built and scantily-clad young ladies as much as the next guy (whether he’ll admit it or not), but I found the two chief sponsors over the line in bad taste when included in a program that features dialogues between our (Hero??) and Jesus.

The program itself was cute and has potential. If it serves no other purpose, it gives you a yardstick against which to measure your own problems. They should have called the namesake character Job instead of Daniel. Nonetheless, it was well done, the theology when expounded faultless. Excellent casting.

Watch it – if the religious right lets you. Tune in and see what happens next Friday night at 9 on channel 4 OR WB42.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Anita Hart Fuller

First Marshall Fields, then Searcyyesteryear, now The Bergoff Restaurant in Chicago. Bad things happen in Threes.

Tom Pry (1)

My father’s first job in Chicago was working in the stock room at Marshall Fields. MF, in fact, was the start of UPS, which began as an expansion of the Marshall Fields delivery service to include other downtown department stores … for a fee, of course.

One of my first appearances on radio was on a program that, that day, originated from the Edgewater Beach Hotel, and was sponsored by Marshall Fields. That particular show was held at the site of the National Librarians Convention or some such.

Didn’t know it’d finally bit the big one. Nordstrom’s probably killed it. Marshall Fields forgot customer service; Nordstrom’s resurrected it. It’s a story all unto itself but, the day Nordstrom’s opened in Chicago, their reputation had preceded them to the point where the line waiting to get in stretched for two blocks … right past the Marshall Fields’ entrance.

Searcy Yesteryear will not particularly die after early July ’06. What will happen will be one of two things: either it will just sit there with no new entries OR somebody younger will take it over (Billy Fuller, are you listening?) and expand its coverage. Right now, it seems to cover the classes of ’53 to ’57, with HUGE dropoffs in readers on either side of those brackets. That was not intent, but it’s what’s happened.

Least readership out of those classes: my own, the Class of ’56. Must’ve been something I said.

Jim Bohannon – SHS Class of 57

It was great to renew your acquaintance after all these years. Reba and I wish you and yours a happy new year, and look forward to reading the Searcy Yesteryear articles during 2006. Again, thank you and others for sending the material for publication. I can see where it would keep you busy editing/posting to your site. I would hope that you can continue providing the information during 2006. Easy for me to say that, since all I have to do is read it. However, as you already know – you do all the work.

If I recall correctly in one of your articles, you stated having served in the 1st Armored Division during your service in the Army? I salute you for your service to our country.

Enclosed are some patriotic theme return address labels. Please accept them with my compliments. All you have to do is provide the envelope and the increased two cents (from .37 cents to .39 cents) that USPS is going to charge for postage effective 1/6/6. “Why didn’t they just go to .40 cents and make it even money?” Go figure.

Again, great to hear from you again via the Searcy Yesteryear column. With my PC notebook, wireless and/or landline motel/hotel connection, I’ll always try to be in contact. Isn’t technology great? Who would have thought it back then?

Tom Pry (2)

I was in the 2nd Armor Division. 1st and 2nd both wore identical patches, the only difference between them being the number in the top of the triangle, and a rectangular strip beneath it with the unit nickname. As I recall, the First was “Old Ironsides” and ours was “Hell on Wheels.”

There’s a whole story behind how I started out my military career in an Armored Division. I’ll bore you with it sometime … but thank you for the kind words, sir. I’m proud to have served, even if I was lucky enough to never having had a shot fired at me .. in anger.

Classy return stickers. I’ll use those with pride, and I appreciate you going to the trouble.

USPS is raising the rate two cents because Congress mandated the USPS put $3Billion in escrow. Actually, the Post Office service turned a true profit for the first time since its formation this year, and then Congress dropped that escrow mandate on them. Probably, it’s so Congress has a new place to pilfer, now that they’ve drained the Social Security Trust Fund.

Interestingly enough, this was also the year that what the USPS calls “standard mail” (i.e. everything that’s not First Class) exceeded, in volume, the First Class stuff.

You’re right: things have sure changed. We send our thoughts and photos and songs and greeting cards electronically and free. We’re the same people who can remember, in our youth, penny postcards, 3 cent first class, and nickel Air Mail, which required a special stamp. It also featured twice a day delivery, even out in the country.

Dan E. Randle

I went to a Masonic spaghetti feed last week where the Rainbow Girls served up our meal. It made me remember something that I had forgotten about.

The DeMolay and Rainbow Girls had a combined meeting one night. I was in the DeMolay and Eloise Bleidt (Pelton) was in the Rainbow Girls. Everyone brought something to the dinner we had, so mom baked three apple and three cherry pies for me to take. There were two pies left, one of each, that I took home with me.

For some reason, I put the pies up on the shelf behind the back seat of our 53 Chevy for transporting back home. Eloise went with me for a ride before taking her home for the night. It was raining and of course the streets were slick. I had always been an adventurous driver, so I decided to do some power slides around corners, much to Eloise's delight. After the third or fourth, I just happened to look back and received quite a shock. You can imagine what I saw: slowly flowing down the back of the back seat were streamers of apple and cherry pie. We had to laugh at my stupidity, and then the cleanup started. We finally got the mess cleaned up. Then I took Eloise home. I began thinking about how I would explain to mom how the pies got so torn up. The easy solution, throw the rest of the pies out and hope she didn't ask.

She didn't!

One of the other things I remember doing is getting the Chevy up to 40 mph in 2nd gear, letting off the gas, turning the key off and letting it gear down to around 20 mph. When you turned the key back on, the car would backfire and sound like a cannon going off. Of course I would beat a hasty retreat from that neighborhood. The only problem was that, after so many backfires, the muffler would blow out. Mom never did figure out why our mufflers didn't last very long. She finally put on a copper lifetime muffler from Van Patten's. At least that's where I think she got it.

Tom talks about the road to his house during the 50's. Believe me, everything he tells you is the truth. I drove out there one winter during a rain storm, when the ruts were deep. I remember Tom telling me to stay out of the ruts. As I was driving away from his house, (driving too fast, as usual) something happened and I slipped over into one of the ruts. The car bottomed out and there I sat, unable to move. I had to walk back to Tom's house and get him to come pull me out. From that time on, whenever I was on a slick rutted road, I drove very slow. I have since solved that problem: I only drive 4-wheel drives now. I also have a back up, a winch on the front. Haven't been stuck since!

One night Larry Maness and I drove to Crossett to see a girl friend. On the way back, we got into Judsonia and noticed the gas gauge was empty. We had spent all our money, which put us into a quandary. We talked a gas station attendant into giving us some gas by leaving the spare tire for collateral with a promise to come back the next day and pay him. The gas was less than five dollars, the spare tire worth a lot more. Needless to say, the next day we took the money back to the gas station.

Can you imagine doing anything like that today?