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140224 - February 26, 2014


Learning Opportunities
Available For Retirees
by Tommy Towery
LHS '64
    Last week I talked about taking classes and teaching classes and this week I will continue on the subject: I was contacted last week and asked if I would consider being a guest speaker for a course on the history of Huntsville that is being developed. The unexpected call was from Linda Walker Singleton McAllister, who is the older sister of our '64 classmate, Ray Walker. The Walkers lived next door to me when I started the 9th grade at Lee, but she went to Huntsville High School with my brother Don instead of Lee as Ray and I did. Anyway, Linda was working on an idea for a course about early Huntsville and had heard of my book "The Baby Boomer's Guide to Growing Up in The Rocket City" and wondered if I would be interested in speaking to her group about some of the topics I covered in the book. Of course I said yes.

    I am not sure when the course starts or even what the real name of it is, but when I started checking it out I became aware of a great opportunity for folks in Huntsville that I was unaware of, and that is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UAH. I went online to see what all they did and it looks like they have a lot to offer, especially for "Seniors" and retired people. I would rather be classed as a retiree than a senior, but they say seniors are people over 50 so I guess I qualify by their definition. I wish we had a group like this in Memphis.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Rediscover the Joy of Learning!

    Enrich your life! Your opportunities for learning never end at UAH when you become a member of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UAH. Join fellow seasoned adults as they enjoy attending daytime courses during three terms a year, primarily on the UAH campus. Courses are offered in the areas of history, science, finance, foreign languages, music, literature, computers, crafts, hobbies, fitness, leisure, and many more!

    OLLI terms include an 8-week fall term, an 8-week winter term, and a 6-week spring term. With your OLLI membership and a $85 per term fee, you may enroll in as many as six (6) courses per term. And – there are NO tests, NO grades, and NO mandatory class assignments!

    Join OLLI, and along with great academic courses, enjoy many social and cultural opportunities such as holiday parties, luncheons, industrial tours, special events, field trips (both local and out of town), and travelogues. Other membership benefits include discounted membership in the UAH library and fitness center, member interest groups, weekly e-news, The OLLI Insider (10 issues each year), use of the UAH bookstore, Weekly Bonus events, invitations to on-campus cultural and athletic events, and a DVD lending library—all included in your $15.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UAH

        The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (formerly the Academy for Lifetime Learning) offers classes, seminars and other forums for retirees and seniors age 50 and better. Course subjects include the arts, sciences, health, languages, history and a variety of other educational interests. All courses are taught by volunteers, including OLLI members, active teachers, and community leaders. There are also numerous social events, cultural activities and other special events provided for members. OLLI is a nonprofit membership governed organization, with oversight and support through the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies at UAHuntsville.


    The Academy began on August 3, 1993, with the purpose of providing a learning experience in an academic environment for retired seniors. Initially, the Academy was directed by a staff member at UAHuntsville, with management support by volunteers from its membership. These volunteers served as officers who then organized three committees: Administration and Finance, Membership/ Promotion, and Curriculum.

    Enrollment in classes for each term now exceeds 400 with over 50 courses provided each term. OLLI continues to operate as an all-volunteer organization with the Board of Directors responsible for day-to-day operations along with eight active committees.


    Membership in OLLI entitles you to increase your knowledge and explore new interests by enrolling in courses offered in the fall, winter and spring term Curriculum Catalogs. The catalog is published a month prior to the start of each term. A pdf file of the catalog is posted on our website.

     A wide range of courses are offered each term. They include such areas as art, computers, economics, entertaining, finance, foreign affairs, foreign languages, gardening, health, history, hobbies, indoor games, investing, literature, music, nature, psychology, religion, science, sports, theater and writing. To view descriptions of typical courses see the Curriculum Catalog. See Course Update Information for changes in course information.

    Most classes are held on the UAHuntsville campus and are usually 90 minutes in length. They meet once each week for six to eight weeks.

Here is a link to their website:

        Memphis, TN - I am approaching the Traveller with a new dedication to improving it and taking it back to the quality we once had before Facebook drained us of most inputs from our readers. An email from my long time and very good friend, Dianne Hughey McClure, reinforced my thoughts that not all of you participate in Facebook and many still depend upon this newsletter for keeping up with things happening with our Lee classmates.

    I have decided that one reason I do not get as many emails from the readers is because I do not have any types of contests going on at the present so I am trying to find something that will attract your participation.

Continuing With Extracts from the Draft of My Book in Progress

Tuesday, February 18, 1964

49th Day - 317 days to follow



    Worked on my science project at school today.  I've got till Friday to get the paper written on it.  Went to Mullin's with Paul after school, as usual.  Came home then.

    Watched T.V. and played the guitar a while.  Went to the store for grandmother then ate supper.  Michelle, Janice, and Joyce picked me up around 7:00 P.M. and we went to the Lee-Decatur game.  Decatur was favored to win but they didn't.  Lee had 92 to their 67.  I won $2 worth of trading stamps on that game.

    After it was over we went out B.B.'s then J's then went out Hardee's and got some hamburgers and went back to J's to eat them.  We went and picked Vickie up then I came home.  Got in at 10:30 P.M.

    Worked on my science project, finished up the tests.  Now tis time for the bed, 12:00 P.M.

    Winning two dollars' worth of trading stamps was not like winning the lottery. You didn’t even trade trading stamps; they were stamps you got for “trading” with a select merchant. Trading stamps have disappeared from our daily lives now, and were really starting to disappear even in 1963, but some stores still featured them as a shopping incentive. Years earlier they were a big part of a store being able to lock in a set of repeat customers who were drawn to the business by the lure of promised rewards for dedicated shoppers.

    Stores would pay a company for the stamps, and then advertise they gave trading stamps with purchases. This was done to get customers to be loyal consumers and continue shopping there to collect enough stamps to redeem for merchandise. After customers filled whole books with stamps, they could take the books to a redemption center and exchange them for premiums. Books could also be sent to the trading stamp company to redeem for items featured in catalogs distributed by the merchants.

    My first encounter with trading stamps were with the Top Value brand given away with purchases made at the Kroger Supermarket we frequented about the time I reached the age where I could walk or ride my bicycle to the store alone and pick up needed items. Top Value stamps were yellow with red lettering with a big “TV” in the center. The stamp program has a cartoon elephant as its logo and the stamps came in different denominations. For normal purchases you got one stamp with a value of “1” for each 10 cents spent. For a dollar you received ten stamps with your receipt and when you spent a lot of money you got bigger stamps with the larger values of 10 or 50. The stamps were perforated and gummed to be torn apart, licked, and stuck onto the pages of a saver book. The book had instructions to paste 50 singles, or five 10s, or one 50 stamp onto each page. I can’t remember how many pages were in a book but I want to say it was 20. Once a book was filled it was safely stored away and another book started since the nicer rewards required redeeming multiple books to receive them. I remember a Coleman camp stove had a redemption value of four and three-quarters books.

    Top Value stamps were not the only ones but were most popular in my neighborhood because of the nearby Kroger Store. Distribution was not limited to grocery stores and many gas stations and even some furniture stores rewarded their loyal customers with various trading stamps. One store offered Plaid Stamps and other brands were also available. S&H Green stamps were probably the most popular brand nationwide. I remember driving along a highway one time and some religious person had painted “Jesus Saves” on a large rock beside the road and underneath it someone else had added “Green Stamps.”

    One internet source states a survey completed in the mid-1960’s showed that 84 per cent of households saved trading stamps. The vendors were printing more trading stamps than the U.S. Post Office was printing stamps for mailing. I also found the bottom fell out of the trading stamp business in 1965, when many supermarkets stopped issuing stamps altogether and started spending more money to advertise lower prices.

    Today there are many other types of rewards programs offered by credit card companies and other loyalty programs, such as grocery "Preferred Customer" cards. Even websites on the internet have rewards programs using apps such as Viggle and Swagbucks, and Coca-Cola has a rewards program going with codes under bottle caps and in six-pack and case containers. The codes are entered under an account name on the web and when enough points are accumulated you can redeem them for merchandise.

    I still miss the thrill of licking the last stamp for a book and knowing that I was one book closer to having enough stamps to head to the redemption center and getting something I have saved for.

Just for Fun

Video jukebox with over 300 songs. Click link below

Class of '64 - 50th Reunion
Class of '68 - '69 - '70 Reunion

(Click on Upcoming Events in the Left Column
Near Top of Page)


Former Lee General

Craig Kimbrel Agrees to 4-year Deal

With Atlanta Braves

(From the Associate Press)

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves added to their extensive wave of long-term deals with their young stars on Sunday by agreeing to a $42 million, four-year contract with All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.

    Kimbrel, 25, avoided salary arbitration. He was the last Braves player eligible for arbitration.

    Kimbrel gets a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million this year, $9 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016 and $13 million in 2017. The Braves have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.

    "We are very excited to agree to terms with Craig, who we feel is the best closer in Major League Baseball," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "He is one of the key pieces of our pitching staff and we are happy to keep him in a Braves uniform for at least four more years."

    The agreement with Kimbrel allows the Braves to retain one of baseball's most dominant closers. He has 138 saves in the last three seasons, including 50 saves with a 1.21 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 67 innings last year. He earned one save in 2010 as his introduction to his run of three straight All-Star seasons in 2011-13.

    Kimbrel has a 1.39 ERA with 381 strikeouts in 227 1-3 career innings. The hard-throwing right-hander has been successful in 139 of 154 career saves opportunities.

    Kimbrel, from Huntsville, Ala., said he wanted to remain close to home.

    "I'm very excited," Kimbrel told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "If I didn't want to be here, this wouldn't be going on. We're playing to win. This is where I want to be."

    Kimbrel can add value to his contract through a points system.

    He would earn five points each time he's an All-Star, 10 for winning a Cy Young Award, five for finishing second or third in Cy Young, three for finishing fourth or fifth in Cy Young, five for being the top Cy Young voter-getter among pitchers with fewer than five starts; 10 for winning an MVP award, five for finishing second or third in MVP, third for finishing fourth or fifth in MVP, and three for each season with 57 or more games finished.

    Kimbrel would be paid $1 million for 20 points and $500,000 for each additional five points through 45.



From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Dime Stores

Dianne Hughey McClure

LHS '64

        I really enjoyed your article about the "dime" stores. Remember one of them, I think it was Grants, had a really wide staircase that led down to the toy department. I spent many hours there "just looking". I still have pictures from the photo booths of Ginger and myself. When I was only about 10 my friend and I would walk downtown and stay all day and no one had to worry about the things we have to worry about now. Those sure were the "good old days." I don't  do Facebook so I  really still enjoy the Traveller  news.


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