Monday, September 17, 2007


Editor’s note: The following got lost in the translation from reality to e-mail and back again. Sorry ‘bout that. –tlp-



This 1942 SHS annual, Cavalier, has an interesting cover.

A negative version is a little easier to view.

I believe the flag is the American flag. Look closely and some of the stripes are just visible.

Here's one of the inside pages.


This High School Yearbook is loaded with pictures of the high school students at Searcy, Arkansas and many, many inscriptions and signatures of students. The book belonged to a popular junior named "Lucille". We'll be happy to answer any questions you may have about students pictured in the annual.

Condition of book is Good. Binding is leatherette (faux leather).

Anyone know a 1942 junior with first name Lucille?

This book is interesting to me because my grandfather took in his niece, Monnie Graham, as a boarder so she could finish her senior year at Searcy Hi. Her family lived out in the country and transportation was too hard. My grandfather owed his brother Frank $150 from the early 30s so this was a way to pay him back. My Uncle Doyle said that was cheap board.

My uncle was 20 and in the Civil Service at that time. He was in a food service operation in the Azores Islands. This was his way to serve his country since he wasn't physically able to serve in the armed forces. My other uncle, Alvin, was in the Army and died in Germany in 1942. He is buried in France.

One thing I remembered about Monnie is going with her to visit her boyfriend. I remember he had lots of model airplanes hanging from the ceiling in his room. I was 6 at the time and really liked model airplanes. One could get a kit from Sterling's for 10 cents. Balsa wood was scarce because of the war so the parts were made from stiff cardboard. I remember I didn't understand how to build a fuselage frame from cross section pieces and stringers so I just glued the stringers to the plan and cut it out. Yes, I really do remember that!



Wednesday, September 12, 2007



I bid on the 1942 SHS (Cavalier) yearbook and got it Sat. I spent time looking at it last night. It seems it was the first yearbook published since 1930. Wow! 12 years without a yearbook.

The class of 1942 was the first class to graduate from the new $100,000 high school.

The book owner's name was Lucille Harwood and she was indeed a popular girl with both students and faculty.

The comments are precious. My favorite comment is by a teacher named Maxiene Graves, Social Science.

L is for lovely

Indeed it applies to you.
U is for useful
The little things you do.
C is for clever
an asset to unfold.
I is for industry

An endeavor to behold.
L again appears in your name.

To me it stands for the above.
L a third time is written
To me it stands for love.
E is the end for everything.
Fate has indeed to you been kind.
My wish for you is happiness in
everything you find.

How about that for a teacher comment?

Oh heck, I have to mention one more.

Pupils like you make teaching a pleasure. Your presence in my class is always an inspiration.

Next year who will tell me about the lives of authors! You are a very lovely person with a fine intellect.

Make them both work in your
successes and happiness. Sincerely yours,
Ollie May Hicks

I had Mrs. Hicks as well.

Here's the Faculty page.
Here's an activity page. The lovely Lucille Harwood can be seen lower left.
Harold Sullivan says his brother A.J. was in the seventh grade then. Harold has identified A.J. as the 4th from the left bottom row.

It would be interesting to know if Lucille Harwood is still around.



Eddie Best wrote:

Hi, Don - thanks for sending this. Your comments are interesting also. I think one of our Historical Society members, Lucille Harris, graduated from SHS about this time. I am sending your message to her daughter` Martha Poplin.

Eddie Best


White County Historical Society

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tribute to Our WWII Veterans

Local veterans participate in AETN documentary

For the residence located outside of White County AR., this may offer an opportunity to relive some memories.

Five men recount experiences in World War II

From the Searcy Daily Citizen, September 6, 2007:

CONWAY — Clarence Alvin Fowler and Ross Edward Bridger, both of Searcy and brothers, Leon Van Patten, Irvin Van Patten and Charles Van Patten, all of Searcy, were five of 47 World War II veterans who traveled with the Arkansas Educational Television Network to Washington, D.C., to visit the National World War II Memorial in a four-day “Tribute Tour” in June.

That trip has now been made into a 90-minute documentary that will premiere Sunday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m. on AETN.

“Their Journey: A Veterans’ Tribute Tour,” a production of “In Their Words: AETN’s World War II Oral Histories Project,” follows 47 participants through the nation’s capitol as they visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, receive a special Evensong service and blessing at Washington’s National Cathedral and experience the memorial built in their honor at sunset.

They were selected to participate in the trip after being interviewed for the “In Their Words” project. This project allows AETN to archive firsthand knowledge of the war for use by future generations online and in the classroom, as well as providing a lasting memory for the interviewee’s family. With more than 200 veterans completing interviews to date, each was issued an invitation, and participants were selected randomly in April.

Clarence Alvin Fowler

Fowler was 19 years old and working at the Pine Bluff Arsenal when he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps on March 3, 1943. He served aboard a B-26 Bomber as a flight engineer and gunner in the 391st Bomb Group, known as the “Black Marauders” in the European Theater of Operation. Fowler also witnessed action over the Ardennes, the Rhineland, Northern France and Central Europe, including many dangerous Daylight Raids. Fowler was injured when he and his crew had to bail out of their plane over France during a mission. After the war, he was a store manager in the grocery business and then a Civil Service Commissary store manager.

Ross Edward Bridger

Bridger was 19 and working for the National Youth Administration (NYA) when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on June 8, 1943. He served aboard a B-24 Bomber as a waist gunner and radio operator. Bridger was in the 465th Bomb Group in the European Theater of Operation, primarily in Pantanella, Italy, and flew 35 missions over the Ardennes and the Rhineland in Germany. After the war, he attended the Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) on the GI Bill. He was a high school teacher and principal in Arkansas from 1951 to 1984.

Irvin Van Patten

Irvin Van Patten was 27 and a mechanic/workman at the Van Patten Motor Company when he was drafted into the U.S. Army on Feb. 2, 1944. He served as mechanic and combat infantryman in the 16th Armored Division. He arrived at the end of the Battle of the Bulge and participated in combat operations in Central Europe in the European Theater of Operation. He was on a troop train headed towards the West Coast for service in the Pacific Theater of Operation when the atomic bombs were dropped. After the war, Van Patten returned to Searcy and ran a John Deere Farm Implement Dealership with his brother, Leon, for 25 years. He remained active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and was the White County Veterans Service Officer for 10 years.

Charles Van Patten

Charles (Dale) Van Patten was 19 and a student at Harding College (now Harding University) when he enlisted in the U. S. Army on Dec. 11, 1942. He served as a medic driving a litter Jeep between the front lines and the aid station in the 310th Regiment, 2nd Medical Battalion in the European Theater of Operation. He participated in the battles of Hurtgen Forest and Remagen Bridge. After the war, he graduated from the University of Arkansas on the GI Bill and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He owned a hardware store for over two decades, and then worked in sales until he retired in 1985.

Leon Van Patten

Leon Van Patten was 27 and working in a war plant building B-25 Bombers in Memphis, Tenn., when he was drafted into the U.S. Army on March 22, 1945. He served as a rifleman and a mechanic in the 4040th and 4615th Quartermaster Truck Companies in the Philippines in the Pacific Theater of Operation. After the war, Van Patten repaired and sold used cars until 1951, and then ran a John Deere Farm Implement Dealership.

“Their Journey: A Veterans’ Tribute Tour” will premiere in conjunction with PBS’ latest Ken Burns’ film, “The War.” AETN’s “Tribute Tour” was sponsored primarily by private funds, and some funds were made available through the “In Their Words” project.

Anyone who would like to be interviewed for the “In Their Words” project may apply online at or print the application and mail it to AETN, Attn: Gabe Gentry, P.O. Box 1250, Conway, AR 72033. For more information, call (800) 662-2386.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network ( provides lifelong learning opportunities, improves and enhances Arkansans’ lives and celebrates the unique culture of Arkansas through its programming and services. AETN’s analog and digital transmitters and numerous cable system connections give it statewide reach.