School Halloween Parties
by Tommy Towery
For me, the site of my elementary school Halloween parties was the school just up the hill from my house – East Clinton Elementary School. No matter where you went to school during that period, you more than likely experienced many of the same activities we did at our school.
When I close my eyes, the first image which comes to mind is a mixture of orange and black colors dominating crepe paper streaming from doors and bulletin boards in each classroom and halls alike. There were construction paper Jack-O-Lanterns and black cats and a colony of black bats along with ghosts of white tissue paper which accented the décor and transformed the yellow brick building into a bustling holiday extravaganza.
This was one of my favorite times of the year to go to school. I joined my classmates in donning our costumes of the year, always trying to prove our ingenious method of constructing the best costume of the bunch. The one which stands out most in my mind is the one I wore the year Zorro became a nationwide hero and I donned my cape, hat, and my trusty saber at my side and walked up the hill to the school. I probably would be detained today for carrying a sword to school, even if it was just a shaft from a stand-up clothes drier covered in aluminum foil. Throughout the night I made the required “Z” mark on any surface or derriere large enough to accommodate the “swish-swish-swish” motions needed to accomplish my symbol.
I do not know how they were allotted, but each class had its own form of fund-raising entertainment, games of chance, or challenges to the skills of the participants. The most memorable one to me was the cake walk. For ten cents we bought our tickets and took our place on one of about 20 numbered sections forming a large circle in the middle of the classroom. When all 20 spaces were occupied, the music would start and the group would march in line around the big circle, waiting for the music to stop and to claim one of the numbers sections. It was much like musical chairs, except each person occupied a number at the end of the music and no one was left chair less as in the other game. After the shuffling stopped, a number was drawn and the person occupying the lucky square was awarded with a cake which had been baked and donated by one of the parents of the class sponsoring the walk. Winning a whole cake in the early part of the evening presented its own challenge of keeping up with it for the rest of the night and still being able to participate in the other fun things.
For those who did not wish to try to win prizes, you could just buy yourself a cookie or two at the bake sale, along with a cup of Kool-Aid to wash it down.
The next game which comes to mind was the “fishing” classroom, where a sheet was hung on a clothesline and for another ten cents the participant would take a long pole which had a clothespin attached to a string on it and stick it over the sheet. The concept was like using a fishing pole to do fishing, only this time you did not catch a fish, but instead when someone on the other side pulled the string on your pole you lifted it back over the sheet to find a trinket attached to the clothespin. You never knew what you would get, and nothing ever was worth the dime it costs you to play, but the catch was always exciting.
Some rooms had grab bags, bingo games, or pop the balloon with a dart and win a prize. Yes, a real dart – one with a sharpened steel tip that could put your eye out if someone threw it at you. The idea of danger seemed to be ignored back in those days. Hygiene also was cancelled on Halloween Party nights and I remember several times sticking my face down into a washtub filled with cold water and floating apples trying to secure one with my teeth. It did not seem to matter who had chewed at the apple before you or how long they had skimmed around in the water with their mouths open. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t worry about the health concerns.
Much more sanitary was a similar water-filled tub filled with “pick up ducks” adorned with a number on the bottom and hidden from prying eyes. For a ticket you were allowed to pick up one of the ducks and hand it to the person running the game. The duck was turned over and the number matched to a box of prizes – again, none worth the ten cent ticket charge.
I always thought the class which was selected to sponsor the haunted house had the luckiest students. A dark room filled with spiders, ghosts, monsters and slimy things. In the total darkness, you were forced to place your hand into bowls of spaghetti you were told were guts or worms and pealed grapes you imagination told you were eyeballs. You maneuver through corridors of horror with clawed hands grabbing for you and monsters jumping from invisible doors. Screams and haunted house noises of moans and clanking chains filled your auditory senses. And then you were out; bug-eyed, heavy breathing and ready to pay another dime and do it all again.
I know there were other games and fun things, but many of them escape me right now. If you have your own memories of things I left out, please send me an email and we will share them with the rest of our classmates.
Memphis, TN - Unfortunately family matters will prevent me from attending the Lee Lunch Bunch get together this week, but I hope as many of you as can get to go. This is a great time to visit with each other and to reminisce about the old times and celebrate the current ones. I hope I can attend the next one along with you.
Once again I extend to all of you an offer to print things you would like to share. Everyone is invited to submit stories and pictures of past and current events and to share your thoughts with your former classmates. Please avoid political and social issues period and stories involving sex (unless they are some really good ones from our teenage years.)
Lee High School
by Richard Simmons
LHS '59 - '63
In Linda Taylor's comments regarding the Reunion she alluded to my comments in the Saturday program. Attached are those comments should you want to post them in a newsletter.
I am Richard Simmons (Ricky while I attended Lee). I did not graduate with this class or any other class at Lee High School. Neither my wife nor my guest attending this event with me were graduates.
You may ask, Why are you here? As Paul Harvey used to say, here is "the rest of the story".
As a seventh grader in November, 1959 I transferred from a junior high school in North Charleston, South Carolina to Lee Junior High School in November 1959. I attended Lee through my junior year. As the school year came to an end in 1963 I was as excited as the rest of you as I looked forward to the final year in the transition of Lee Junior High to Lee High School. I was so proud of my relationship with you all and the time I was spending with you...many of you became friends...the rest just acquaintances. With you I looked forward to our graduation as the first class to graduate from Lee High School.
I was not a student who stood out in the crowd...though many of you who did I could count as my friend. I tried out for the baseball team in our junior year...I didn't make the cut. In the spring of 1963 I ran to be treasurer of the student council for the Class of '64...I was not elected. Nevertheless, I was proud to be a General and held great pride for our school. Particular remembrances of my time at Lee most specially include Ms. Leona Lowry who taught me Latin, Alabama history.,.and social studies...she was my home room teacher at least twice. I was not a mischievous student...but shamefully remember a visit of the vice-principle and his paddle for misbehavior with half a dozen other of you for shooting spit wads an other similar corruption in Mr. Bigler's eighth grade general science class.
But in June of 1963 my family was moved by my father's employer to New Orleans, Louisiana. My senior year I attended and graduated in May, 1964 from East Jefferson High School in Metairie. Nevertheless, it was with great pride that I looked forward to seeing Lee High's marching band in the Orange Bowl Parade during our senior year.
Initially I was distressed by not being with you for the historic event we celebrate this weekend. But the transfer turned out to be a "God Thing" for it was in August of 1963 that I met Vicki Utterback. Though good friends through church involvement, we were only friends as high school seniors. She attended Riverdale High, a then public all girl school...EJ was an all boy public school. When the date to her Senior prom was ordered to active duty with the Navy, she called on her "big brother" to bail her out...that was our first date; we were married in June of 1967.
In 1995, Bernadette Miller Hartman, a life long friend and a member of Lee class of '66, called me to ask if I was coming to the reunion that summer. I reminded her that I did not graduate from Lee. She answered saying that there were many students in the class of '64 who had moved away before graduation and were still invited to participate.
Vicki and I attended each 5-year reunion of the three first classes each time there after. She enjoyed each reunion as did I. She was glad to meet each of you.
I am before you tonight and have requested this time to tell you how much I appreciate your inviting students like me... students who were forced to move away before our senior year...to celebrate with you in these reunions...particularly this 50th year celebration for the Class of '64. I am very appreciative to Tommy Towery and the others on "the editorial staff" of Lee's Traveller weekly online newsletter for keeping us all informed of happenings to our members and the stories of our lives and times while attending Lee.
I am also particularly thankful to all of you that, across the miles and past many years, expressed condolences after learning of Vicki's passing from lung cancer in May of 2013. Each message was heartfelt. I will love Vicki through the end of my life and into eternity, but I did not live alone before we married, I do not like being alone since her passing, and will not live alone; I have room in my heart for someone else and have more to share. I am pleased to introduce to you, Maryann Chandronnet...she and I are to be married November 29.
I have been so happy to see all of you again and look forward to future reunions.
Next Lee Lunch Bunch
Scheduled for October 30th, 2014
by Judy Fedrowisch Kincaid
The next Lee Lunch Bunch get-together is Thursday, October 30th @ 11:00 a.m.at Logan's off of Airport Road in the "fireplace room". If this is your first time to attend just tell the hostess that you are wilth the "Lee Lunch" group and they will show you where we are. Please spread the word and drop me a note if you think you can attend.
We need to let Logan's know on Wednesday of that week how many to plan for so they can be ready for us. We need to be seated by 11:20 so orders can be taken, then we can get up and visit until the food arrives. (Note: if you're coming on your lunch hour go ahead and order when you arrive. That way you can eat & visit at the same time. Or if you can't get there on time, come when you can and order then.)
Logan's is great about letting us stay as long as we want to. If we can have about 35 folks seated by 11:20 they will usually not seat anyone else in the room unless absolutely necessay. So mark your calendars and hope to see a "bunch" of you there!
We need to let the restaurant know an estimate of how many to plan for, so please let Patsy Hughes Oldroyd (email@example.com) or Judy Fedrowisch Kincaid (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you think you will be attending. Reminders will also be posted on Facebook. Hope to see a "bunch" of you there
From Our Mailbox
Subject: The ReunionJoel Weinbaum
A big thanks to all the committee members who worked so diligently to get our 50th reunion organized. From my own experience I know there was a lot of thought and coordinating that went into such a nice affair for us "first graduates!" Lee was a great place in time for us new comers along with the old timers, all at a very special time in Huntsville's growth as a real "rocket city!" And look at Huntsville now with all its business growth, improved roads, beautiful neighborhoods, even shopping...all because we could see the future and how much better it was going to be. We did that, maybe not directly but we had expectations in all that excitement we lived. And thanks to all those who were there with us to celebrate our 50th. And Tommy, the heck with closure. We keep people alive in our memories by talking about them. One last "thank you" goes to Tommy, the binder who holds the pages of The Fami-Lee book together. 50 years! and we still remember each other.