The General's Reunion
(Editor's Note: Bob sent this to me shortly after the reunion last year and it got put into a rogue email file and was only recently found. Though a little dated, it is still an interesting story to share.)
When we walked into the hotel for the LHS reunion, we heard a wonderful brass band playing "When Johnny comes marching home again." I could not help but let my ears lead me to the music. The conference hall was full of folks dressed up to the nines, tuxes and full USMC dress blues uniforms. But the band was a six piece US Army Brass Band from Redstone. My wife, Susan, a french horn among many instruments player and I, a tuba player, play in a brass quintet, found a inconspicuous place to sit and listen.
After some wonderful music I decided we needed to get to the LHS reunion and I went up and stood in front of the band to let them know how great they sounded. I had on shorts and my US Army Fort Monroe Virginia tee shirt, a little under dressed.
The band ended, "It's a Grand Old Flag" and a Sergeant First Class looks up at me and says, "You are out of uniform trooper!" I knew some of these guys must have transferred from Fort Monroe before it closed down two years before and became a national monument. Fort Monroe had more generals per square foot than the Pentagon or a Mexican bordello in Juarez.
I asked, "You troops here for these jarheads Sergeant?"
He said "Yes sir," and I said, "Hell, you're in the wrong uniform too."
He says "Damn, I guess you are right" so I say "But their mommas do dress then pretty don't they?" That got a smile and laugh out of all of them.
I told them I was across the way at a generals' reunion. The tuba player, a buck Sergeant asked "So you are a general, sir?"
I said, "I sure am, and proud of it" and they all started to stand up. I waved them back to their seats. I told them a bunch of us generals were gathering. They said, "Really?"
I said, "Yep, maybe 200 or more generals."
They said, "Wow! We should be playing for you".
I started to feel for the big eyes and open mouths so I said, "Yep, maybe 200 or more Lee High School Generals are at this reunion."
More smiles and laughs. What a great way to start the LHS 50th reunion.
My songs from LHS are below:
Generals Three - Blowin' in the Wind
Top Hats - Rock Around the Clock
Lee High School Band - I'm Alabama Bound
Lee High School 60-64 to me was full of music, as my grades reflect. So I send you music I worked at and enjoyed. I have LP's of the songs from the Top Hats and the Lee High School Band but not the Generals Three.
The pictures above are me and the AMC band and our brass band at the VA Hospital in Nashville.
This is most of the 16 of us on The OGST 2016; 25th year of Old Guys Ski Trip. When we started doing this 25 years ago, we were in our 40s, and talked about our careers, wives/Significant Others. Now with iPhones, we spend Happy Hour showing each other cellphone photos of our grandchildren. That could sound depressing, but it is great that we can still do this (oldest OLD GUY is 73) after 73 years. Also, we have only had one significant injury in 25 x 16 ski-days. Two years ago at Alta, under terrible conditions with heavy snow, high winds and flat light (in which case you cannot see the snow in front of you; almost skiing by Braille) one guy took a bad fall and broke his upper arm near the shoulder. But he recovered, and skied with last year at Deer Valley and this year at Snowbird, which a very steep, unforgiving mountain.
So far this winter, this Snowbird Ski Area has received 300 inches of snow, including five inches during day while we skied yesterday, and 13 inches during the night. Was in fresh powder almost up to my knees this morning, under partly cloudy/some sunshine, 30 degrees the high at base; top peak is 11,000 feet. Tough mountain, mostly black slopes, steep vertical drop; first (and no doubt last) time OGST has skied Snowbird.
In the photo, I am in the first row, far right, dressed in yellow (sort of matches the stripe going down my back.)
Memphis, TN - I'm not so sure many of you were enjoying the continued serial of Radar Men from the Moon, since I forgot to include the final chapter in the last two issues. Anyway, this week we conclude the series with the final chapter. There are several others available on the web, but we will take a break since I am not sure if they were watched or not.
by Sarajane Steigerwald, Pat Hartselle, Becky Fricke
in Memory of Carol Jean Williams Carroll
In honor of Carol Jean's birthday on Feb. 2nd Pat Hartselle, Becky Fricke and I are sending in three songs we think Carol Jean would like. (We're spending her quarter)
#1 - Telstar by the Ventures.
Pat remembers us riding around in her car going from Jerry's to Shoney's and having that song playing at a high volume. I seem to remember it at the skating rink also. (Tommy, do you remember it being played at the skating rink?)
#2 - The House of the Rising Sun by the Animals
#3 - Walking the Dog - by Rufus Thomas.
I can just see her shaking her tush and her arm going back and forth keeping the beat. I remember CJ and I staying up all night one night at my house teaching Carol Stephens how to dance. I can close my eyes and see the three of us in our baby doll pajamas dancing, singing and laughing.
Thanks Tommy for getting us to think about songs and their associations. Or, as Bob Hope would sing "Thanks for the Memories".
Editor's Discretion - Though Walking the Dog was popular, the original song I remember dancing with Carol Jean (and Sarajane and others) was the original song The Dog by Rufus Thomas.
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Roy Orbison
Thanks to Sarajane for shedding some light a couple of weeks ago on the allusion to: "My Huckleberry Friend" in Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini's Oscar-Winning song.
One of Roy Orbison's most ardent admirers was Elvis, b/c of his impressive vocal range; Roy could nail the high notes that Elvis could only dream about.
Around 1967 Roy Orbison and his band came to Auburn to give a concert in the old Student Activities Building, called "The Barn" for good reasons. In addition to concerts, AU basketball SEC games and intramural sports were also played in that vast open space with a curved tin roof and old wooden white siding. It actually burned down DURING a home football game against LSU; it should be noted that, even though The Barn was located right across the street/almost next door, to Jordan-Hare Stadium, football fans never left the stadium. On TV, one could see the flames licking the sky way above the top row of end zone seats.
To attend this concert, all it took was presentation of a student ID at the door and $1.00. Roy performed non-stop for about two hours, and the only parts of his body that moved were his lips and the fingers on his guitar; such was his style, standing stock-still and crooning away behind those big thick black glasses. At one point he said: "We were planning on setting up the band on stage in front of a semi-circle of six Vestal Virgins on Pedestals. But I am sorry to have to tell you, that we searched all over the Auburn campus.............and we just could not find......any Pedestals."
Roy Orbison survived not one, but two, coronary artery bypass grafts, but could never give up smoking cigarettes. He died too young of heart disease.