Saturday, July 22, 2006


Tom Pry, once more

From this morning’s Searcy Daily Citizen:

Maryann Fuller, 68 of Searcy, passed from this life July 21, 2006 after a long battle with cancer. She was born Oct. 20, 1937 in Augusta, Ark. She was preceded in death by her son, Ronnie Fuller and her parents, Bill and Bonnie Johnson. She was a member of West Race Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, W.H. “Cotton” Fuller; her sons, Steve Fuller and his wife Bonnie, and Kenny Fuller and his wife Letty; daughter-in-law, Sissy Fuller; six grandkids; five great-grandkids; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

I hate to go out on this note. Maryann and I used to ride “Birdie” Sparrow’s bus together. That said, I wasn’t on it the morning that Cotton came back from Air Force Basic Training, stopped the bus, pulled Maryann off, and took her off and married her.

I never dreamed at the time that, someday, her and Cotton’s son would end up married to one of my nieces.

Sweet lady, and she’ll be missed.


Now, the more cheerful news.

The SHS Class of ’54 was the first to be graduated in what was, at the time, our brand-spanking new football stadium. We had just plain old outgrown the auditorium.

As I’ve told the story before, some bright soul decided it would be great to “pass the torch of knowledge” symbolically during the ceremony. It was probably perennial Senior Sponsor Lois Thornton.

Anyway, track star and football co-captain Roland King was selected to carry the torch. Unfortunately, he had no chance to rehearse the run under real-time conditions. As a result, in darkness broken only by the light of the torch, we watched as he kept going straight instead of making the first turn, stumbled, and than ran full-throttle into the chain link fence, and got knocked on his fanny. Between his glasses and the torch, he was effectively blind, and he says that getting around that track was undoubtedly the longest run he ever made in his life.

Well, in the several years I’ve been carrying the torch of this site, I’ve run into plenty of chain link fences, and all of you have been kind enough to pick me up and get me back on track. Now, I pass the torch on.

Two members of the Class of 1963 are taking over Searcy Yesteryear, effective now.

In no particular order, one of these two lifelong friends (and, now, co-editors) is Billy Benz, shown here with one of his prize catches. As he said in his note to me, I wanted to title this picture I love to fish and remember, it's not the size that counts, but Irvin said I had to keep it clean.

“One thing you need to be aware of, I have a great sense of humor and love to throw in joke when I can. This is going to be fun.”

Bill recently moved to a place right on Lake Conway.

And “Irvin”? None other than Irvin Van Patten, little brother to my classmate, Mary Kathryn Van Patten James. Irvin now lives right outside Houston, TX, and already runs one website,

It’s all yours, guys.


Anonymous Donald Russell said...

Hello Tom, I just got connected to the BLOG and really enjoy it, My name is Donald Russell and I am "ARTIE" Russells brother! and just read the letter that Clifton sent back in "97". sure enjoyed it and I really miss my Brother to this day, We were going to travel togeather and one of our first stops was MONTANA! I have got a long list of stories that I have written about my childhood including the time we went to school at Honey Hill--1945 thru 1947-- and we rode to school with Mrs Annie Killough in her Modle A also! I graduated in 1955 but started to school with the class of 1954--I had a lapse of learning whil at Honey Hill! HA HA Mrs Moore was my teacher when we came back to Searcy, and she said that I REALLY needed more time in the 5th. but I really enjoyed my time with Her, she was a good and fair teacher, but then I liked Miss Thorton. till later. Don

5:53 PM  

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