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150810 August 10, 2015


American Graffiti

Not Yet 16, But My Most Memorable New Year's Eve
John Drummond
LHS '65
        I don't recall much about turning 16 except sweating through the driving portion of the test to acquire a license, with your basic "Big-Bellied Southern Sheriff" glaring at me from the right front passenger seat.  From reading LHS classmate's recollections of becoming 16, the process seems to have been a universal Rite of Passage for all of us.  History note:  no required seat belts in those days.  I think they were mandated in all cars beginning about 1965, give or take a year.

        What I DO remember is New Year's Eve, 1962.  I had received parental permission to spend the evening with my buddy Randy Roman, sleeping over at his home.   One of my parents dropped me off at Randy's house, as neither of us was old enough to drive.  I have no recollection of how, when or why it happened, but Randy and I found ourselves cruising around The Parkway in the back seat of a car (I think about a 1960 4-door Dodge Dart) with Pat Hartsell at the wheel and Carol Jean Williams riding shotgun.  It was almost a surreal experience:  Randy and I simply could not believe we lowly sophomores were cruising around New Year's Eve with two of the coolest girls in our sophomore class at Lee.  We made several circuits of Shoney's and other LHS hangouts, with Randy and me trying very hard to resist the temptation to hang out the back windows, point to the front seat, and yell to anyone within earshot:  "Hey, look who WE are hanging out with."

        Around 11:00, we pulled into a gas station so Randy could call home and ask if we could stay out beyond our pre-appointed curfew;  Randy dropped a dime (yes, it only cost a dime) into the glassed-in stand-up phone booth.  Fortunately for us, his father picked up the call, and gave us his blessing to stay out later.

        Several HUGE differences should be noted between that December 31, 1962 New Year's Eve and that of today's high school youth:  1)  no alcohol consumed,  2) no cigarettes smoked,  3) no drug use,  (4 no four-letter words or curses/profanity uttered,  5(  no attempt at physical/sexual contact  and 6(  no worries about our safety, being out on the streets of 1962 Huntsville after midnight.  The high school students of 2015 would almost certainly dismiss such an evening as boring, but we were very happy just driving around in the company of each other, talking, .laughing, and occasionally singing along to Rock 'N' Roll  tunes on WAAY.

        If you have never seen the film "American Graffiti,"  subtitled "Where were you in '62," you should view it before the September reunion.  Released in 1973, many then-unknown actors later became major stars in films and/or TV,  such as Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Paul LeMat, Bo Hopkins, Cindy Wiliiams ("Laverne & Shirley"), McKenzie Phillips ("One Day at a Time") and Joe Spano ("Hill Steet Blues" and other shows).  Not least, who could forget Wolfman Jack, the DJ playing himself, and Suzanne Somers as the mysterious blonde driving a white''56 T-Bird, with whom Curt (played by Richard Dreyfuss) suddenly becomes inexplicably smitten.  This film, perhaps more than any other ever, captures the spirit and relative innocence (compared to today) of what it was like to be a high school student in the early 1960s.  Even if you don't want to see the film, buy the CD soundtrack to get yourself in the mood for our 50th reunion.  I guarantee, if you do both, you WILL get fired up about the 50th.  As I ponder the eerie similarities between the film and our LHS experience, I immediately think of Tommy Towery playing the role of Curt, who (in the final credits, predicting the future careers of the main characters) leaves their small, insular hometown to go off to college and becomes a journalist.  I can think of many other classmates who are similar to certain characters portrayed in the film, but decorum (and fear of a libel lawsuit) prevents further disclosure.

        But I digress:  back to New Year's Eve, 1962.  Pat, Carol Jean, Randy and I were still cruising long after Shoney's and everything else along The Parkway had closed down.  Finally, around 4:00 A.M. we decided to take it in for the evening.  As we drove down Randy's street all was quiet and the homes were dark;  except for Randy's house, where ALL the lights indoor and outdoor, were brightly blazing.  Still in the back seat, Randy and I exchanged glances that said: "Uh-Oh, this can't be good."   After thanking Pat and Carol Jean for a fun evening, he and I walked in the front door, took off our shoes, and tiptoed up the steps, praying that no one in the house would wake up.  NO SUCH LUCK!   Upon entering the living room at 4:00 A.M. we were shocked to see three people sitting on the sofa facing us:  on the far left, Randy's father, head down and intently studying his shoes as if he had never seen them before, on the far right Randy's younger sister sister Sandy, grinning in anticipation of seeing her older brother about to be disemboweled, and in the middle Randy's mother , the outspoken and much-feared Betty Roman, arms crossed across her formidable bosom,  her narrowed black eyes cutting like lasers through our suddenly sweaty Madras shirts.  Randy and I were literally deer caught in the headlights; neither of of was able to either speak or even move, waiting for the axe to fall.  Finally, Mrs. Roman broke the silence by demanding:  "What do you think you were doing, staying out all night on New Year's Eve?"   Randy cleverly countered with:  "But, Mom, I called home and Dad said it would be OK."   After several moments of prolonged, tight-lipped fuming, Mom spat out: "Randy Roman, you could call home and tell your father that you and John were going to a whorehouse, and the only thing he would ask is whether you had enough money!"

        Mrs. Roman (I think) gradually forgave me for corrupting her only son, but I have never been certain if Randy's dad ever made it out of the Doghouse; I certainly hope he did.

        Lastly, through the power of Tommy and Lee's Traveller I have re-connected with Randy and his wife Kathy, who have been living in Jacksonville, but may soon re-locate to Atlanta, where Kristin  (one of their three daughters)  lives.  We went out to dinner recently, for an evening full of laughter and great memories.  Such is the magnitude, and the blessing, of growing up as a student at LHS in the early 1960s.  None of this would have been possible without Tommy and the weekly newsletter;  I hope most of us appreciate his efforts at keeping us in touch.  As the popular 60s song went, I hope to "See You in September."

        Memphis, TN - We're only about a month away from our traditional every-five-year reunion and special 50-Year celebration for the Class of '65. Please make sure to seriously consider attending if you have not already registered. You never know if this might be the last time you might have a chance to visit with some of these folks as we continue to age and move about the country. I find it ironic how many classmates who still live in Huntsville will not attend when so many from distant places spend a lot of money and time trying to do so. These get-togethers have traditionally been a source of fun and entertainment and depend upon the participation of as many as can attend for their success.

Lee Lunch Bunch
Meets August 27th, 2015

The next Lee Lunch Bunch get-together - and the last one for the year - will be August 27th, 2015. Same time/same place. 11:00 a.m. at Logan's off of Airport Rd. If possible, please send me some kind of message if you think you are going to be there so I can give the restaurant a ballpark figure of how many to set up for. Hope to see a BUNCH of you there!

Click on the image above to see the information about the

upcoming joint '64-'65-'66 2015 Reunion.

143 Classmates Have Already Registered
For the Reunion

BESS, David
CROWL, Marcia Hemphill
FREEMAN, Edna Sharp
GLYNN, Tommy
GULLION, Alice Preston
ISBELL, Linda Creek
KLAUSS,  Rainer
MILBURN, Annalee Hughes
SCOTT, Linda Kezer
SHARP, Johnny
SIMMONS, Richard
WHYTE, William

BALCH, Elbert
BECKS, Roger
BILLS, Judy Tate
BURGESS, Carolyn Featheringill
BUSH, Tommy
BYROM, Billy
GOATLEY, Pam deLuca
GROOMS, Pam Smith
HANSEN, Bonnie Floyd
HATCHER, Charlotte Cheek
HUGHES, Patsy Oldroyd
JAMES, Glenn
KEY, Betty Jo Scholter
KING, Ann Pat Fanning
LIGHT, Judy Fudge
McNABB, Beth Weinbaum
MILBURN, Nancy Kalish
MILLER, Phyllis Rodgers
STEIGERWALD, Sarajane Tarter
TITTSWORTH, Janice Barnett
WAGNER, Gudrun Klauss
WEBER, Elsie Peterson
WILSON, Ann Redfrod

BISHOP, Janie Britton
BOYER, Steve
BOZEMAN, Lynn Van Pelt
CLUTTS, Jeanne Hill
CRAFTON, JoAnne Jarman
FEDROWISCH, Judy Kincaid
FRICKE, Becky Garrison
GAMBRELL, Ginger Treglown
GENTRY, Darla Steinberg
GURLEY, Polly Redd
HARRIS, Kathy Jones
HILLIS, Beverly Still
HUDSON, Janet Watkins
HUMPHREY, Marion Ray
IVEY, Jeanne McBride
McCORMICK, Nina Greene
PIERCE, Esther Hudgens
PRIDMORE, Carol Walker
QUEEN, Becky Meeks
REDDICK, Paulette Turner
SMITH, Cleve
WHITE, Jennifer Bannecke
WHITTEN, Bonnie McDaris
WRIGHT, Taylor

REED, Bruce



From Our Mailbox 

Subject:    Your Books

Bob Pierce

LHS '64

I  finished two of your four books that I bought from you at the Lee High 1964 50th reunion. I  decided to hold the other two to read until now in order to set the mood for the 64-65-66 reunion this September. I recommend this method of preparation, little like homework but fun, to all Lee folks looking forward to September.

I've got lots of other stories that were genned up by your wonderful books, maybe you have a link for other Lee folk that might be interested in prepping for September.

A Million Tomorrows...Memories of the Class of '64

“A Million Tomorrows…Memories of the Class of ’64” is a book that reflects on the changes in the world over a 25-year period in history. It saw its foundation laid on the day President Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963. On that day I started a journal recording the day-by-day events in my life and recorded my daily life from then until the day I graduated from Lee High School in June of 1964. 

The journal was kept in storage for 25 years and on the 25th anniversary of the first entry, I began a day-by-day comparison of the entries in the journal and the differences and influences it had in my life 25 years to-the-date later.

(At Bob's request, I have set up a promotion on to allow a free download of my book 
for your Kindle or Kindle Reader app, from 
Monday, August 10, 2015 to Friday, August 14, 2015 
by clicking on the link below. Make sure the price is shown as "Free" or you will be paying $2.99 for it. Printed copies will be available at the upcoming reunion.)

Subject:        Randy Roman's Song

Tom Provost

The song was terrific and I WANT THE VETTE!  Quite an enjoyable musical Interlude!

Subject:    Randy's Song

Pat King Fanning

LHS '65

Loved Randy's composition and "concert."  Thank you both for sharing it.

Looking forward to the REUNION --- our committee is hard at work trying to pull it all together and to make it very memorable.  I encourage all classmates to come and be part of this special time.  As we get older, the reunions become more precious!   IT won't be the same if YOU aren't there.

Time is flying -- Sept 11-12 will be here before we know it.  Sign up today!

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