View Issues‎ > ‎2017 Issues‎ > ‎1706 June 2017‎ > ‎

170612 June 12, 2017


Do You Know?
Skip Cook
LHS '64

    Inspired by Mike Crowl and Niles Prestige attempting to organize their life and toss out the old, I started this week in the attic.  Tucked away in an old cardboard box, I found my Lee High School diploma from 1964.  I cannot remember the last time I had seen it.  As I opened it up, three school photos (School Days 1959-60 Lee Jr. High) fell out.  

    The first one is of Mike Leinbaugh who was my across the street neighbor in Lakewood.  Mike would have been in the class of 1965 but his father transferred to Picayune, Mississippi in about 1961.  The next photo was easily recognizable as Mike Chisum.  Because out last names were close in the alphabet, Mike and I were always in the same room.  I don’t have a clue about the last photo.  

    I’m positive that someone is out there that can recognize the young man.  I would like to send the photos to their rightful owners as I’m sure that their families will get a good chuckle.  Thanks.

    (Editor's Note: Thanks to the speed and power of the internet, Skip's question was answered almost as fast as it was posted.}
    From Rainer Klauss, LHS '64 - "Skip just wrote that he sent you three photos. Two of the folks he knew well; the other he did not know at all. I did. The following is my reply to him:

    The fellow in the middle is Gary Collier. He was a good friend of mine at Rison and then at Lee Junior High. His father was the minister of Epworth Methodist Church, which was on Andrew Jackson, close to where the last incarnation of Mullin’s is (now defunct). The church was razed a bunch of years ago, and Epworth Methodist built another church on Chapman Mountain. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but in those days Methodist ministers only served a particular church for a number of years. Then they were sent to serve somewhere else. After the 8th or 9th grade, Gary’s father took over as a minister of a church somewhere near Birmingham. I got one letter from him in which he told me how much he hated being down there. I think he also hated being a minister’s son. I never heard from him again and have always wondered how things turned out for him."

Traveller Articles Tie-Ins
Joel Weinbaum
LHS '65

    Interesting the timing of some of your articles. When Sherman Banks and I moved to Huntsville, August, 1962, we brought with us our motorbikes which we had used to deliver our news routes back in the Muscle Shoals area. Our parents had gone on a house hunting expedition just before that and luckily found a small brick house of new construction on Maysville Rd. Before the move, we had been used to full access to the Tennessee River at the Sheffield waterfront on Pickwick Lake. With the move, we brought along our 18’ Grumman aluminum canoe. Huntsville being landlocked, never used it again.

    We had some real adventures with that canoe, though, including being the first canoe to lock through the new 100’ lift at Wilson Dam. We also had under our belts accidents with automobiles just prior to our move, ten days apart, with only a half mile separation from the two accident sites, on the same 2nd Street of Sheffield. Sherman had to go to the hospital with a bruised kidney, I only had a twisted knee. The most interesting recollection for me, however, was hearing a man’s voice speaking to one of my newspaper managers who was calling my name while trying to revive me in the street. The man asked, “Is he dead?” No, he’s still breathing.” I then went back into shock not waking up until they were putting me on the ambulance sometime later. The newspaper manager was in the car immediately behind the one that hit me, making a diagonal turn at the old “Triangle” supermarket.

    After all that commotion I am sure we were all in shell shock coming to the big city of Huntsville, with its Parkway City shopping center.. We had barely moved in before those Pierce boys, along with their sidekick, Mac Yates, converged on us new arrivals with our small Harley Davidson motorcycles. Sherman’s mother saw the Pierce boys on their Vespas out in the street and afterward cautioned us to stay away from them to avoid getting into the wrong crowd. So i understand Rainer’s experience. Actually, we had already met and tried to waylay her fears. I don’t want to make this story too hard on those Pierce boys, including Mac Yates.

    Now, Skip Cook, I am sure it was him during gym, where one of the other boys was giving him a hard time over the basketball. I said something to the effect, “leave him alone, give the ball back.” I must have been feeling my oats that day. The intimidator slammed the ball down, saying “Whats it to you Weinbaum?” and came straight for me. There was anger in his eyes. He got within arms reach and I punched him. Then we went at it until the other boys broke us up. Afterward, my hand swelled so badly I went into Godsey’s office telling him I had jammed my hand on a ball and thought I had broken it, and needed to call my dad. After a repeat of the same story, my dad asked, “Did you win?” We were still so new to Huntsville we had not yet found us a family doctor. My advice, and I am sure Rainer would agree, keep your eye on those Pierces’.

    One last thing. Skip mentioned his dad’s job in the Navy was a Fire Control Technician. Interestingly, I became a Fire Control Technician, and retired from the Naval Reserve as a 1st Class(Petty Officer) Fire Control Technician with 24 years of service. I would also like to point out I became an electrical engineer eventually achieving the stature of “Senior Engineer" in my career. 

    But for these young people trying to get a start, I still say, “Go Navy!”   

        Memphis, TN -  If you got worried Sunday morning because the Traveller was not waiting on you when you got up, don't be. Last week I attended a reunion of my former B-52 crew members in Omaha, Nebraska and on the way home on Saturday we diverted our route to spend a few days with Sue's oldest daughter and grandkids in Waukee, Iowa. The reunion group was made up of the B-52 crews who flew the bombing missions in Vietnam, including those memorable 11 days in December where 15 B-52 aircraft were shot down and the crews either killed or became prisoners of war. Like Doolittle's Raiders did, our ranks are decreasing with each reunion, and it is sometimes hard to picture the group of frail old men manning the eight engined jet bombers and risking their lives in the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong and eventually bringing the hostilities to an end and getting our POWs home.


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    My Story Last Week

Rainer Klauss

LHS '64

For some reason, the last paragraph of my “The Battle of the Pipes” did not make it into last week's Traveller. No big deal, but would you please tack it onto this week’s edition, adding that it got lost in the mail or something? It follows:


    "We never tangled with the Pierce brothers over disputed turf in Darwin Downs again. The next time we encountered each other was in high school, and then we became friends. Bob played the Sousaphone in the band, and Jim served as the stage manager of the Lee auditorium and assisted Mr. Foley numerous times.  In recent years, I know that Bob’s continued music-making (accompanied by his wife) has been a ministry to many people, and Jim was of profound help to me during a troubled time in my life."

Subject:    Rainer's Pipe Story Last Week

Barbara Hood Diamond

Dear Tommy & Fellow Lee Alums,

    I've been lurking for awhile, reading the newsletter every Sunday and finding that it has awakened a lot of memories of my childhood in Huntsville. 

    Rainer's story last week of playing and banging his head really got the memories flowing. Our house was on Stevens Drive in Darwin Downs and I also recall lots of fun playing on some of the construction sites as new homes were going up. We moved there in the fall of 1955 when the subdivision was still surrounded by woods. One of my fondest memories was of discovering this beautiful place in the woods not far from my house. There was a huge old tree whose branches spread out and hung down to the ground creating a spacious opening underneath. A  spring ran right past it with crawfish and wild plums and honeysuckle grew up against it. It was also special because a huge limb curled down and was almost perpendicular to the ground so that we could swing on it while we ate plums and sipped the honeysuckle. My father followed us up once and after seeing that we loved playing there built a platform for a treehouse. My sister and girlfriends in the neighborhood used to go there after school practically everyday; it was our secret hiding place. I recall once being invaded by a couple of boys (maybe some of you?) but other than that I have many happy memories of spending time in our special place until it was cleared for development. 

    BTW Rainer: Dr. Sammons was our doctor too; I recall he made house calls when we were down with the flu. I once hid under the bed to avoid getting a shot, but relented when he said if I didn't get it I would be sick for Christmas.

    Thanks for the memories, Tommy and All!

Subject:    Nicknames
Mike Crowl
LHS '65

   I thank Charles (Skip)  for his courage to expose a part of his personal life with us. I found the article very interesting.

    Okay I got to ask ,maybe I'm not in the loop. Barbara mentioned "Poochie" Parker and "Bunny" Bradley.

    Can anyone elaborate on how they got their nicknames or is it on a need to know bases? If so I completely understand.



Join the Mailing List to Receive Notification When New Issue is Available 


 Email Me