"Lest We Forget"
William Thomas "Tommy" Esslinger
Class of '65
February 25, 2014
Nancy Ann Taylor Sherrod
Class of '64
December 10, 1945 - August 30, 2014
Memphis, TN - We start another year of Lee's Traveller this week and I have a big favor to ask of all of you. I need some people to submit some stories each week to augment the other news we post. Most of you have been readers long enough to know the type of material I am using - which means almost anything from our younger days at Lee or earlier, and current things happening in our lives.
I am an editor, and I can work with almost any of you to help edit your stories, but I need some to work with. In the past I have had a selected Board of Advisers and thankfully have had rare reasons to seek their advise and guidance during this year, but they are still there when I need them.
I am now looking for four or five of you to volunteer to be feature writers who will only have to do maybe one feature every two months unless you want to submit more. Please send me your names and I will let you know what I am looking for in stories. It might be something as simple as your most memorable event that happened in the gym, or something as simple as that. Believe it or not, your classmates like to read things like that.
So, who's going to make a New Year's Resolution to help me out this year? I am counting on some of you to step up to the plate.
Our Condolences Go Out to
Mack and Gina Brasseale Yates
Mary Louise Brasseale
Jan. 9, 1927 – Dec. 20, 2014
Mary Louise Brasseale, age 87, of Huntsville died on Saturday December 20, 2014. Mrs. Brasseale was a native Huntsvillian, growing up and living in Lincoln Village. She worked for 25 years at the Madison Co. Tax Assessor's Office. Mrs. Brasseale was loving and very devoted to her family, and especially treasured the Christmas season. She is preceded in death by her husband, Bruce J. Brasseale; her parents, William and Evelyna Walker; and by 5 siblings. Mrs. Brasseale is survived by her children, Gina Yates and husband Mack, and Pete Brasseale and wife Annie; her grandchildren, Joseph K. Yates, Christopher Yates, Mary Brasseale, John Brasseale, Elizabeth Brasseale, Nancy Brasseale, and Richard Brasseale; and her nephew Fred Brasseale and wife Christine. Funeral Mass was held on Tuesday December 23, 2014 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at 1pm with Father Joseph Lubrano officiating. Burial followed in Huntsville Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 813 Shades Creek Parkway , Suite 100B, Birmingham, AL 35209.
The Final Three of the Top Nine
Memorable Moments of the Ninth Grade
by Tommy Towery
This week I conclude my series of ninth grade memories with the final three of the nine that stuck with me the most.
7. Number seven is another crazy memory, but one which has always stayed with me too. I remember Mr. Blackburn told the students in his science class there was a small fund given to each class to do some special project to supplement the normal class curriculum. One of our options was to rent a movie to watch during our normal class period and we took a vote on what we wanted to see. I do not know how we narrowed the choice down, but the movie selected by our class was “A Night to Remember” which was our generation’s version of “Titanic.” Released in 1958 it was described as an account of the ill-fated maiden voyage of RMS Titanic in 1912. The movie we rented was the 16mm version and was 123 minutes run time, so it took us three classes to watch it. I suppose it did relate to science in many ways, but for most of us we saw it as a way to get out of three days of studying while enjoying a movie at the same time. It was a rare event, and I do not remember repeating such a treat anytime during the three years of high school. Oddly enough, just last week I was channel surfing and came upon the movie on one of the movie channels. I started watching it but Sue found it too depressing so I switch to something else, but still thought about my ninth grade viewing with my classmates.
8. I don’t like lima beans today, and I attribute a lot of the reason why I do not to an event which happened to me in the Lee Jr. High lunchroom in my ninth grade of study. During one lunch period we were served lima beans and as I was scooping up a fork full I looked down and something didn’t look right. When I made a closer inspection of the contents of my fork, there in the middle of the beans was a green grub worm. It did not make me sick, but it turned me against lima beans for life. It is amazing how some things just me cannot be forgotten.
9. The final of my list of nine memories of the ninth grade is an event which happened outside my English classroom between classes one day. I was standing in the hall when Kenneth Burkett came up behind me and started kidding around and put his hands around my neck and started choking me – for fun I believe. Anyway, he choked me a little too long and when he finally let go I turned around and faced him and started to complain that he wasn’t being funny. I only got out about half my sentence when everything started going dark and spinning and I found myself backing up against the wall and sliding down it like ice cream melting from its cone on a summer day as my day slowly turned to night. When I woke up a crowd was standing looking down at me, but no one was attempting to do anything to assist me - just staring. A few years later, when I was taking my Air Force flight physical, the doctor asked me if I had ever blacked out. My thoughts immediately went back to that moment in the ninth grade and just before I answered I had, I remembered such an action could prevent me from being eligible to be a flyer in the Air Force so I said “no.” During my Air Force career I logged over 5,000 hours flight time. Who would have ever thought a fluke moment in the ninth grade could have possibly had such a major impact in my future, had I admitted it.
And these are the final three moments selected as my nine most memorable moments in the ninth grade at Lee Jr. High.
Cards of Christmas Past
W. Dale Meyer
Would have been LHS '66
As I was sifting through this year’s dwindling batch of Christmas cards, I realize that cost of postage, age and perhaps to some extent social media, have steadily eroded the custom of sending out cards. Though some people despise family newsletters, for me I always enjoy reading about yearly escapades, especially for friends I have not seen or heard from on a regular basis.
My focus today however, is a gentleman I have not seen in over 50 years but each year we send cards with a brief personal note. That gentleman was my letter carrier when I was growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, before my Dad took a promotional opportunity to move to Huntsville with the Army Missile Command. Virtually every day, I would greet Lloyd as he brought the mail. I always had something in the mill. Perhaps a box top prize from a cereal company or the like (why did they ALWAYS take 21 days for delivery?). There stood Lloyd, with a big smile, always squared away in uniform, pith helmet for the Florida sun, and his pull cart and saddle bags. If memory served me correctly we had delivery in the morning AND afternoon. There was none of the drive by mailboxes but delivery to a box by the front door or better yet a mail slot. I would often follow Lloyd to the end of the block to his next drop box (also a thing of the past), turn around and race home.
Each year there might be a picture from him as he was active in the National Letter Carrier’s Union or his ascent as Elder in the Presbyterian ministry. This year, there was a picture of him returning to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the March on Washington in 1963 that he participated in. My point in sharing this story is it suddenly struck me how in this day of impersonalization and racial strife, a white Southern boy and a black man found a common bond, shared a lot of stories walking down the street and have kept this connection alive for 55 years. Lloyd retired after 34 years from the postal service in 1977 and while I have moved well over ten times, Lloyd lives in the same house that he did when he was my “mail man”. I believe him to be over 90 years old, and if we live long enough has earned a spot on my bucket list for a visit.
From Our Mailbox
No Mail This Week