Aka Barbara Wilkerson Donnelly
It was the best of times. It was the best of times. Yes, it truly was. Last Wednesday, I was given a surprise “Mimi” Grandmother’s Shower at the home of my cousin and friend, Patsy Hughes Oldroyd. Those of you who know me know that I am not often speechless. My emotions were such that even I felt a sense of something – surprise and thankfulness -- that almost overwhelmed me.
We were at Patsy’s for a get together – there were, at my last count, 23 LHS ladies in attendance. We had a lot of fun giving awards. If I told you for what, then I’d have to . . . well, you know. I will say, however, that Esther Pierce Hudgens, LHS ’66, won the Prettiest Award; Patsy Hughes Oldroyd, LHS ’65, won the Most Original Award; and Escoe German Beatty, LHS '65, won the Tackiest Award. I have enclosed pictures of the three lovely Lee ladies and an extra one that I’m particularly fond of. Escoe and I were sipping sangria and solving the world’s problems, when all of a sudden, she started randomly spouting the word “Nevermore!” This continued for awhile, but all in attendance just smiled and admired the bird on Escoe’s head.
After the awards and other fun stuff had concluded, Sarajane Steigerwald Tarter, LHS ‘65, and Jeanne Ivey McBride, LHS ’66, kept pushing my chair to the center of the circle. I had to give about a four-sentence speech, and it just didn’t make sense. After I had finished, a huge tote filled with gifts started sliding across the room. My first thought was, “Uh-oh. I was supposed to bring a gift for someone , and I forgot!” I never had a clue what they were up to! I said, “Are we giving a shower for someone?” and the tote stopped in front of me!
Well, I won’t go into all the details of the gifts – with the exception of one . My grandson is due October 1, 2015, and his name will be Jack. There was a little cup which was monogrammed with “Mimi” on one side and “Jack’s Mimi” on the other side! All the gifts were precious, and I have given much thought to the fact that not many ladies are lucky enough to not only spend the day with 23 friends from 50+ years ago, but also to be given a “Mimi” shower by them.
I said this elsewhere, but I believe it bears repeating: Somewhere in the grand scheme of things, I was placed in the school district which allowed me to have these wonderful friends be a part of my life. I was a Lee General. I am still a Lee General, and I am thankful for each and every one of my friends from then who are still my friends today. I don’t think such a friendship is the norm. I know mine is special, and I am still not completely over the surprise. It is with much love that Jack’s Mimi once again thanks them and hopes that all of you will take this opportunity to reach out to a friend from Lee, if you haven’t already done so. There’s nothing like knowing that someone who knows you that well, for that long, still has your back. Lee Ladies, you are the best! I will never forget!
Esther Pierce Hudgens '66
Memphis, TN - First of all, thanks to all of you who sent me pictures and stories this week. Unfortunately I could not use all of them in this issue, but will try to get some more in next week.
I know Don Stroud's mother hated for me to postpone getting the Traveller out until after church on Sunday, since she always has Don print it out and take it to her, but I was just "beat" last night. Sue and I have been on the go since April 14th, and only had four days at home in May. We turned around from our extended California trip and headed to Dayton, Ohio, and the Wright-Patterson AFB and the National Museum of the USAF to attend a reunion of B-52 personnel in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first bombing mission in Vietnam which took place on June 18, 1965.
I was with a dwindling group of military aviators who once manned the mighty B-52, and I was the youngest crew member there. Most of my fellow air warriors are well past 70 and pushing 80 now. These men know that it will be the last time many of them will ever see each other, and they treasure the fleeing moments in their lives when they can all get together and celebrate and socialize with each other. One was 87 years old.
Anyway, I got home late Sunday afternoon and have tried to go through the material I have received and pick out enough to make an interesting issue of the Traveller and will catch up with several other things next week.
My Sweet Sixteen
by Barbara "BJ" Seeley Cooper
It has been fun to read what others recall about their 16th birthday, and I have been trying to remember mine. Not only do I not recall it, neither does my Mother….who (to hear her tell it) remembers EVERYTHING.
I do remember our yard got rolled very thoroughly after dark and I believe it was for my 16th. Dad was LIVID and stomped around outside looking for “vandals and kids allowed to run wild.” The yard looked amazing, but it was a real ordeal to clean it once the toilet paper got wet during the night. I have my suspicions as to who was behind the rolling but never found out for sure.
There were two major social activities for me during my mid-teens: roller skating and softball. Carter’s Skateland was a second home – we were there probably 4 nights a week, sometimes more. I say “we” because Mom was there too, chaperoning as only she could do, and so were my two sisters and sometimes Dad as well. Hard to get into a romance with the whole family close by. I remember learning to skate couples’ dances with a thin, dark-haired guy with long fingernails. He was a very good skater and very patient with me. If my feet got tangled, he would just lift me off the ground enough to untangle myself and keep on going. When Carter’s was torn down, there had to be some floor planks that still bore marks from my rear end. Spectacular falls were my specialty. Skating skirts and fluffy pom poms on your skates were the style to beat.
Softball was another family event. Dad coached our team and Mom was there for the games. I played center field or short fielder (no jokes please), and we had a good team. Kathy Broughton, Nancy Harris, Linda Creek, Annalee Milburn, and Lynn Walters are the seniors I remember being on the team. Batt’s Apothecary stepped up and sponsored us, and our uniforms were a hoot: baggy- legged shorts and a tee shirt with Batt’s Apothecary on the back. I was super scrawny back then, so the only thing funnier than my matchstick legs hanging from the shorts was the back of me, where all you could see of the sponsor’s name was AT POTH. Linda Creek and I collided in center field while chasing a high ball during one game. She had a major headache and I broke my left collarbone. You would be amazed at how debilitating that could be. My left shoulder and arm had to be immobilized, but even using my right arm, especially to push or pull, was very painful too. Six weeks of having to be helped out of bed and out of the shower and washing and rolling my hair and getting dressed was no fun whatsoever. To this day I feel sympathy for anyone I see wearing an arm sling.
Speaking of wearing something uncomfortable, braces on my teeth were a key feature at that time. Ginger Burrus wore braces also and we called ourselves the Tin Grin Twins. My dentist added tiny rubber bands to mine, all the way around, attaching the top brace of each tooth to the brace on the bottom tooth. Not only did this cause constant pain, but the rubber bands turned a white-ish color in my mouth, perfectly resembling drool. Once in Assembly Hall I sneezed suddenly, and distributed broken rubber bands over the classmates around me. Mortifying.
El Palacio for Mexican food, the place that had the wonderful prime rib, Morrison’s and Britling’s are places I enjoyed. Mom would make me go through the cafeteria line first because she said she did not know what she wanted until I chose my food – then she would choose the same thing. The Mary Shoppe was the best place in town for clothes in my opinion. Most of my babysitting money went there.
Linda Taylor, Ginger Burrus, Susie Miller, and Lee Dilday were great friends then. I had a number of crushes, one of course on Don Cornelius.
It is fun to look back on good times more than 50 years ago!
Click on the image above to see the information about the
upcoming joint '64-'65-'66 2015 Reunion.
2015 Combined Reunion
Greetings Fami-LEE Classmates of 1964 / 1965 / 1966
“Still Crazy After All These Years!”
Our plans are finally coming together for the upcoming combined class reunion in September 2015. As most of you know, these three classes have celebrated class reunions together several times over the years, usually at 10 year intervals. Beginning with the 2000 reunion it was decided that we would schedule a reunion of combining all three classes every five years. This has proved to be very beneficial for many reasons, but the greatest benefit is being able to see so many of our classmates at the same time!
One of the first things we wanted to do was try to simplify the method of registration and having a link for you to follow to make hotel reservations. We have put in place the registration form to be followed by you to do these two things. With it you have the options of reunion registration payment to either pay by check or credit/debit card. We are hoping in this “paperless age”, this will prove to be easier for everyone.
If you want to pay by check, please fill out the registration form and send it with your check to the address on the registration form.
If you want to pay by credit/debit card, click on the “lhsgenerals2015reunion.eventbrite.com” link on the registration form. You will then be taken to a page for credit/debit card payment. You will be asked for information to be entered in the Handbook also, so please fill this in.
We still need to make sure we have updated information on all our classmates, whether they plan to attend the reunion or not. So please fill out the registration form and send it in to the address on the registration form or send your information requested on the registration form using the e-mail address set up for each class.
Here are the e-mail addresses for each class and the name that will show up as the sender:
For the class of 1964: email@example.com Linda Taylor
For the class of 1965: firstname.lastname@example.org Sarajane Tarter
For the class of 1966: email@example.com Judy Kincaid
Please continue sending in this information. Also, feel free to use these e-mail addresses to communicate with us at any time.
With all the technology, social media, and free long-distance phone calling we have now days, plus the weekly Lee’s Traveller, we hope to reach as many classmates as possible before having to resort to the postage costs of snail mail. But there will still be folks that we will not reach, so this is where good old "word of mouth" comes into play. PLEASE help us spread the word by sharing all the information we are sending out. We also want to include those that may have attended Lee, but for various reasons did not get to graduate with us. So anyone you know that might be interested in joining us this year, please have them send their information to the "class e-mail address" they would have been a part of.
September 11th & 12th will be here before we know it!
We are looking forward to seeing everyone,
Your 2015 Combined Reunion Committee