Nostalgia and history for those who went to school in Searcy, Arkansas. Started by Tom Pry (Class of 56), and their many friends and classmates. Now handled by Billy Benz, Irvin Van Patten and Mary Kay Van Patten James. With a new Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 5/20, was Heritage Day in Searcy, a day just chock full of events … and old friends.
For instance, our old friend and frequent contributor to this site, Anita Hart Fuller.Anita (who, in real life, is a Registered Nurse) portrayed Searcian Margarete Neel, and brought along Anita’s treasured copy of the 1945 Red Cross poster portraying the real Margarete at work.
According to Anita, the real Margarete was NOT a nurse, just a Red Cross volunteer.Also, that picture was not taken specifically for use as a poster.It had been taken two years earlier, and was in a huge slush pile of photos that a committee pored over before selecting it for the 1945 poster.
Surprise visitors were Don and Paula Windsor Thompson, in from another sightseeing tour of the American west.
One of the Heritage Day events was a Democratic Party fundraiser out at the airport.Besides all kinds of local and state candidates, another face out of the past: the Class of 55’s trombone-playing Roxie Brown Troillette.
And I even got my
picture took while getting ready to take one myself.
And, speaking of pictures, if you'll look to the left of that one, you'll see a little old lady in a white blouse getting ready to have her picture taken by a gal in a pink top. The lady in the white blouse is Fayetta Coleman Murray, who had three different bouts of teaching in the Searcy schools: 46-47, 59-63, and a third bout that ended in her retirement in 1979.
One of the notable things about the lady is that Paula Windsor Thompson has a big, long scar on her right arm. That's the memory of a day in grammar school when she accidentally put her arm through a window. It was Fayetta who, with her husband, rushed Paula to Rodger's Hospital to get patched up before she bled to death.
Thought you'd like to know.
It was a nice day, and always fun to see old friends.
(a) I think we're getting into a new round of wars between Microsoft and Google, the Browser Wars.
The browsers in question are Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, the former owned by Uncle Bill Gates, the latter by those wonderful folks out in Silicon Valley.
I suddenly find myself in a position where I can't use just one to access everything I need to access. Developers put together web sites to be "maximized" in a particular browser. This is, unfortunately, leading to situations where, for instance, stuff I post here on Searcy Yesteryear doesn't really start until WAY down the page ... if I seek it in Internet Explorer, which is what most of you have. In Firefox, on the other hand, it's right where it belongs.
Note: Blogger (aka Blogspot) is owned by Google, which also owns Firefox. Does this give you a clue?
Then I have another location (don't ask) where, on Firefox, it sez I don't exist. Internet Explorer slides me right in.
It's going to get worse before it gets better, folks.
In the meantime, my apologies to everyone caught in the crossfire.
(b) Today is Heritage Day in Searcy. Among other things, we'll have Anita Hart Fuller portraying Margarete Neel over at the Legion Hut. As you may recall, Margarete was the Searcian chosen as the Red Cross "poster girl" back in 1945.
The last article in the Searcy Yesteryear column submitted by Anita Hart Fuller was most interesting and informative. She is correct in her recollection of observing very few obese students in the circa 1950’s public school.
I agree with Anita that the kids of today don’t get enough exercise compared to the students of the 1950s, who mostly walked to school and, while there, received generous amounts of fat burning physical education activities, recess, softball, kickball, soccer, etc. Sadly, in most schools today, these programs are no longer part of the curriculum. Also today, walking to and from school is out, because parents can’t afford to place their children at risk for who knows who or what is out there to do them harm.
And we wonder why obesity in today’s kids is so high! Anita is right. There is little or zero physical activity/education at school. And that is definitely a contributing factor to the increasing obesity in kids. Today, if the school kids don’t get any physical activity at home, then the obesity problem is even more compounded..
Anita’s comment about a Coke™ machine located in our old Searcy High School circa 1950’s reminded this Class of 1957 writer of a story that happened to me in 1955. May I share it with the Searcy Yesteryear readers? Thank you.
One day in Vocational Agriculture (FFA) class, my fellow FFA students and I were taking a class break out in the Carpenter Shop. As one may remember, the vocational education carpenter’s shop was located directly behind the FFA classroom. There was a Dr. Pepper™ vending machine located out in the shop area.
As I recall, the Dr. Pepper machine had an open door and the bottle tops were facing the front. Anyway, and I don’t remember who, probably me, made the suggestion. "Hey guys, I bet we can get free Dr. Peppers by force-pulling the bottles out of the frame opening." We tried it and it worked! By pulling on the bottle top with a little force, out comes a free bottle of Dr. Pepper.
Our FFA class of approximately 25 boys were now in soft drink heaven, drinking in excess (depending on how thirsty we were) more than one bottle each of FREE Dr. Pepper. However, our soft drink bonanza was short lived. The late Cecil Morgan, who was the vocational education shop teacher, decided to purchase a Dr. Pepper using the proper procedure of inserting a nickel for the resulting expected drink.
Well, after he placed his nickel in the machine, he observed the machine to be empty. Mr. Morgan, to our lack of knowledge, had filled up that same machine only two hours earlier. When he saw us sitting around drinking generous amounts of Dr. Pepper and the resulting empty bottles scattered about the break area. he put two and two (soft drink bottles) together and knew "something was fishy ." His suspicions were confirmed when he observed that the coin box was near-empty and lacking in nickels commensurate with the many empty Dr. Pepper bottles seen scattered about the shop, and full ones still being consumed.
I recall Mr. Morgan telling us. "It's quite obvious that you boys have been stealing Dr. Peppers and it's only right that I tell Mr. Hardin about this and let him handle it." Mr. Hardin was the late Luther Hardin, our FFA sponsor and vo-ag teacher. Mr. Hardin may have been short in stature, but was very tall when it came to student discipline. He had a "board of education" tucked away in his desk that got our quick attention when needed. We all dreaded being the recipient of Mr. Hardin’s "board of education." and Mr. Morgan knew the pending results on our behinds if Mr. Hardin was told of our misdeeds. Not to mention, another "board of education" session waiting for us at the office with the Mr. Stevens, the school principal. And, of course, the ultimate "board of education" session with our parents when they found out about it.
And, trust me, in our small school town environment, they would have found about it.
I also recall Mr. Morgan saying. "Ok boys, I don’t know why you did this. It’s stealing and you know that’s wrong. If all of you will bring nickels tomorrow to pay for the amount of drinks that you took, I will keep this to myself."
Anyway, as I recall, I went without lunch for a few days because my lunch money nickels went to pay for several unpaid Dr. Peppers. I don’t recall how many nickels the other boys brought to shop class, but I do recall Mr. Morgan saying it was more than enough to repay the Dr. Pepper machine.
I have a feeling Mr. Morgan did later tell Mr. Hardin. However, Mr. Hardin never mentioned it in subsequent classes. I feel Mr. Hardin knew how bad we felt about the soft drink caper. A lesson learned by me, and I’m sure the other boys felt the same way. To this day, I can safely say I have always paid for my Dr. Peppers.
Thank you Mr. Morgan and Mr. Hardin. Thank you both for your kindness.
I ran a sort of footnote from Anita Hart Fuller last weekend that seemed to be a continuation of a lost thought. Turned out I was right: I’d never got Part One. Anita explains:
I said Bob and I were watching GMA last week when the segment about removing soft drink machines in the public schools came on - citing obese school children as a growing problem, etc. We began to think about any really fat classmates in our class or the others we could think of, and we couldn't think of a one! There were some I'd call large, but no one fat. And there was only one drink machine, a Coke™ machine at the end of the hall close to the physics lab, typing classroom and boy's bathroom. I have no recollection of getting a Coke - we certainly didn't have any time between classes. Bob thinks he might have gotten a Coke to go with his lunch when there would be club meetings at noon. We'd certainly have to be very careful with the bottles, as they were glass and the floor concrete. Anyway, we then began to recall how much we all walked. I know it was a mile from my house to the school and we even walked home for lunch, having an hour. That's 4 miles just to start off. We either walked or rode our bicycles.
I think that was about all, then that prompted me to write about why we could walk everywhere: sidewalks and the school centrally located.
And, as always, she’s right.
P.S. Did ANYONE take pictures at the little “mini reunion” at The Rib Crib a couple of week’s ago? If so, share, please.
Anyone get any photos at the Class of 55’s “Mini Reunion” at the Rib Crib last weekend?I’d intended to swing by, but I was sitting up with a friend’s sick PC and couldn’t make it.
If you’ve got ‘em, share ‘em, hmmm?
ANITA HART FULLER
About the piece on no fat kids at SHS: another thing that made it so easy for all us town kids to walk to school was that the school was centrally located in the center of town AND all streets had sidewalks for folks to walk on. Now no one can walk anywhere for having to walk out in the street!
I have looked closely at the sidewalk on Arch St. and I swear some of it is the original sidewalk, or at least original when we were walking. I think that's neat.
SHS and so many schools nowadays are located in places so far away from most residences that kids can't walk or even ride bikes, even if they wanted to. That is really a travesty, but in the name of progress, guess that's just the way it is and has to be.
I have stepped off my soapbox.
CAROLYN REED HILL
Things are moving along for the Class of 56’s 50th Class Reunion.Heard from or about since our last report:
PAT MERRIT BARGER & BILL BARGER
LINZA WHISNANT & EVELYN WHISNANT-
ERMAGEAN LITAKER---WILL NOT BE HERE
NETTIE JO SEANARDKISS & BILL CALKIN RECEIVED
ROBERT (BOB) MILLER & MARGE MILLER
RITA JO (DUNN) SULTAN -RETURNED LETTER
LARRY & ELSIE MAE COFER
ROBIN & RUTH MOORE
JANE (WALLER) TUBBS --RETURNED NOT KNOWN
E.D. & PEGGY YANCEY
WILMA (TOWNSEND) CROSS REPLY "NO"
JOYCE McGUIRE RETURNED UNKNOWN
JEAN (BROWN) WARD RETURNED (I HAVE NEW ADD)
SUE (WITHEM) ENNARINO RETURNED
CLYDELL NEAL REPLY "NO"
JAMES BAILEY REPLY 'NO'
PATRICIA (WATKINS) CONLEY RETURNED
GAY (GOREE) & BILL WALLERSTEDT
PATSY (NORMAN) & BILL PRYOR
GERRY (SELVIDGE) CHILDERS REPLY "NO"
RABON PRICE (RE-MAILED) RETURNED
JAMES HOUSTON (RE-MAILED) RETURNED
TALKED TO JIMMY DON JACKSON (SAID HE WILL BE HERE)
JAMES HILL & CAROLYN HILL
DOES ANYONE HAVE A NEW ADDRESS FOR JAMES HOUSTON/?
THIS IS EVERYONE I HAVE HEARD FROM THRU APRIL 30. I HAD POSITIVE RESPONSES FROM THE FIRST LETTER THAT I HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANYTHING FROM AT THIS TIME. WE MAY NEED TO SEND ANOTHER LETTER OR WAIT A FEW MORE DAYS..
REMEMBER: SATURDAY JULY 1st AT EAGLEVIEW.EVERYONE WELCOME FROM ALL CLASSES TO MIX AND MINGLE FROM .