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170529 May 29, 2017


Jerry Wheeler
LHS '65
?  - May 25, 2017

    Stribling Jerry Wheeler, Sr., age 70, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, May 25. Jerry served 36 years as a Huntsville Police officer, retiring as a Sergeant. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Cindy Bratten Wheeler, the prides of his life, Stribling Wheeler, Jr., and Samuel Wheeler, his brother Joe Wheeler and his wife Betty Wheeler. He is also survived by several cousins, aunts, nephews and his HPD and church family at First Baptist Church Gurley. Special thanks to Hospice of the Valley, Dr. Jason Smith, and Dr. James Smelser for their love and compassion for Jerry, and the dialysis staff at Discovery Dialysis Center and the family of First Baptist Church Gurley. Visitation will be Sat., May 27, 2017, from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Berryhill Funeral Home. Funeral service scheduled for Sunday, May 28, 2017, 2:00 pm at Berryhill Funeral Home officiated by Dr. Al Long, Pastor Ted Smith and Pastor Shane Rodriguez. 

    Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.

    Once again as we honor the members of our Armed Services who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, I remind you we only had one classmate from the Classes of '64, '65, or '66, who was killed while on active duty. That classmate was Capt. Dennis Faber of the Class of '65. Dennis, was serving as navigator, when he and seven other crewmen were killed during a C-130 training mission near Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 8, 1978. Dennis was married to Cherri Polly, LHS '66 at the time. 

 Capt. Dennis Faber of the Class of '65

        The Town Talk (Alexandria, LA) September 10, 1978 - Eight crew members of an Air Force C-130 cargo plane were believed killed in a fiery crash on a remote, wooded hilltop in central Arkansas. An Air Force fireman at the crash site Saturday said no crew members survived the impact that demolished the plane's fuselage, sheared off the tail section and set ablaze a three-quarter mile stretch of tees.  

    Air Force officials released the identities of five victims and said the identities of the sixth victim and the missing crew members would be withheld until relatives were notified. The victims were identified as Capt. Edwin Hayashi, 29, of Aiea, Hawaii, aircraft commander; Capt. Dennis Faber, 31, of Arlington, Texas, navigator; Capt. Thomas Smith, 29, of Fort Worth, Texas, instructor-navigator; Staff Sgt. Randall Vogel, 28, of Red Banks, N.J.. flight engineer, and Staff Sgt. William Ramsey, 27, of Cincinnati, Ohio, load master. Maj. Chan Sharp said the plane and the five identified victims were assigned to the Little Rock AFB's 62nd Tactical Airlift Squadron.

    The four-engine transport crashed about 11 p.m. Friday in a sparsely populated area about 8 miles northwest of the base in Faulkner County. Residents said they saw a fireball in the sky and heard several explosions. One woman told the sheriff's department she could see the plane burning from her home. The plane was one of four flying in formation to practice instrument approaches at the base northwest of Little Rock. The plane, flying third in the formation, clipped a hilltop and burned, scattering wreckage throughout the woods.

        The Class of '67 had four who gave their all in Vietnam. Their names are listed below:

1. Jimmy Kiger (USMC)
Casualty was on Sep 17, 1966

2. Frankie Acton (US Army)
His tour of duty began on May 20, 1965
Casualty was on Apr 11, 1966

3. David Mallory (USMC)
His tour of duty began on Jan 17, 1969
Casualty was on Feb 25, 1969

4. Sam Smith (US Army)
His tour of duty began on Feb 06, 1968
Casualty was on Jul 14, 1968

        I wish I could name all the members of all the classes of Lee High School who should be remembered on Memorial Day, but I do not have that information. I know we have lost many of our former classmates who are military veterans, but this day is set aside to remember those who died while on active duty.

        Lest we forget.

        Memphis, TN - I hope everyone has a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend and takes time to remember why we celebrate the holiday.

    For several years I have recognized Dennis Faber as the only one from our three classes who was killed while serving. I was finally able to find a newspaper report of his accident, which I am sharing with you this year.

Speaking American in England
John Drummond
LHS '65

        Tommy's story about the differences in the English language spoken in the two different countries sparked some recall of my own.  In the Spring of 1972, as a third-year medical student at UAB, I was accepted for a clerkship at The Royal Postgraduate Medical School, located in London's West End, at the time not considered one of the better parts of that sprawling city.  The language barrier became immediately apparent.   A hospital ward was called a "Theater" and the nurses, who wore spotless starched uniforms with large white caps, were referred to "Theater Sisters."   Morning hospital rounds in the USA typically began about 7:00-7:30 AM; there we did not start until 9:00 AM and at 11:00 all activity stopped for "Elevenses," which meant sitting down and being served coffee and biscuits (cookies) on a very formal-looking silver tray by the Theater Sisters.  Had I ever asked an American hospital nurse to bring me coffee and cookies, she (or he) would likely have thrown them at me.  After returning to take care of patients for a bit, lunch was eaten around 1:00-1:30 PM. Then back to work until 4:00, when everything again abruptly stopped, as it was "Time for Tea," which meant hot tea, served with scones or more biscuits, also referred to as "Sweets."  My belt size expanded by a notch or two before the clerkship mercifully ended and I would have been forced to purchase larger trousers.

    Off sidewalks all over London are found tiny, closet-sized offices with the title "Turf Accountant" on the glass front door. This is not the establishment of a C.P.A. but rather a certified bookie who accepts bets on horse races (which is legal in the U.K.) If a person is stricken with an acute medical problem, he or she is not rushed to the nearest  Emergency Room, but rather "taken to Casualty."  As Tommy mentioned, a public restroom is a "Loo" and also called a W.C. (Water Closet).   A "nappie" is also a term for a baby diaper..  If you are pulling a U-Haul behind your car, it is not a trailer, but rather a "Caravan" or a "Horse Box."  A police officer is a "Constable" or the slang term "Bobby."   Gay men are called "Poofters."  If one goes out on the town bar-hopping, the activity is a "Pub Crawl."   An embarrassing moment for me occurred at a dinner party with some English medical students and their spouses.  While discussing the subject of popular dances, I asked a student's wife:  "Do you all Shag over here?"  Her jaw dropped, eyes popped open, and cheeks turned bright red; the dinner table suddenly turned silent, like one of those old E.F. Hutton commercials.  Clueless to this boy from Alabama, I had no idea that "Shag" is a four-letter Brit term for having sex.  Many years later, in much more liberal and tolerant times, a Mike Meyers film spoofing James Bond was titled: "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged me."

    Toward the end of my hospital clerkship, a Professor of Medicine whom I had come to know quite well was chatting during Tea Time one afternoon.   In the presence of our rounding team, he suddenly turned to me and said:  "You know chap, your accent from The South reminds me of that famous American telly actor."   I smiled in response, thinking of Clint Eastwood, James Garner, or perhaps even Steve McQueen.   The Professor followed up this observation with:  " I cahn't call his name, but he's the chap who plays Jethro on "The Beverly Hillbillies."   He thought he was giving me a compliment;  I, on the other hand, was not amused.


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    American English

Niles Prestage

LHS '65


    I took my granddaughter to London for a week last Summer for a graduation present,. Didn't have to be there long to determine that even though we spoke English it didn't necessarily mean that we spoke the "King's English". Interesting about the theatrical terms associated with the hospital, wonder if has anything to do with the West End also being the Theatre District? Good story!

Subject:    Nicknames
Mike Crowl
LHS '66

    Reading about names makes one wonder how people got their nickname. Who , when, where, why, did they get their nickname? A nickname is usually given to a person for a familiar or humorous event. It may also be created to show a special bond with another person. Sometimes people are given nickname simply to remember their name and even worst they forgot the persons real name. Many common nicknames are no more than a shorten version of ones formal name. It would be interesting to read how you got your nickname or why you gave a friend of yours their nickname.

    Not to single anyone out , but let's ask "Skip" Cook , Skip how did you get your nickname? I'm hoping Skip you aren't offended by me asking. Looking forward to some interesting articles!

Subject:    Generals    
Gary Hatcher
LHS '66

    We attended our youngest granddaughter's graduation from junior high school this past week.  She was a General.  Thought this was really neat, even have the same school colors.


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