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160718 18 July, 2016


Justin Larry Dickens
LHS '64
? - July 14, 2016

        Justin Larry Dickens, 71, of Huntsville, passed away Thursday, July 14.  Mr. Dickens is survived by his daughter: Kimberly Jan Dickens; brother: Danny Dickens; and two sisters: Elois Bryant and Dianne Atkinson.

        No services are planned. Berryhill Funeral Home assisted the family.

Great Dances Venues of Our Times
Rick Markley
Would Have Been LHS '66

The dances were a big part of my high school years too.

        I went to LHS my junior year, '64 to '65, and would have graduated with the class of '66 but moved back to the Pacific Northwest in the summer of '65.  I read the article on the Huntsville Medical Mall and remembered the great dances that were held at what may have been Dunnivant's, I don't remember the name.  The stores in the mall were closed up, chaperones in place, great local bands played and I remember the events were well organized and controlled.  We were lucky to have been around in the Sixties with all of the variations of music that were introduced and still play great today.  The Pacific Northwest had a great history of local music and dance halls in the sixties as there were not the shopping malls as in Huntsville, plus I am not sure it would have been as successful.

        Weekend nights we would travel to the dance halls in Seattle, Bremerton, Lacey, Bellevue, Federal Way and other cities in the local region.  Names like the Spanish Castle, Parkers Ballroom, Evergreen Ballroom, Perl's, The Highlands and others to hear local groups such as The Venture's, The Kingsmen, The Wailers, Don and the Goodtimes, The Viceroys, Merilee Rush and the Turnabouts, and many others.  The dance halls were not 21 and older as most of the performers weren't 21 yet themselves.  I am not sure that there is local dancing out there anymore.

        I met my wife, by the way this month will be our 45 year anniversary, at one such ballroom.  I had just gotten out of the Army the end of August 1970 and had been out playing golf with a friend of mine and his future wife and decided to go dancing that evening as one of our high school friends had a band and was playing that night.  The place was packed, loud, dark and smoky as they all were in those days, when a bar maid handed me a note.  I opened it and it read "Sit up and take notice, do you dance?"  Signed blue eyes.  The bar maid wouldn't disclose who the sender was so we spent most of the evening going through processes of elimination to identify who sent the note.  We narrowed it down to two ladies so I took my leave to go and answer her note.  They both had their backs to me when I arrived at their table and as fate would have it, I asked the wrong one.  She pointed to my future wife, correction noted, asked her to dance and we had a great time the rest of the evening.  Not to stretch this part of the story out too much and to make a long story short, she would not go out with me after that.  I saw her twice more there between September '70 and March '71 when she finally agreed to go out with me, I proposed in May of '71 and we were married July 31, 1971 and I have had no regrets since.  So local bands and dance halls had a major impact in my life.

        The dance halls were losing their popularity as the 70's moved on.  One of the last ones we went to was in Bellevue, Washington called the Steakout where Flash Cadillac was performing.  They had a dance contest that evening and the winning couple won a set of hubcaps, one of the band members had broken away during a song and stole them off of a car in the parking lot.

        I believe a lot of people have great memories of bands, dancing from our era and I hope you have as good of memories of them as I have.  You can go on the internet and google bands and dancing facilities in your region and it will amaze you how many there were out there.

        Memphis, TN -  Just found out we lost another member of the Lee Class of '64 - Justin Dickens. At the current time there are no funeral arrangements, but I have heard there may be a memorial service planned in the future. I will keep you advised if I hear any news. Unfortunately Justin did not make the last reunion.

Jim McBride, LHS '65
Nominated for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

        The NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME has announced its 2016 nominees in the Songwriter and Songwriter/Artist categories. Two new members will be selected for induction from the Songwriter category, one new member will be selected from the Songwriter/Artist category, and a new member will also be selected in a Veteran category. A selection committee will select the Veteran inductee in a separate in-house ballot vote, and only the winner will be announced.

        Nominees in the Songwriter category include AARON BARKER, BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN, FRANK DYCUS, ALEX HARVEY, JIM MCBRIDE, GARY NICHOLSON, JIM RUSHING, and RUSSELL SMITH. Nominees in the Songwriter/Artist category are ARTHUR ALEXANDER, AMY GRANT, TOWNES VAN ZANDT, and TONY JOE WHITE. The four selected inductees will be announced in JULY.

My brother Don (back), my mother, and me and our TV on East Clinton Street.

The Vintage Television
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

The Huckleberry Hound Show

        The Huckleberry Hound Show debuted on October 2, 1958 as a syndicated animated series and the second from the Hanna-Barbera studios following The Ruff and Reddy Show, sponsored by Kellogg's. Three seven minute segments were included in the program: one featuring Huckleberry Hound, another starring Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo, and a third with Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks, two mice who in each short found a new way to outwit the cat Mr. Jinks.

        The Yogi Bear segment of the show proved more popular than Huckleberry's, it spawned its own series in 1961. A segment featuring Hokey Wolf and Ding-A-Ling was added, replacing Yogi during the 1960–61 season. The show contributed to making Hanna-Barbera Productions a household name, and is often credited with legitimizing the concept of animation produced specifically for television. In 1960, it became the first animated program to be honored with an Emmy Award.


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From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Last Week's Picture of "The IN"

Eddie Burton

LHS '66

        I think it's funny none of us are looking at the camera when this picture was taken. I am the "IN" member on the far right of the picture.


Subject:    Mailing List

Kathy Robinson Gillespie

LHS '66

        Please add me to your mailing list. Class of '66! Looking forward to upcoming festivities. Thanks.

Subject:    General Jim McBride
Bob Pierce
LHS '64

        Another of our Generals added another metal to his chest. General Jim McBride is a nominee to the Nashville Hall of Fame. Sometime this month we will hear the inductees. It's a great honor just to be nominated. A good friend, another #1 songwriter, Bob Regan says Jim is a songwriters songwriter. Bob is founder of Operation Song a program for active US military and vets. I wrote and song with Bob  and went through the process of getting it written, studio-ed, twitted and made into a CD album. My admiration of Jim and Beth went way up. Beth Nielsen Chapman, another friend and nominee, makes it hard to root for one but the Hall of Fame will select two one songwriter and one veteran so I can root for both my friends.

Subject:    Growing Up In Huntsville
Stella Beasley Wilson

    During the summer my mom would give me 50 cents and send me out the door. I was probably 11 or 12, maybe 13. I would walk from Colonial Hills to Oakwood and Meridian. From there I could either spend some of my money to ride the bus or save my money and walk on to the pool. Then if I walked I might have enough to stop at Sno Wite and get a burger on my way home. Crazy. They would lock up parents if they let a kid do that today. But I say, "What a childhood!" I thank my parents for that freedom. 

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