A Photo From Faceboook
I saw this picture on Facebook and as I was looking at all the familiar faces, I got to thinking about how my life was connected to so many of them. My immediate thoughts went back to the days we shared at Lee High School. I immediately recalled the days I spent with a few of the group when we all worked together on publishing the original Lee’s Traveller newspaper. The world was different back then compared to today, or at least to the stereotypes we have been exposed to via the media we watch in today’s world. I think specifically of our own cheerleaders, who were not all brainless blonds who only wanted to run around and party with the jocks and ignore the other normal people in their class.
I offer for your consideration, some members of the back row, specifically Sarajane Steigerwald and Escoe German, to prove my point. Though they performed wonderfully in their duties as cheerleaders with both grace and skill, they also served just as much dedication with me as members of the newspaper staff. This was an environment in which you would never expect the cheerleaders as portrayed today to belong. I was not a jock and not even a nerd, as far as I am concerned. I was an Eagle Scout and the newspaper editor, in a role which could never add to either of their social status for being my friend, but still I was honored to be called so. Others in the picture were not cheerleaders, but still were my friends and helped me publish the school paper, including Carol Jean Williams and Patsy Hughes. Our fun was not limited to just the time we spent in the classroom, but extended to afternoons after school when we often headed to Mullins for a cheap hamburger and snack or to Hardee’s Hamburger or Henry’s.
We also socialized at weekend dances at Bradley’s, the Armory, the Coliseum, and the Aquatic Club, to name a few familiar places. Often we shared time at one of the local bowling alleys like Starlight Bowl or the Pin Palace. I attended many private parties along with them and was always treated as an equal. I remember one memorable party at Escoe’s house which should earn a documentary film on The History Channel.
Along with them, add Pam Grooms and Sherry Adcock from the photo and you might often find us all enjoying an evening together at Carter’s Skaleland on Friday and Saturday nights. I though Sherry was one of the prettiest girls to ever wear a skating skirt and I had a mad crush on Pam which I never confessed and she probably to this day did not realize. Carter’s was probably the most influential establishment I visited in my journey from an awkward and clumsy kid to the somewhat skilled skater I became. I have great memories of doing the fast skate we called the two-step with Carol Jean, and still remember the many times I caught a ride home with Sherry and Kenneth, the boy she was dating at the time, after hours and hours of wheeled rolling bliss.
I will not ignore the other fair maidens in the photo, who I knew of but may not have spent much time at Lee, but constantly saw in the many rounds we made around the halls before school and during the morning break. I know them now from emails and contributions to the new Lee’s Traveller. Lynn VanPelt, and Judy Fedrowisch have been strong supporters to my hobby newspaper and have been instrumental in keeping me informed about events and happenings going on in Huntsville and our fellow classmates today. Carol Bailey, Jennifer Brown, and Jeannie Ivey and I have got to know each other at the reunions and I will always remember a lunch one day when Jeannie Ivey and Sue and I shared at Mullins and shared the secrets of our lives.
I have saved Barbara Wilkerson for last, though by no means is she last in my own priority. Besides her wonderful stories and writings she has shared with me and you readers, she has gone out of her way to correct any thoughts I might have had when I tried to stereotype the girls of my younger days into those made of sugar and spice and everything nice. She has repeated had to remind me that some girls also share some of the snips and snails and puppy dog tails qualities of Tomboys. Though they may have grown to be ladies today, in their youth they also played football and hiked and camped and rode bicycles and horses and did a lot of things we did not dream of them doing.
Now had Barbara followed up with a real story about the get together with the rest of this wonderful group I would not have to ramble on about all my old memories of them, but then I find it fun to write about such things and that is why I do what I do each week.
Denver, CO - On the road again. Locked the doors, armed the alarm and notified the sheriff and Sue and I headed out for another grand adventure. We will not post specifics on Facebook, but if you want to receive emails of our travels then email me and I'll add you to our mailing list.
TV Westerns of the 50s and 60s
by John Drummond
A short-lived but popular series, "The Rebel" aired on Sunday nights at 8:30 P.M. on ABC from 1959-1961, then on NBC 1961-1962, producing 76 episodes. It was a half-hour black-and-white Western sponsored by L&M cigarettes, starring Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma. The first episode was set in 1867, when he was a Confederate Civil War veteran, a private, returning home haunted by memories of the war (Mrs. Wikle insisted we referred to it as "The War Between the States") in search of inner peace. An aspiring writer, he keeps a journal of his adventures. The Rebel fights injustice wherever he finds it with courage, a revolver and a sawed-off shotgun. He gets involved in helping out various post-war settlers threatened by villains, including crooked land developers, evil ranchers, and hostile Indians. Unlike most contemporary TV Westerns of the era, he has no sidekick.
Set in the Texas Hill Country (think San Antonio) Johnny Yuma returns to his small home town where his father Ned, the Sheriff, has been killed by a gang of bad guys. The gang leader was played by a pre-"Bonanza" Dan Blocker (Hoss).
The opening and closing credits of the show start at 2:36 in the video clip above.
1) The theme song was performed by Johnny Cash; Nick Adams insisted that his good friend,
Elvis, perform it, but he was trumped by the producers.
2) In the debut season of "Wanted:Dead or Alive", in 1958, 2 villains who take down the local
Marshal as Josh Randall (Steve McQueen) wanders unknowingly into the jailhouse, are
played by Nick Adams and a pre-"Bonanza" Michael Landon.
3) Nick Adams was a friend of James Dean; he had a minor role in "Rebel Without a Cause".
He died on February 7, 1968, of an overdose of medication for an anxiety disorder (probably
Valium) and/or alcohol. He was only 36 years old.
4) The movie was often referred to as being "cursed" as its stars died young, under unusual
circumstances: Natalie Wood in a drowning incident, Sal Mineo stabbed in an alley, and
James Dean in a car crash. The film was released in 1955.
5) Nick Adams was nominated for an Oscar once, for his performance in "Twilight of Honor"
as Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Melvyn Douglas in "Hud."
6) On a happier note, Nick Adams co-starred on Broadway in the mid-50s in "No Time for
Sergeants", playing the idealistic Private Ben Whitledge; he was given the same role for the
film version, starring Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale, a country bumpkin drafted into the Air
Force. Their platoon Sgt. Orville King was played by Myron McCormick, who bestowed Will
the title of "P.L.O." (Permanent Latrine Orderly). Other bit parts were played by pre-Mayberry
Don Knotts and as a co-pilot, Lt. Gardelli, a pre-"M.A.S.H." Jamie Farr (Max Klinger).
Though "No Time for Sergeants" was released on June 27, 1958, it remains just as hilarious in
2014. My favorite scene is when Will rigs the toilet seats to salute for the platoon Captain.
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Last Week's "Rin Tin Tin"