Linda Scott Kezer
Our beloved Linda Scott Kezer, of Meridianville, Alabama, was born September 5, 1946 in Huntsville, Alabama. She was the daughter of the late Carl Scott and Vallie Wilkerson Scott, who precedes her in death. She peacefully departed this life on July 24, 2016. Linda was also preceded in death by her husband, Fred O. Kezer; one sister, Madge Batt; and one brother, Arvil Scott.
Linda accepted Christ as her personal Savior at an early age. She was a proud member of First Baptist Church-Meridianville. Some of her accomplishments included being a graduate of Lee High School (1964); earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management at the University of Mary Washington (1992); working for NASA in Huntsville from 1965 – 1982; working at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. as a secretary from 1982 – 1993, then as a Program Analyst from 1993 – 2006. Linda continued using her skills and talents with Quadrus Corporation from 2008 – 2009 and Liberty National from 2012 – 2014. Linda loved traveling and was a “Big” supporter of St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Linda is survived by her son, Tommy Phillips; granddaughter, Hannah Phillips, both of Hazel Green, AL; sister, Helen Sanders of Inverness, FL; nieces, Pam Hunter of Tampa, FL, Arlene Morgan of Huntsville, AL, and Patricia Frogge of Inverness, FL; and her two dogs, Ceaser and Freddy.
The funeral services were held in the Chapel of Love at Valhalla Memory Gardens on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. , with Bro. Tommy Bolan, First Baptist Church-Meridianville , officiating. Entombment followed at Valhalla Memory Gardens.
Pallbearers were Brian Jones, Brian Sharp, Bubba Jones, Mike Murphy, Ron Hopkins and Earl Phillips.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.
and The Beach Boys
Last weekend Sue and I attended a concert in Tunica featuring Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of their Pet Sounds album. The only other original Beach Boy featured that night was Al Jardine, but included several musicians who had played with the group at one time or another, including Al Jardine’s son, Matt.
According to Wikipedia: “Pet Sounds is the 11th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released on May 16, 1966. It initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at number 10 in the Billboard 200, a significantly lower placement than the band's preceding albums. In the United Kingdom, the album was hailed by its music press and was an immediate commercial success, peaking at number 2 in the UK Top 40 Albums Chart and remaining among the top ten positions for six months. Pet Sounds has subsequently garnered worldwide acclaim from critics and musicians alike, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential albums in music history.”
I would have to say the Beach Boys remains, without a doubt, my favorite group in the world of music, and has been since I was a teenager during my days at Lee High School. It may seem odd that a young adolescent, land-locked in Northern Alabama, would pick a surf group from Southern California as his favorite musicians. One would normally think someone from Alabama to be a country music lover, but not me.
I’m not sure it was the surf music which first attracted me to the group, although I really loved the sound. It was more likely their car music and “teenage reflections” which really hit me hard. Even stranger is the fact I was never really a “car” person. It was hard to get really excited about hot rods when I cruised the strip in a car which often did not make the trip without getting a flat tire, running out of gas, or having the battery die when I stopped at one end of the route or the other. “The Bomb,” my 1953 Customline V-8 Ford (boasting a complete white front end to augment the original red body) had only one outstanding feature – it was mine! I didn’t even work to buy it, I kind of inherited it when my brother Don joined the Navy and left town and my mother got married and moved to Memphis. I was left in Huntsville with only my grandmother, and she didn’t drive; so the Bomb was mine.
The first Beach Boys car song which I truly loved was “409”, which was the flip side of “Surfin’ Safari” – a 45 rpm record released in 1962. Whenever I hear the song my thoughts go back to the Plamor Lanes bowling alley on South Parkway. The song was on their jukebox and one night when I was there bowing with my friends I hear it’s haunting echoing response-demanding and sing-along lyrics blaring from the speakers – “She’s real fine …. my 4-0-9! She’s real fine …. my 4-0-9! My fooour - oooh - ninnne!” and it embedded inside me with probably the first earwig I remember ever getting. The song has been credited for launching the hot rod music craze of the 1960s.
A landslide of other Beach Boy hits followed in rapid succession before the ultimate song epitomizing my high school friendships hit the airways. My days of cruising up and down the Parkway between Jerry’s Drive-In and Shoney's were forever captured in their ballad “I Get Around.” It was released as a single in May of 1964, just a month before my graduation with the first graduation class of Lee High School. It featured "Don’t Worry Baby" as its B-side and became the group's first number-one charting song in the United States. I think the timing of the release, just prior to me leaving my friends behind in my home town as I moved away for college hit me at a critical moment in my life. I probably heard it for the first time when I was cruising up and down the strip myself. If you don’t remember it goes:
Round round get around, I get around
Yeah, Get around round round I get around
I get around
Get around round round I get around
From town to town
Get around round round I get around
I'm a real cool head
Get around round round I get around
I'm makin' real good bread
I'm gettin' bugged driving up and down the same old strip
I gotta finda new place where the kids are hip
My buddies and me are getting real well known
Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone
We always take my car cause it's never been beat
And we've never missed yet with the girls we meet
None of the guys go steady cause it wouldn't be right
To leave their best girl home now on Saturday night
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
Reflecting upon the lyrics, I don’t know why I thought the song was written specifically for me, but I did. Most of the words actually did not represent anything real in my life. I was neither a "real cool head" nor “making real good bread.” I was not in the least part “getting bugged driving up and down the same ole strip,” I loved doing that. There is no way in the world my friends and I felt “the bad guys know us and they leave us alone.” I refer you to the previous statements in reference to the line “we always take my car cause it’s never been beat.” “We’ve never missed yet with the girls we meet” is about as far from the truth as possible. I missed getting with the girls more times that Carter had little liver pills.
I considered my group at the time to consist of David France, Lewis Brewer, Bob Walker, and myself. When the song came out, only David France had a steady girl, so the final verse of ‘none of the guys go steady” was probably the closest one to the truth of any of the song’s verses. The reason we didn’t have steady girls probably wasn’t just so we did not want to leave our “best girl home on Saturday night.”
One last funny about “I Get Around.” Later in college my friends and I sang alternate verses to the chorus, such as “I get a triangle,” or “I get a square,” or “I get a hexagon.” We learned a lot about geometry in college.
The day after graduation I moved away from Huntsville for good, but my heart remained. Forever will “I Get Around” be a song about my friends and “Be True to Your School” will eternally be about Lee High School.
Next week my reflections on the Beach Boys place in my life will continue.
Several dear old friends, and classmates, dropped by my house this past Wednesday for a nice visit. My cousin, Barbara Wilkerson Donnelly. LHS '64, was in town for one of her "annual" trips that she makes several times each year to visit with her husband's ( Ed Donnelly '65 ) mom. When she comes for a visit, we usually indulge her with an impromptu lunch gathering with any who are available to join us. She told us that this was her fourteenth annual visit with us since October of 2011. It is amazing that these wonderful women still put forth such effort for us o stay close after all these years.
Seated L-R. Barbara Wilkerson Donnelly '64, Sherry Adcock White '64, Pam Grooms Smith '65, Patsy Hughes Oldroyd '65.
Standing L-R. Linda Taylor '64, Escoe German Beatty '65, Carol Bailey Olson '65, Judy Fedrowisch Kincaid '66, Sarajane Steigerwald Tarter '65, Jeanne Ivey McBride '66.
Memphis, TN - Big issue this week. Thanks to all of you classmates who have continued to support this newspaper by contributing glimpses into your own lives.
I worked for GE as an Engineering Aid during the four summers of 1966-69; got the job in part b/c the Pre-Med curriculum at Auburn was then essentially a major in chemistry and a minor in physics. Next to engineers, GE hired more physics grads than any other degree (I picked up enough English courses, electives like Advanced Composition, to earn a minor in English as well). GE had the NASA contract for all electrical components, including design and installation, for the Saturn V and Lunar Module.
When seeing "Apollo 13" I was amazed at the detailed accuracy inside The Command Module, as I had worked on some its components myself. Several times during the film I felt tears running down my cheeks, out of a deep personal connection to not only Apollo, but also to Huntsville and little things that were so common to that era: the TV was on the floor as part of a big wooden console, the telephone had a dial and was colored an ugly dark yellow-mustard, women's hair was swept up and heavily sprayed/freeze-dried, and the cars (none of them from Japan) were all made in Detroit and many were almost as big as a houseboat (one exception was the VW Beetle; my father bought a new one in 1964 for $1,400, The engine had all of 40 horsepower, requiring frequent downshifting to make it home up Monte Sano).
I also had to chuckle several times during the movie at odd moments when no one else was laughing, as when NASA engineers appeared onscreen sporting crewcuts (like my father), wearing short-sleeve white shirts with black narrow neckties and pocket pen-protectors, black trousers and shoes with white socks. Essentially a bunch of intelligent Dorks, they wore the uniform proudly, and some wore a Slide Rule dangling from a leather belt holster, like a Cowboy. I think the actor Ed Harris was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor playing the part Gene Kranz, Director of Mission Control: "Gentlemen, failure is not an option!", who also sported a crewcut. I think Kathleen Quinlan, the actress who played the part of Marilyn Lovell, Jim Lovell's (Tom Hanks character) wife, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as well, but I don't recall that either won.
Writing this has inspired me (and I hope you all, as well) to watch "Apollo 13" again, and soon.
(Editor's Note: Skip Cook, LHS '64, wrote to John saying, "You may recall that the slide rule was also called an “Auburn Dangler” when we were in school. My wife and son (now 32) get a huge laugh every time they pull out the old photos of me in my high water pants, white socks, and Weejuns. I am fondling caressing my pocket protector as I type this message. Those were the days!")
My brother Don (back), my mother, and me and our TV on East Clinton Street.
The Vintage Television
Queen For A Day
Queen for a Day was an American radio and television game show that helped to usher in American listeners' and viewers' fascination with big-prize giveaway shows. Queen for a Day originated on the Mutual Radio Network on April 30, 1945, in New York City before moving to Los Angeles a few months later and ran until 1957. The show then ran on NBC Television from 1956 to 1960 and on ABC Television from 1960 to 1964.
The show became popular enough that NBC increased its running time from 30 to 45 minutes to sell more commercials, at a then premium rate of $4,000 per minute.
The show opened with host Jack Bailey asking the audience—mostly women—"Would YOU like to be Queen for a day?" After this, the contestants were introduced and interviewed, one at a time, with commercials and fashion commentary interspersed in between.
Using the classic applause meter, as did many game and hit parade-style shows of the time, Queen for a Day had its own special twist: Each contestant had to talk publicly about the recent financial and emotional hard times she had been through.
The interview would climax with Bailey asking the contestant what she needed most and why she wanted to win the title of Queen for a Day.
Upcoming Get Togethers
Rison-Dallas Association, Inc.
44th Annual Reunion
August 6, 2016
Jackson Way Baptist Church
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Registration and Visitation
11:00 AM - Business Meeting
12:00 PM (Noon) - Entertainment provided by "The Fahrenheits"
12:30 PM - Luncheon. Please bring a 6-8 serving covered dish to share
Hosted by the Rison-Dallas Association, Inc. Committee
If you are not already receiving email info & want to be on the email distribution list for activities related to the upcoming 50th reunion celebration for the class of 1966,
please send your email address and graduation year to:
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Justin Dicken's Daughter Kim
Dianne H McClure
Just a note might be of interest to some. My daughter and Kim Dickens (Justin Dickens daughter) were friends in high school and played on same softball team. Some of you may know Kim is the lead actress on the tv show "Fear The Walking Dead" .My daughter said there has been an action figure made of Kim and I thought was kind of "neat".
Subject: Jim White
Beverly Taylor Swaim
Sad to hear of Jim Whites passing. Not only were we classmates but I worked with him at Redstone.
Suject: Jim White
Jim White was a trumpet player, but not a Monte Sano boy. He was a good guy, with a dry sense of humor. I got to know him fairly well as we were both in the trumpet section, but never socialized together.