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170220 February 20, 2017


Yes Sir, Yes Sir!
One Bag Full

Craig Bannecke
LHS '65

    When I sent in my college choice story I copied the email to John Drummond, LHS '65, and Skip Cook, LHS '64.  Both responded, but I thought Skip's comments were both insightful of the time in which we grew up and demonstrated his very good memory of the Bag Boy process.  

    Dear Craig,
    Your story proves that we still have many common roots.  Some of which go back to those good old days at Winn Dixie aka Qwik Chek.
    Although I still prefer “paper”, double bagged of course, I shake my head when I see the “associates who work on the front” (there aren’t any more bag boys in the world).  They just drop grocery items in a plastic bag.  Where is the art in that I ask?  The ability to “bag” a perfect vertical rectangle with the loaf of bread sitting on top has been lost.  Gone forever.
    When I go through Publix today and there isn’t anyone at the check out station, I swing around the end and start bagging my own and using paper bags.   I intently view the items and my mind starts working like a Tetris game.  What can I put in the corners to keep them straight, how do I lay the foundation for a “perfect bag”.  That short dream is broken by some clean faced youngster who says “let me do that for you sir”.  I back away from the task at hand with the comment “I started my professional career as a bag boy, I can still pack a good bag.”  

    The “plastic cowboys, and cowgirls” just doesn’t know what I’m talking about.  They don’t appreciate the old timers with thousands of hours, who would “pop” that paper bag open and set it down on in one fluid motion, while looking at the items sliding toward them and calculating what goes in first.  All this happening while the left hand shoots out to grab that first can, flip it to the right hand, and set it down in the bag, all without a bobble.  All of this done while wearing a white, short sleeved shirt, with a dacron tie that was no more than one and half inches wide.
    I doubt that I could last bagging groceries for a “typical Qwik Chek Saturday” (8:00 a.m. until 9:00 pm) during the summer, when water melons were stacked up outside; or when those 50 lb. bags of  fertilizer were on sale out front.  The EMTs and Dr. John Drummond would be hard pressed to bring me back to the land of the living when I passed out in the parking lot pushing one full buggy and pulling another.
    Yes Craig, those were the just took so long for me to realize how blessed we were.
    Today’s plastic baggers at Publix also don’t know how to spot those customers that drive expensive cars and go for that .$25 tip at Christmas time!
    Love ya man, and thanks for stirring those good old memories.

    John Drummond added to the discussion writing, "I remember working as a "bag boy" at KwiK Chek". It was located at the corner of Memorial Parkway and Highway 72 West, where many of us sweated through summer bagging and stocking groceries, and then loading them from the buggy into the customer's (virtually always a lady in those days)  vehicle, which was often a station wagon.

    It was hard, sweaty work;  we never sat down for the entire shift, all for the grand sum of $1.15/hour, before taxes.   But if nothing else, we LHS guys learned the hard way (is there any other way?)  about the value of an education;  by the time school started back in September, we were all determined to find an indoors job that did not require much heavy lifting."

    I can't go in to a grocery store without thinking back to our days of sacking groceries at Winn Dixie.  We were in Publix's Friday and the young girl bagged our groceries put them in our "buggy" and when I went to take the buggy she said "Oh no!  I'll take them out for you."  
    That doesn't happen much anymore but I said, "No, I'm an old Winn Dixie Bag Boy, from the days of paper bags, I'll take it, but thanks."  She said Oh, really and kinda laughed.  Jennifer gave her that all knowing look only wives who have heard it all before have and said,  " Let him do it"  Somewhere Ronnie Acres is probably rolling over in his grave or drooling on his chin!

    Yeah, those were the days and we didn't know it then but we know it now. We were so blessed.

Paula Spencer Kephart Smith's Mother

Mary Juanita Holley Spencer

    Dec. 13, 1924 - Feb. 11, 2017 Mary Juanita Holley Spencer, age 92, of Huntsville passed away on Sat. Feb. 11, 2017. She is survived by one daughter Paula Spencer Kephart Smith and husband Stanley R Smith, two grandsons; Richard D. Kephart, Jr. and wife Stefanie and Timothy P. Kephart and wife Patricia, one great-grandson; Paul George Kephart and two sisters; Elizabeth H. Burnette and Glenda H. Gilbert. Mrs. Spencer was a Christian and attended church in Huntsville. She worked 31 years for the Dept. of Defense, Redstone Arsenal, and ten years in real estate. She was preceded in death by her husband Guy P. Spencer, her parents O.J. Holley and Jessie Elrod Holley, one brother and two sisters. Visitation for Mrs. Spencer will be Wed., Feb. 15, 2017, 11:00 - 12:00 at Berryhill Funeral Home. Graveside service will be at 12:30 p.m. at Maple Hill Cemetery with Tim Kephart. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. 

Polly Gurley Redd's Mother

Ann Davidson Franke Gurley 

    Feb 14, 1928 - Jan 29, 2017 Ann Davidson Franke Gurley died peacefully in her sleep on January 29, 2017 after a brief illness. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 14, 1928, she was just 2 weeks shy of her 89th birthday. She was the only child of Ernest Carl Franke, Jr. and Helen Way Davidson Franke. Ann graduated from Kentucky Home School for Girls in Louisville and attended Duke University where she met Elbert (Ed) Luther Gurley, the love her life. They were happily married from 1947 until his death in 1984, spending most of their married life in Huntsville, Alabama. For the past 22 years she has been living with and helping her daughter, Margaret Gurley, in Virginia and South Carolina. An avid reader and crossword puzzle fan, Ann never was without a book in her hand. She often would set a timer so that she could read and not forget to pick up a child or start dinner. She also designed and worked needlepoint until her eyesight failed her, including being part of the needlepoint kneeler project at The Church of the Nativity in Huntsville. Her children and grandchildren have wonderful Christmas stockings which she made for them. She was happiest when she was at Cranberry Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, a place she began visiting as a child in 1932. Ann is survived by her three daughters, Polly Way Gurley Redd (James), Denver, NC; Elizabeth Bush Gurley Mottram, Sarasota, FL; and Margaret Michael Gurley, Irmo, SC. Her grandchildren are Charles Hawthorne Redd (Kate Beal), Somerville, MA; Andrew Davidson Redd, Washington, DC; Paul Franke Redd, Charlotte, NC; Alexander Taylor Redd (Betsy), Somerville, MA; and Elizabeth Gurley Donald (David), Charlotte, NC. Her great-grandchildren are Madeline Olive Redd, Viola Ann Redd, and William Foster Redd of Somerville; Sadie Elizabeth Redd of Charlotte; and Holden Alexander Redd, Somerville. She is also survived by two special friends, Jody Kamm Prongay (David), of Seattle, WA and Barbara Leavell Smith, Troy, NY. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, February 16 at 10:00 am at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, Charlotte, NC. Her ashes will be interred in Cranberry Lake, NY when the ground thaws. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to either the Cranberry Lake Volunteer Fire Department, P. O. Box 549, Cranberry Lake, NY 12927 or the Cranberry Lake Boat Club - Dock Fund, P. O. Box 656, Cranberry Lake, NY 12927. 

        Memphis, TN - I woke up with a smile on my face this morning - for the oddest reason. In my dream, I had relived a great time in my life, one that could only be enjoyed in a dream today. Probably because of Linda Taylor's posting of a group of photos from one of our past reunions I viewed just before bedtime, I returned to that period in my life during my sleep. I found myself at a reunion, and enjoying my time with many of my old classmates who I can no longer see in real life. All the ones I remember from the dream have left our lives. I specifically remember visiting with David France, who we lost several years ago and of course no Lee High School class reunion would be complete without us all getting on the dance floor. Although I cannot remember the songs, I vividly remember joining Carolyn McCutcheon and Annette McCraney in a Conga line while we danced around the room with smiles on our faces. I also remember I was upset because I had forgotten to bring something with me I wanted to have. Just before I woke up, the band took a break and I told the crowd I only lived 10 minutes away and was going to run home and be back before the band started back up. I needed to go get my roller skates and prove to the world I could still skate at 70 years of age. 

    Thinking back, that was a strange thought, because all of us were different ages in my dream. David was the age he was in the picture Linda posted. Annette was the age I last saw her when she attended the last reunion she went to, and Carolyn was that beautiful high school senior I danced with on the night of graduation in 1964. I was still my high school self, until that last moment when I wanted to prove turning 70 did not make me old and I could still do the things I did when I was a teenager. (And I really can still skate!)

    Roy Orbison's song sums it up pretty good.

In Dreams

Prom Prep - 1966
Photo Taken by Hans Hoelzer (LHS '67)
Scanned and submitted by Tim Lull (LHS '67)

        No names given.  Who can identify these classmates? Please start counting from left to right, with number eight being the standing girl.

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

The Vintage Television
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

1965 Part 1

YouTube Video


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Kidney Stones

W.Dale Meyer


LHS '66

    I read the articles on kidney stones and they prompted a memory from my days as a Navy Corpsman. Having graduated from Hospital Corps School, I was assigned to a Sick Officers Quarters ward at the US Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va. This floor duty was invaluable training while I waited for my Operating Room Technician class to start in 1967. I learned to perform most nursing duties including passing medications. The unit actually had five different medical and surgical services with Urology among them. I had a young Marine Lieutenant who had been transferred to us from Viet Nam with a kidney stone. I quickly learned the pain a kidney stone could inflict. I watched this big strapping marine fall to his knees in agony as he attempted to pass the stone. He was prescribed Demerol for pain relief and the order was written as prn, meaning whenever necessary. However, I began to worry that my marine was becoming addicted and on one occasion I determined that I was going to decide when we administered the Demerol and I won't repeat the Lieutenant's salty language and threats to my anatomy. Of course I documented my actions highlighting my concern for the growing drug dependence.

    The next day the Chief of Urology, a Lt. CMDR., asked me to take a walk with him. As we walked down the hall, he put an arm around me and said " Son I appreciate your concern but I want you to understand that the pain of a kidney stone is only exceeded by childbirth or to be certain, an elephant sitting on your testicles". I understood that last analogy and never forgot it.

    Together we worked out a new regimen of drugs and fortunately the good Lieutenant passed his stone and fortunately for me, didn't take me with him back to Viet Nam.

Subject:    Kidney Stones
Chip Smoak
LHS '66

    I can certainly sympathize with Rainer and Tommy, having had several kidney stones in my life.  

    The first one was in the summer of 1971.  Thanks to Demerol, that one was not too painful.  Even though the doctor had me peeing into a jar with gauze covering the mouth of the jar I never knew when that one passed.  I had several in the '90s. 

    One was passed with the help of a contrast dye to x-ray it.  Another one involved a trip to the emergency room of a hospital in Washington, DC.  Each one caused pain in different parts of my body:  the lower abdomen, the lower back, and, believe it or not, one of my testicles.

    Thankfully, I have not had another one since the mid-'90s.  However I have had some attacks of gout and faux gout, which can be almost as painful.

    One is just as painful as the other.  Both are treated the same, medically speaking.  The only difference that I can tell is the part of the body affected.

Subject:    Kidney Stones
Spencer Thompson
LHS '64

    Great job as usual (on last week's issue.) I believe God protected you.

Subject:    February 13th Traveller Stories
Barb Biggs Knott
Class of ‘66

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this latest issue of the Traveller. I loved the story of Paulette Reddick and the photos that accompanied the article. I remember Paulette as a sweet, always smiling and very studious member of our senior class and was happy to read of her accomplishments. 

    The stories from you and Rainer regarding your experiences with kidney stones made me shake my head and laugh at Rainer’s story. Luckily, I’ve never had a kidney stone but both of my children have dealt with them. My daughter had one so large it had to be surgically removed and she was hospitalized for a few days. My husband has had kidney stones for over 40 years and they flare up at least once a year for him. He has had them blasted by a type of laser while sitting in a tank of water as well as all the other procedures they use to try and break them up. One time I had to call 911 because he literally could not move out of the bed. I know the pain is excruciating. The doctor compared it to childbirth. (I don’t know about that). 

    Life works in mysterious ways and I think God had a different plan for you. You still ended up having a wonderful, fulfilling career and your life seems to have turned out well for you. Keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing the Traveller in my email each week.



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