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170417 April 17, 2017


Happy Easter!

   Craig Bannecke, LHS '65 spotted this Easter Bunny photo on Faces and writes:  "Is there nothing we Lee High Alumni won't do for our families ?  Don Stroud, LHS '65, the Easter Bunny? Who Knew ! Since Don posted this on Facebook don't think he would mind if you shared this with the rest of the Fami-Lee !

Once Again the Annual Migration Has Come and Gone
Craig Bannecke
LHS '65

    It was nearing that time again.  I had posted on my Facebook Page back in March of this year "It's almost time for the Annual Spring Migrations of the Bald Pated Feather Crested Ball Smacker, to once again migrate to Augusta, Georgia."  An annual right begun by a Mr. Bobby Jones of Golf Fame and lore.  For the Bannecke's that would mean the continuation of more than nine years of John Drummond, Lee High Class of 1965 and his band of merry men, friends of John's, Dan Scott of Virginia and Bruce Hyvl of Rockwall, Texas, who had now become our friends. (see photo of Dan, John and I)  This year Bruce would bring his wife Miranda and then come Saturday, his son Jake, a student at Texas A&M and a friend of his, Walker, also a student at Texas A&M joined us. They drove all the way from Texas, so they could experience, one day, the last day, at the Masters.  Monday morning these young men would drive back to College Station, Texas from Augusta, Georgia; a 14 hours and 22 minutes trip.  Almost 2,000 miles, nearly 30 hours of driving round trip just to spend one day on a golf course, a special golf course in Augusta, Georgia. 

    This was something that only young men full of life, college students looking to experience life after having left Momma and home, would do. It brought back fond memories of my college days, when Cleve Smith, Lee High class of 66 and I, on numerous occasions, would leave our last class at Florence State University on a Friday and drive all the way to Daytona Beach, Florida to watch the Daytona 500.  We then would drive through the night back to Florence, Alabama for class on Monday. Or we would  leave after our last class on Friday and head down to Fort Walton Beach, Florida to spend the weekend with Don Stroud and Ronnie Ealy, class of 65 and then drive back on a Sunday. Also, with the high hopes of making class on Monday.  Sometime we didn't make it.  It was not a great enhancer of our Spring Semester GPA. 

    This Special Week of the Masters started off somewhat different this year.  As it has been written " It was the best of times it was the worst of times....... weather wise, that is.  On Monday and Wednesday, storms ravaged the Augusta area and sent "Patrons", you never call those who attend the Masters anything but "Patrons", scurrying from the practice rounds and Par 3 Tournament. Bruce and wife Miranda, were one of the ones driven off the course Wednesday and they spent the rest of the day with Jennifer and me, hunkered down in a resturant over in Aiken, South Carolina,  Meanwhile strong winds, pouring rain and small tornado's danced around our area.  John, rode in from Atlanta on the crest of the wind, rain and cold front, while Dan, stuck at the airport in Virginia, decide to drive down.

    Thursday morning while John, Bruce and Miranda waited for Dan to arrive, Jennifer and I took two of their tickets and headed to the course.  We  placed their chairs at the 16th green, their favorite hole to watch the players play through and then headed to the Pro Shop so Jennifer could do her shopping. (see photo of Jennifer and I)  After that was accomplishment we headed home to greet Dan who had arrived by then and see those four off for the first day of the Tournament. The next couple of days was made up primarily of the four of them heading out to the course.  Bruce and Miranda leaving early, at first light to get a good chair placement at 16 and then walking the course.  John and Dan would leave later as Dan can never get John up early enough to leave for the course, as John has this peculiar quirk in the early morning. If he see's his shadow when he first gets up, he rolls back over in the bed......... and Dan patiently waits.  Then at the end of each day they meet Jennifer and I at a local watering hole/ resturant near the course for dinner. It is Jennifer and my job to stake out a table for everyone, before the place fills up with golfers who come pouring off the course at the end of the day like a pack of hungry, thirsty wolves.  Each day plays out to a finish by heading back to our house to watch the days Masters replays and updates till bed time.  

    It is an enjoyable week of good golf, good friends and the telling of many funny stories.  Then all begin to fade away and head up or down the interstate in their respective directions, till another year has pasted and the annual migration of the Bald Pated, Feather Crested Ball Smacker Migration begins again.    


Lois Estelle Wylie Taylor 
Mother of Linda Taylor
LHS '64

    Lois Estelle Wylie Taylor  passed away Sunday, April 9, 2017. She was born on February 27, 1920, and was the daughter of the late Henry Jewel Wylie and Mittie Elizabeth Walker Wylie.

    Estelle graduated from Hackleburg High School where she played basketball and made many life-long friends. She worked, as a young woman, as a beautician and later as switchboard operator during WWII. She traveled with her husband from the early days to Washington, DC, and later, the family, to Florida and California. She spent most of her life living in Huntsville. She loved being on the beach, flowers and gardening, needlework and sewing. She devoted her life’s work to her family and church as long as she was able.

    She lived 97 years a very kind and loving life. She took care of her family, providing them with all she had to give. She was a loving daughter, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother to her family.

    She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 53 yrs, Donnis Elbert Taylor, by her brother, Raymond Wylie and wife Freda, her sister, Evelyn Wylie Hulsey and husband Travis. She is also preceded in death by sister-in-laws, Bonnie Taylor Hargett and husband Joe, Bettye Taylor Hamilton and husband Jack, Alice Taylor Hargett and Husband Athel, and brother-in-law Raymond Taylor. She is survived by her daughter, Linda K. Taylor (Hasbrouck), and her son, Steve Warren Taylor (Rosalie Taylor). Also, she is survived by her Granddaughter, Ashley Taylor Hasbrouck Pendergrass (Benjamin Pendergrass) and two twin Great-Grandsons, Jack Lawrence Pendergrass and Levi Ward Pendergrass, all of Huntsville, AL, and many nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces. She is also survived by close sister-in-laws, Evelyn Taylor Barber and Sue Hester Taylor, and one brother-in-law, Harley Taylor (Raycene Taylor Taylor).

    The Family would like to extend a Special Thank You to the Staff at Madison Manor Nursing Home in Madison, AL for the care and services provided.

    Services were Friday April 14th at 1:00 pm, at Cedar Tree Cemetery in Hackleburg, AL. Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Research in her memory if you like.

    Honorary Pallbearers were: Ray Wylie, John Barber, Dan Hargett, Michael Hargett, Jake Hargett, Mark Taylor, Jerry Hulsey and Larry Taylor.

        Memphis, TN - Our thought and prayers go out to Linda Taylor on the loss of her mother.

    I must say I am really enjoying the Creative Writing group I joined a couple of weeks ago. I find it is helping me fill the Traveller as I seem to slant all my stories to this group. I am trying hard to stockpile a few stories to have in reserve when things are slow and I think that group session will be the key to doing so. If each story can be split up between two or more issues that will be great for me, and hopefully give you some more interesting stories than some of the ones in the past.

    Just a reminder, all of you are welcome to share any of your own memories with the group. Don't worry if you don't think you can write good enough, I will help edit your stories to fit our group.

Stuff - Continued
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    We stopped here last week...

    Some Christians honor the season of Lent by giving up things they value for the 40 days before Easter. Now I am a Christian, but I fear the idea of giving up coffee, chocolate, cookies, or ice cream for 40 days in a row might demand more faith than a mere sinner like me can handle. Those choices rank right up there with the ridiculous concept of New Year's resolutions destined to be broken before the rooster crows three times. Instead, this year I vowed to give up something much more tangible - my stuff.

    We continue the saga...

    Since the beginning of the season of Lent, each day I have symbolically filled one bag of stuff to cast away. While departing with some of my stuff was easy, like the bag containing 16 worn or ill-fitting shirts, other decisions were painful enough to serve as a testament of my faith to any non-believer. One day I filled a bag with a dozen hats - souvenirs of sporting teams and past events, ocean cruises, foreign lands, and products and organizations to which I vowed my undying support. The next day it was a tanned dear skin for which I paid $3.00 when I was a 12-year-old Boy Scout, and yet am unable to explain exactly why I treasured it so much to have hung on to it for over half a century. 

    I saw no reason to keep a second set of golf clubs which were only put to use once a year during my annual jaunt to Hilton Head Island. They were a cheap set anyway and I never really became proficient in the game designed to put a small white ball in a hole located several football field lengths away. To be honest, I was never good at the game, but thoroughly enjoyed commuting with nature for a long afternoon while I traversed the golf course. I now make a deep kept confession; I enjoyed searching for and collecting lost golf balls like Easter eggs much more than the actual game which must have been conceived by a drunken Scot following an extended night at the pub. Hence, the bag of 136 golf balls offered to the god of unneeded possessions the next day came easy.

    In a modern world where music is available on demand via the internet and can be stored as digital zeros and ones on a tiny piece of silicon smaller than your pinky finger's fingernail, the three rubber tubs of musical compact discs in storage are redundant and painlessly disposable. They never held the same memories as my collection of 2,336 Oldie-Goldie 45rpm vinyl records I disposed of a few years ago during an earlier too-much-stuff guilt trip. Now those same songs occupy no physical space in my home, but reside with thousands of other tunes in the cloud of current times. Even the contents of the massive high school and college yearbooks are only a mouse click away today.

    In my continuing journey toward a stuff-free existence it was easy to relieve my burden of storing an onyx chess set which was acquired in Mexico in 1968 during my first military assignment to a Rio Grande boarder town, and not used since. I have said goodbye to HO gauge trains, old board games, baseball cards in a cigar box, sacks of wires and outdated technological black boxes, and enough surplus military clothing and accessories to outfit a third world army.

    The church rummage sale will benefit greatly from my donation of bags of unopened or unfinished craft projects, boxes and floppy discs of outdated computer programs, things set aside to be fixed "some day," and surplus tools and supplies purchased but never utilized to accomplish said actions. Why did I still have a sleeping bag purchased in 1969 for a camping trip to Yosemite, when several generations of better replacements have banished it to the back of the storage shed? Do I really need four soldering irons?

    I could go on, but I think I have sufficiently and embarrassingly stated my point enough. I had too much stuff and it was time to trim the fat from the lean. The oldest items deployed were three children's bedtime story books saved since the age of six. Why? The newest was an electronic contraption I picked up last week at a thrift store and was unable to bring back to life.

    Still, there are some useless items that have been added to the stack one day only to be rescued from it the next. I have not used my precision Chicago shoe skates in many years, yet they remain that trophy symbol of my journey through puberty.  The skating rink where they were worn, long ago fell victim to the wrecking ball, but my skates remain. The plain black leather boots are pale in comparison to the brightly colored pom-pom embellished white high-tops of the fairer gender in my youth. Yet, they attest to my ability to control my temper through the long agonizing process of transitioning from a novice skater, pulling myself along using the rails and walls, to the master of the local hardwood rink, traversing the designated course both forwards and backwards with grace and ease. They are immersed in memories of holding hands with cute members of the opposite sex during "Couples Only" sessions and the hormone-provoking sight of bare legs extending from thigh length skating skirts as I watched the pony-tailed owners "put their back sides in and shake them all about" and performed in unison all the other Hokey Pokey commands. While wearing these relics of my teenage life, I fell in love and had my heart broken, sometimes all in the same night. Memories of past friends, now awaiting me on the other side of the Pearly Gates, seeps from the recesses of my mind by just opening the broken-handled skate case and letting the strangely sweet odor of years of storage flood my nostrils. The skates have to stay. No one other than me would ever think twice about the future fate of such vintage articles, but they are immensely important to me. Besides, I tell myself, I still might get the urge to go skating some day.

    Having successfully completed the Lent 40-day disposal promise, I still find myself wanting to get rid of more stuff. Where will I stop on my noble quest? I cannot say for sure. What will I ultimately keep? Who knows? Perhaps, in the end, when the bell tolls for me, my stuff will be reduced to only those intangible things I had as a newborn - memories of the hugs, the kisses, the laughter, and the love and respect of my remaining family and friends. Those are things which are too personal to ever fill a bag and discard. Hopefully those final remaining things will not include changed adult diapers filled with stuff my body also decided to get rid of.

 Lee Lunch Bunch

Thursday, April 27, 2017
11:00 a.m.- until
Logan’s Restaurant –Fireplace room
Balmoral Drive
Huntsville, AL

Please let me know if you plan to come so I can give them a fairly accurate number by the day before. Hope to see you there! 
Patsy Hughes Oldroyd ’65
Judy Fedrowisch Kincaid ‘66


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Stuff

Joel Weinbaum

LHS '64


    Divesting of our cherished material goods is like divesting of old friends. We are so familiar with them and so much comfort is derived from all the stuff we keep piling in the attic or basement. 

    One way to deal with the issue of divestitures is to remarry and move to your lady’s house. There will not be enough space for your own stuff that you want to bring along. And you think your kids are going to want to ply through all those so familiar items which are dust covered at the end, and so heavily laden in broken down cardboard or brittle plastic boxes. Not hardly. They haven’t lived with you in 40 years. 

    So when I moved to Decatur nearly 11 years ago, what I could give away (and nobody wants something you offer to give them for free, there is no value in it and most likely they realize they'll just add it to their zero value stuff), or after it sat in my driveway with absolutely no response, I put a For Sale sign out front and with price tags on everything. Perfect, like a garage sale, and made some money to boot. The remainder went to the landfill. Yes, it breaks your heart…all those years of collecting will go under the crushing tracks of the landfill Caterpillar. 

    Hopefully you checked for any money you had hidden for a rainy day and long forgot. But don’t despair. At least my Beth keeps me busy piling more of her stuff into our attic. And don’t dare mention " Goodwill.”

Subject:    Stuff
Niles Prestage
LHS '65


    I particularly enjoyed your article about "Stuff" in this weeks Traveller. I think that you certainly covered all of the bases, and your theology certainly seems sound! It probably resonates with more of us than you might imagine, and with Judy and I it presents an ongoing challenge.
    The first real awareness to this challenge began many years ago. As you know, in the early 80's we bought and renovated "Quietdale", the Antebellum home just behind the tennis courts at the old LHS. This Plantation house had many beautiful and charming features, and after a couple of years work and over 600 gallons of paint we were settled in, that is into 8,000 square feet with an additional 1500 square foot servants quarters, not to mention a barn! In the five years that we lived there the corollary to Parkinson's Law took full effect, simply stated, "stuff expands to fill the space allotted to it".
We had an "Estate Sale" when we sold the home in 1986, our ad in the Huntsville times read something like this: "One hundred years of antiques, furniture, and household furnishings collected in only 16 years of married life! How did we do it?!" We sold several thousand dollars of "stuff' and gave away probably twice as much, as we moved into a modest 3500 square foot home. 

    Fast forward fifteen years or so.  In 2001 we moved to our present home in Gurley, AL. We live on a farm with fifty plus acres, and you guessed it, a large storage shed and a much larger barn! There is a vast difference in how the "me" that moved to the farm in my early 50's felt about "stuff", than the "me" who is on the cusp of my three score and ten! My only virtue in all of these acquisitive years is I have resisted the urge to "tear down barns and build bigger barns", certainly didn't work for the guy in the Biblical parable!
The challenges that you so aptly described are the same challenges that we and, I am sure, many of our fellow classmates are facing: What do we do with it? Who would want it? Is there anyone who would appreciate the "treasures" that we have collected and preserved all of these years?

    One cold rainy Saturday this past Fall I decided to meet this challenge head on, one closet at a time. First my bedroom closet. Anything that I had not worn in a year or so, gone! I got rid of more than I kept and have enjoyed my closet every single day since. 

    Armed with that victory I attacked my office closet which is even larger. After removing several trash cans of "stuff". Victory! Another closet miracle, like, who needs their old copy of Windows 95 anyway!

    On to the storage shed, which would be like the mother and father of all Saturday closet clean outs all in one. In other words, a multiple Saturday event! While I am still a few Saturdays away from finishing this project, it is what I found in my old trunk from our LHS days on one of those Saturdays that involves several of you, my fellow classmates, that will be the subject matter of my second story in which I will name names and give all of the sordid details complete with pictures with my submission.

Subject:    Stuff Article
Mike Crowl
LHS '66

    Your story about stuff really hits home . The later in life we get the more we realize all those materialistic things don't really hold much value. Its God, family, fellowship, giving and memories that weigh on ones soul.

    I can still remember an executive of a major company I worked for mentoring me as a young manager. His words have always been in my thoughts through life. His advise to me at the time was life changing and simple. It helped me keep my steps in life structured and focused. 

    He told me that I was a good person and needed to understand there are three priorities in my youth that would help me during my journey in life.These are the three priorities he told me.

    1.Number one priority in life was God .He comes first over everything. 
    2.Second priority in life is family. 
    3.Third priority is job. Job was necessary to provide.

   Those words he deliberated to me have always been appreciated . I have passed those priorities down to many during my life. Hopefully it was as helpful in their lives as mine. Thanks for writing about stuff.



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