Friday, September 11, 2009


In the email I sent out asking for comments and stories for the Blog, I told you to check Anonymous and put your name in the body of the comment if you wanted to. I should have told you to check next to Name/URL and put in your name. You can be anonymous if you want to be, but we would prefer to have your name with the comment or article.

Sorry about the misinformation.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Irvin's remembering on the first TV

I’m not sure but it would have been either 1952 or 1953 I would have been 7 or 8. I do remember the brand  and it was Motorola, a new brand then that had just come out. Everyone was starting to get into the TV business, Sylvania, Phil co, Zenith, and of course RCA. Our first TV was a 19” model in a cabinet, the word portable TV had not been invented.

My Uncle Ben Shannon had a TV repair shop and he made sure everything worked like it should.  Mr. Shannon didn't sell TV's just fixed them.  I don't know where Dad purchased the TV, but we were all glad he did.  Now we didn't have to go to Grand Dad's to watch the Friday Night Fight.

It was a real marvel, to watch things happen somewhere else and see it instantly in your living room. I think Bill Benz had the first TV in our area it was located in a Big Blond Cabinet and I can remember riding my bike (remember those things) over to his house to watch it. Bill developed a lot of instant friends in those days and his mom was great because she always fed us. I think I ate my first “Baby Ruth” candy bar at his home. She was also our den mother in Cub Scouts but that is another story.

I also remember 'Winky Dink and You?' as I remember it, watching that program could get you in real trouble!  Sometimes Winky Dink would get into trouble and you could help him out if you had this special covering to put on your TV screen. I wanted to help but we didn’t have the special film covering so I just marked on the Screen anyway. When mother saw the screen all marked up she wanted to know what had happened?  Naturally I told her my younger sister Rebecca had done it.

Growing up in those days it was always convenient to have a younger sister that you could blame things on. But, don’t feel bad for my sister she had a great memory and always paid me back. Even shot me once in the face with a Red Ryder B B Gun but that story is for another time too.

Do you remember watching Commando Cody, Sky King, My Friend Fury, and the Little Rascals?


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Remembering Your First TV

I would like to hear about 'Your First TV'. How old were you? What brand? What are some of the programs you watched? I'll get things started off:

First of all, I'm not sure how old I was, I think maybe 7. Bobby and I promised we would never go to the movies again if we could just get a TV.
The Greens (Bill, Gary) got the first TV that I remember seeing. They invited us to watch something but it was too 'snowy' to make out.
I remember our first grade class, Ms. Hendrix, went to Don Gattinger's house to watch the inauguration parade of President Eisenhower.
Our first set was a black and white Admiral. Black plastic. My dad bought an antenna that made the moon change orbit. The only station availibal was WMC-TV, channel 5, in Memphis. There wasn't enough programing to fill all the hours in the day, so it would come on and went off at different times. They would play music or have 'Short Subjects' between the programs to take up time until the next program came on.
I remember watching Sabu The Jungle boy that came on around 10:00 am Saturday mornings.
Sometimes it would be too snowy to watch.
Much much later, we got a RCA color set. There were only a few programs in color at the time. "The Following Program Is Brought To You In Living Color." And then the pecock would spread it's tail featheres. Then you got up and adjusted the color. No remote controll.
Milton Burle, Sid Ceaser and Imogene Coca, Mr. Peepers, Red Skelton, and on and on and on.
You can see some of these old shows on YouTube. Still funny.
OK, let's hear your 'First TV' story.

PS Did anyone other then me watch 'Winky Dink and You?'

Some of the answers to "Can You Help"

How the mind jogging stories got started
Everyone I need your help in jogging our memories. This is what happens as we get older our memories start to fade. I think I know some of the answers but not all. Your help is needed:

1 What was the name of the all night café that was on the U.S. 67 bypass, midway between the road to Little Rock and the Kensett exit?

2 What was the name of the drive-in restaurant that was on that same bypass but right at the Kensett exit?

3 What was the name of the pool hall downtown?

4 When did White County go “dry”?

5 Remember that the pool hall was verboten and a sort of rite of passage was walking in there and finding that you weren’t going to get thrown out.

6 I remember the Black Cat Café, but there was another diner closer to the school…what was that name?

7 What was the name of the “other” theatre (not the Rialto?

I have also asked the 1962, 63, and 64 Searcy High Classes for stories of life during high school, things that happened to us, and remember when’s. Your help and any short story event will be appreciated.

Possible Answers:

#2 I think the name was “Guy’s Drive-In”

#6 I don’t remember the name but weren’t the hamburgers .15 cents, and it was located across the street from a Gulf Oil Gas station, and Fire Dept.?

Hope this gives you an opportunity to stay in touch with your classmates, and renew favorable stories of growing up in Searcy, AR. I would like to remember our fun times rather than send out political view points.

I have posted only some of the answers I received in this post.

Gene Barnett 8/27/09 says:

Hi Irvin and gang, I don't remember #1, I think #2 was Guy's drive inn, #3 was pastime billiard parlor, #4 was 1956 or close, #5 if they liked you, you did not get thrown out even if you were not of age, #6 I don't remember the name of the diner but it was on the corner of Race St and 1st Street at the time, #7 Plaza, I think,

Carolyn Daniels 8/27/09 says:

1. Not sure I remember an all night café between the Kensett exit and the Main St. exit. Except Guy’s Drive-In ? I do remember the skating rink located between the two “Y’s”.

2. Guy’s Drive-In. Golly, it was fun circling Guy’s and then back up Race St. to the A&W, looking for your friends.

3. You’re right about the pool hall being verboten! NEVER sat foot in there! However, I do remember the stench that wafted out thru the doors when you passed by. I don’t remember the name of it but it was on the west side of the square.

4. I don’t remember when White County went dry. In addition to a dry county, I grew up in a dry home.

5. I already answered # 5.

6. I remember the R.C. Café, located on the north side of the square, east of The Rialtor Theatre. I also remember Stitts Café located on Market St. Jimmy Stitt’s dad owned and operated it. Jimmy graduated in ’65 or ’66 I think. There was also a little white board siding store located on the west side of the school playground. A lady ran it and she sold “health foods”……Hostess cupcakes, R.C. Colas and candy. Once in a while I had an extra nickel to spend over there.

7. I don’t remember another theatre in Searcy but I do remember a theatre at Kensett. It got the movies that had been out a little longer and I think they cost fifty cents. You could also get a free shoeshine because of the rats and mice that would run across your feet! *smile*

Larry Nokes 8/27/09 answers were:

1 What was the name of the all night café that was on the U.S. 67 bypass, midway between the road to Little Rock and the Kensett exit? 67 Truck Stop

2 What was the name of the drive-in restaurant that was on that same bypass but right at the Kensett exit? Guy’s

3 What was the name of the pool hall downtown? Past Time Billiards

4 When did White County go “dry”?  1956 I think

5 Remember that the pool hall was verboten and a sort of rite of passage was walking in there and finding that you weren’t going to get thrown out. But you could always run out the back door into the alley.

6 I remember the Black Cat Café, but there was another diner closer to the school…what was that name? City Café on the west side of the square

7 What was the name of the “other” theatre (not the Rialto?  Plaza

Suanne Riddle’s Answers 8/27/09

1 What was the name of the all night café that was on the U.S. 67 bypass, midway between the road to Little Rock and the Kensett exit? It was a truck stop, Robert Person's father owned it, I think it was B&L Truckstop or something that started with a B

2 What was the name of the drive-in restaurant that was on that same bypass but right at the Kensett exit? Don’t remember

3 What was the name of the pool hall downtown? There were 3 pool halls in Searcy, one was Past Time Parlor, one was owned by Mr. Lane, the other two by the Kelloughs as in Larry Kellough's father (I may be misspelling that but you get the drift) We would walk through the alley from the old high school to eat at the Royal Cafe (owned by Noel Hipp) and the smell could ruin the appetite. That was before they came up with that rule that you couldn't go out for lunch.

4 When did White County go “dry”?  '60 or '61 I am thinking '60 would have been an election year so it probably went dry January of 61
5 Remember that the pool hall was verboten and a sort of rite of passage was walking in there and finding that you weren’t going to get thrown out.

6 I remember the Black Cat Café, but there was another diner closer to the school…what was that name? Jimmy thinks it was Sllver Spoon or Silver Diner or something like that. The man that owned it lived by the old river bridge.

7 What was the name of the “other” theatre (not the Rialto? Wasn't it the Plaza, it was on the corner where Mrs Kroh's was, at one ttime there was a "teen town" right along there also. I remember being along there, too young to go to teen town but Butch Lovell came out and jumped over the door and into his black convertible and I thought that was really cool, my parents didn't share my awe ha. The Plaza was closed for a while and when it reopened the first movie shown was "Greatest Show on Earth", not to be confused that it was a new release. K. K. King owned it also.

Gerald Saunders 8/08/09 Remembers:

I remember walking downtown to Headlee Drug store for floats, hot rolls at lunch. Also, to Market Street cafe ran by Mr. Stitts for the best chili and plate lunches around. Mrs. Stitts let us eat in the kitchen where a table was set up. The Kroger store was originally located where Person Furniture was located until it moved to the location that Sav-A-Lot is now. The Safeway store downtown moved to where Regions Bank is now and had a covered parking area in the back. It formally was a Farm and Tractor supply and repair facility. (Van Patten Tractor Co) Searcy Wholesale was on the northeast corner of the square where 1st Security is now, It was located where the radio station is and before that on the SW corner of the square across from Sowells. CR Anthony was across the street east of Sowells and I think Snowdens 5 & 10 was next door. Then the record shop located next to it. Then Stotts Drug store. We still had a train depot across from the park and a telegraph office next to it.

Smith Vaughn was where the Van Atkins store was and had hitching posts behind it for horses. Ben Franklin was on the east side of the square also. There was a cotton gin on Pleasure street just east of Main street. Remember the first teen hut, located next to the Plaze theater on Spring Street, spent a many of nights there dancing to the latest hits by Fats Domino, Little Richard and others.

Everyone, these replies were copied from some of the emails received, when you reply directly to the Blog Email posting is easier.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Visit Barbara Duncans Website and Blog.

If you haven't already discovered the wealth of information on Barbara Duncan's website and blog, you're missing out on a lot of history of Searcy. This is not to be taken as an advertisment for Barbara, that's not what this blog is about, but is about nostalgia. Be prepaired to go back in time. And I suppose she would appreciate any bit of information from the past you might have.

This should be enough to get you started.
Anyone else know of any interesting site?

Dick Chapman remembers:

Hi everyone,

Sandy Ghent Cafourek asked me to elaborate on my memories of the band during our school days, like who the directors were, etc. Rather than reply to her directly, I thought I would send the answers to everyone, so that any errors can be corrected. Read on if you are interested…hope it doesn’t get too boring:

Some of what I write below is found in a post dated August 24, 2006 But I have added other memories.

Al English left after our seventh grade. He was followed by Don Davis (nicknamed Duck, but I’m not sure why), who came from the very small town of Star City , Arkansas . Davis, who seemed to be more interested in playing in a jazz band than he was in teaching youngsters about music, lasted two years. He used what we disdainfully called “canned shows” for our football halftimes, and these didn’t have any originality whatever. I don’t remember much else about him. Warren Daunhauer, nicknamed Bud, followed when we were in 10th grade, so we had him one year at the old band hall and two years at the new. He was a taskmaster who would probably be fired or sued today, but it worked back then: our band’s quality vastly improved during these three years, and probably was at our peak during our 11th grade (the class just ahead of us, graduating in 1962, had some very fine musicians).

We did not have an auditorium at the new high school, so we performed our winter and spring concerts at the old school on Vine Street .

Daunhauer was either truly sick or was a hypochondriac, and we were too young to know which. He may have been an alcoholic or other substance abuser, or maybe dosed up on medications? He was mysteriously absent during the last few months of our 12th grade, and I distinctly recall Gene Witherspoon, the esteemed director of bands at Arkansas Tech College, coming down to Hot Springs to be our director for the Spring Festival in Hot Springs in 1963. Witherspoon had been a mentor and father figure for Daunhauer at Arkansas Tech. Daunhauer had grown up in tough times and was sort of lost as a kid…hanging out on the docks of New Orleans and assorted other unpleasant circumstances…and somehow Witherspoon adopted him as a kid that needed a second chance. It worked out, as Daunhauer became a favorite of Witherspoon’s. It’s weird how specific memories arise after 45 or 50 years, isn’t it? I am just now seeing, in my mind’s eye, a scene of Bill Benz making a presentation to Witherspoon as we all stood in the parking lot of the Holiday Motel in Hot Springs …a nice briefcase, as I recall. Why do I remember this, and where has that memory been residing in my brain all these years, only to pop out just now?

Anyway, after the festival Witherspoon returned to his outstanding college band, and we were led Jan Shaw, the Tech senior who was doing his final semester practice teaching at Searcy. Daunhauer left at the end of that year…but he did return to the band late in the year because I remember a very fond farewell conversation we had at Lion Stadium after our graduation, and he had directed the band (absent the four seniors who were in the graduation ceremonies: Sandy Ghent, Bill Benz, Larry Smith, and myself). He was disappointed that I was not following in his footsteps into public school music, but I knew (from watching him disintegrate under the pressure of wanting to get more and more out his students) that I didn’t want that sort of life. He, along with the earlier Al English, did instill in me a lifelong love of music, and I will be forever grateful for his encouragement and advice. At the time, I didn’t appreciate his having whacked me up upside the head with the heavy end of his baton (sitting in the first row of players, I couldn’t avoid him) when I was not paying attention. But I know now that this was the only way he knew to push me to do what needed to be done. I also appreciate his lecture to me after I lost first seat to Wendy Coven in tryouts…I was embarrassed to be beaten by a mere 10th grader, but he asked me whether I had worked for those tryouts or goofed off and we both knew the answer. When I challenged Coven after the mandatory two week wait, and won because I finally started working, I got another lecture with the same question. Good man, Daunhauer was. Wendy was very, very gracious about the whole thing. She knew that I was devastated but she never was smug or demonstrated anything but courtesy to me during that time she was sitting ahead of me. I don’t know whatever happened to her but I would sure like to thank her for being nice about that experience. By the way, a challenge involved three pieces, one selected by each of the persons involved and one by the director. I still have a reissued edition of the exercise book that we used in those days, and I can point out the piece I selected.

I have other memories of Daunhauer. When he first moved to Searcy he lived in an upstairs apartment, I think on Center Street but I’m not sure. He married a woman from Augusta and I remember a bunch of us students helping him move his furniture and all his ham radio gear to a place on the east side of town but I can’t remember exactly where. He disappeared for a while after our graduation, and was probably out on the road as a contract performer. He was a French horn player in college, but he knew there was no money in that so he used the saxophone to put bread on the table. I learned he was playing in a nightclub in the Lafayette Hotel in Little Rock (was that club called the Gar Hole? I can’t remember). After I was of legal age I went down there one evening and listened to him play…the group was pretty good. I had one other contact with him: in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, he was teaching music at Forest Heights Junior High School in Little Rock, and I dropped by there one time and we had a nice chat, promising to stay in touch but we all know how those kinds of promises play out. I lost track of him after that. About 2005 I met a woman named Jane Daunhauer, who was in an investment club with my wife. I asked if there was a connection, and she said she was the widow of our own Bud Daunhauer. I didn’t press for info about his death, and I didn’t ask whether she his first wife, the woman from Augusta (I’m thinking she was not this same woman, but I don’t know for certain). I do volunteer income tax return preparation for low-income seniors (a service of AARP) and now Jane is part of this volunteer project. I think I know her well enough now to ask for some details, if the circumstances are right.

Time to digress. I just did a Google search of him and found this info from a ham radio web page:

Warren "BUD" Daunhauer


Bud Daunhauer

Warren "Bud" Daunhauer, age 68, of Little Rock, passed away Dec. 16, 2002. He was born July 30, 1934 to Edith Erwin and Warren Charles Daunhauer, Sr. Mr. Daunhauer was a talented musician who became interested in music as a boy growing up in the jazz-saturated French Quarter of New Orleans.He began playing the saxophone in clubs as a teenager when he decided to make his career in music. He attended Arkansas Tech University where he graduated in 1956 with a music degree. During his career he played a multitude of instruments including the drums, saxophone, and piano to name a few. He traveled the United States playing with a number of musical groups accompanying many known performers including John Denver, Carol Channing and Cher . In Arkansas , Mr. Daunhauer is most widely recognized as a talented band director from Forest Heights and Pulaski Heights Jr. High Schools in Little Rock where he taught for 20 years. He loved teaching and considered it the most rewarding aspect of his life. He kept in contact with many of his former students and enjoyed visiting with them. Mr. Daunhauer had a lifelong love of amateur radio where he was known as W5WZN. May he rest in peace.

Don’t know what he did between graduation in 1956 and his coming to Searcy in the fall of 1960. I may ask Jane, in case she knows.

More digression: I also stumbled across a lawsuit In Federal District Court in which Daunhauer was a nominally named defendant. The plaintiff, Chris Corley, was challenging a policy that required conforming haircuts of band students at Forest Heights . The plaintiff wore long hair as a symbol of his opposition to the involvement of the United States in Vietnam . A mitigating position was offered by Daunhauer, namely that the student could wear long hair but couldn’t play in concerts or other public events with the band because he was in violation of the stated policy of uniform appearance. This position was rejected by both the student and the school district, as both were seeking a decision on the constitutional issues. Judge Henley decided that the policy was constitutional and was being properly enforced. I don’t know whether that decision was appealed but I don’t think it was. See Corley v. Daunhauer, 312 F. Supp 811 (E.D. Arkansas, 1970). I guess these days no one would care, but it was an important issue in those days.

Ok, back to my memories.

The practice teacher Jan Shaw was hired as a full time teacher to replace Daunhauer in the fall of 1963, but I never knew what happened to him after that. Butch Bradberry (I think this is spelled correctly) was a later director…some might remember him as the excellent trombonist in our band who graduated in 1962. I remember stopping by the band hall and visiting with him one time, but I couldn’t bet on when that was. Maybe around 1970? I think Butch was a sales rep for Proctor and Gamble after he left public school music, but I’m not 100% certain about this. After Butch I lost track of the directors. I have a memory of visiting with Butch in 1961 or 1962 and predicting he would be a band director some day, maybe at Searcy High School ; it was weird that this worked out to be true.

Going back to Al English, I also remember being told by my folks that the school district was very reluctant to create a full-time position for a mere band director, so when English came to Searcy on half-salary, the band parents’ organization had a bunch of fund-raisers (and ran the concession stand at football games) so they could bring his salary up to the full monthly amount earned by “real” teachers. I also remember that Vivian Bordelon, mother of Pat (a good trumpet player graduating in 1961, I think he died a couple of years ago) was very, very active in the band parents’ group. I don’t know whether Mrs. Bordelon was involved at the time English came to Searcy, but she might have been. I remember that English came back to Searcy for a visit while we were in high school…maybe 1960 or 1961…and he was a guest at her home; I was a buddy of Pat’s in those days so got invited and went over to say hi to the person that I had idolized as a 6th and 7th grader.

Sandy asked me whether I remembered our senior concert, and of course I do: she played the final movement (the rondo) from Mozart’s famous clarinet concerto in A, and every time I hear that piece I think of her. If you don’t know this piece, try or a listen. It’s a great piece of music and not easy to play; Sandy did a very nice job with it during that final concert. Also during that concert I was allowed to conduct a piece, and I enjoyed the experience.

Larry Smith was the drum major for three years, and had to balance the need to be an enforcer for Daunhauer with being a nice guy. Daunhauer was disappointed with what he saw as a slacker mentality among us students, who were not real enthused with the extra hours of practice he was pushing on us in the early mornings. He wanted to get the band away from the Broadway show tune quick-step style and into more of a regimented, military band style with strict tempos and complicated but orderly marching movements. Arkansas Tech used the military style, and he brought that style with him when he came to Searcy. Larry did a very good job of learning the new style and making sure we players learned it too. I’ll bet Larry’s management talents came in part from his experience as our drum major. It was a pleasure to work under his leadership.

Bill Benz won the John Phillip Sousa award in 1963, and it was richly deserved. This award goes to the person elected by fellow players as the one most exemplifying quality musicianship, leadership, and overall love of music. Bill was our band president and was very popular both with his peers and the younger folks in the band. He went beyond being a mere technical musician and truly immersed himself in musical life. He was the only one of us seniors who kept up with his music, and we get to hear him play with bands when we have our reunions.

That’s about it for now. Each of us has tons of memories we could share, and I hope this trip down memory lane hasn’t been too boring for the readers. I hope each of you will take time to reflect a bit, and to enjoy the memories. We can’t and shouldn’t live in the past: it probably wasn’t nearly as good as we remember it, and we have the present to concern ourselves with. But it’s nice to go back occasionally and pick out the good parts and smile.

Best to all,

Dick C.

Pictures from John Sanderson