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170911 September 11, 2017


Bankhead Parkway

Bankhead Parkway
Rainer Klauss
LHS '64

    While looking for information on Bankhead Parkway, I found this video. Perhaps some of the people who haven’t been to Huntsville in a long time will enjoy the swift ride down a road we all must have traversed many, many times in our younger days. I drove it last week after I had a lunchtime picnic at the rear overlook (just past where the riding stables used to be). Of course, we used to be able to head down right from that overlook; but that part of the road was blocked off quite a few years ago. Parts of it collapsed; it was repaired at least once that I know of, but after that continuing unstable conditions made it too unsafe and expensive to maintain.
    Note: this is not a sedate drive down the mountain; this person is a true Jetta driver.
    Wave “Hi” to Escoe Beatty as you zoom by her house at about the 3:20 mark. Notice, too, how the landscape becomes more springlike (lush and greener) as you descend to the long straight that lies above Darwin Downs, the paradise of my youth.

    Now that blocked-off section is a great place to mountain bike, walk, or run. Quite a few years ago during a visit back home, I was jogging down it, zoned-out on the peacefulness, beauty, and wonderful mountain aroma, and I wasn’t paying close attention to the road ahead of me. Suddenly, breaking into my trance, something raised itself off the road about five strides ahead of me. I was almost upon it before I could see that it was a snake. I had no chance to avoid it. Instead, in a primitive response, I leaped up over it, higher than an Olympic hurdler. (It seemed that way.) When I landed, I stopped for a moment, to verify what had alarmed the reptilian complex of my brain. I didn’t linger. I probably gave thanks my instincts had kicked in, and then I proceeded on down the road, a more watchful runner.

Monte Sano Memories -
A Mountain of Ages
Tommy Towery
LHS '64 

    Thanks to Rainer, I have a subject to share with the rest of you this week. When thinking about my personal association with Monte Sano Mountain, I put my personal memories in four distinct ages.

    My first memories occurred during what I will call my Bicycle Age. This era ran from about the time I was six or seven up to age 11 or so. It was a time of exploration and facing new and exciting challenges in my emerging world. It was the time when I and my male friends would conquer the heights of the mountain on our bicycles either by hard peddling or by pushing our bikes as far up Bankhead Parkway as time or energy would allow us to go. I was always fascinated by the horse shoe shaped rock spring about half-way up the mountain. I had heard it was built for a place for riders to water their horses on the trip up. After years of being unable to find it again, I was surprised to know it was actually in front of Escoe German Beatty's house. Once we reached that point where we elected to reverse direction we mounted our steeds of steel and rubber for the much faster trip back down. It did not take long to realize the pull of gravity could easy surpass the courage of the rider and the breakneck speed which we could reach could actually break our necks.   In remembering those rides the partial lyrics of a song came into my mind. It went “She was going down the hill doing 90 miles an hour when the chain on her bicycle broke.” Those were the only words of the song I remembered, so I thought I would look it up on Youtube to share with you. It was only after I found it I realized it was a bawdy song, and not appropriate to include in this story. If you want to take it upon yourself to hear the complete version, then do so at your own risk by CLICKING HERE. It is your own decision. Does anyone else remember this? Just curious.

    Next came the Camping Age. With the introduction of the Boy Scout movement into my life, the forest and the open spaces offered on this elevated world became a fountain of adventure and excitement. The woods provided firewood and the rocks gave substance to the fire pits for both warmth and nourishment for our growing bodies. Well worn trails led us to caves to explore and cliffs to climb. Nuts and berries tempted our taste buds and insects and reptiles threatened our safety. The rock walls of the old burnt out Monte Sano Hotel became our castles and the open fields our arena for battles of capture the flag and touch football. Campfires and Indian dances filled the night skies.

    When the emergence of the awareness of the fairer sex replaced the attraction of spending time with only male companions, I entered what could only be called The Parking Age. The pavilions which once were home for cookouts became the venue for boy-girl parties and the once exciting paths we hiked during daylight became much more exciting in moonlight strolls. The turnouts and lookouts on the Parkway which once gave us a place to rest from a long hike or bike ride held new nighttime adventures for a teenage boy with a new girlfriend and a new driver’s license. The idea of parking on the mountain inferred much more activity than jusk parking. Back then the trees were cut back and the river of lights along Oakwood Avenue matched the twinkle of the heavenly stars in their luminescence. Sometimes with a new date you had to ask her if she wanted to go parking, but after going with a girl a while, such a question was never necessary. It did not matter if it was summer or winter or rain or the rare snowfall when you stopped there, the only problem was the sometimes highly competitive nature of finding a parking spot. Even if you left the radio going while listening to the music of the night and ran the car’s battery down, it only took a small push and gravity would get you going fast enough to pop the clutch and get the engine started.

    My fourth age is the Memory Age. That is the period in which I now find myself. Today, any trip up the tree canopied highway is a trip up memory lane. As I write this Reader’s Digest version of my memories of these reflections of these days of old, I realize I could fill at least one volume if I included the names of my fellow travelers during each age of this road of memories. I am amazed how a simple trip on a piece of asphalt can stir such intense emotions and remind me so much of the glories of my youth. Only the deadline of getting this issue of Lee’s Traveller finished curtails my desire to continue with the unforgettable stories of the most unforgettable mountain I have ever known.

        Memphis, TN - By the time you read this our classmates in Florida will be facing a challenge of nature most of us cannot imagine. Unfortunately I have heard from more than one classmate who has elected to hunker down and ride out Hurricane Irma and we can only pray they avoid personal injury as they face this challenge. God be with you classmates.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
11:00 a.m.


GALEN’S RESTAURANT (Formerly Mullin’s)
607 Jackson Way
Huntsville, AL 35801

    As we approach the eighth year for Lee Lunch Bunch (’64,’65,’66), it seems to be a good time for us to try a new location. We have all enjoyed these last seven years meeting at Logan’s Restaurant, and they have been very nice and accommodating. Perhaps we may go back there at some point, but for now, we are going to meet and hopefully enjoy a favorite old hangout for many of us.  I hope that you will save the date for Thursday, October 26, 2017, and let’s all meet at Galen’s.

    Galen’s has owned and operated a successful restaurant in the New Hope area for several years.  In June they opened a second location in Huntsville in the former Mullin’s location.  They are open for breakfast and lunch (until 2:00 PM) for now, but they do have plans to stay open for dinner in the near future.  Galen’s features a traditional meat and vegetable plate lunch with many side items to choose from.  They also have other 

    items on their extensive menu such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc.  Also, deserts!  There will certainly be something on the menu that will appeal to everyone.  Google Galen’s Restaurant and take a peek at their pictures and their menu.

    We must let Galen’s know by the day before how many plan to be there so they can arrange tables and have enough chairs ready.  Please contact either Judy Fedrowich Kincaid or me by that date if you plan to join us.   Hoping to see many of you there.

Thanks a Bunch!

Patsy Hughes Oldroyd, Class of ‘65
home (256)232-7583
cell (256)431-3396 or on FACEBOOK for 
either of us
Judy Fedrowich Kincaid, Class of ‘66
cell (256)656-3667


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Perfumes and Colognes

Barbara Seely Cooper

LHS '64

    English Leather and Old Spice were my favorite colognes for guys. Poor Dad..he had 3 daughters, and he must have been given gallons of smelly stuff over the years.

    Mother used Chanel #5, so of course I begged to use it too. It remains my favorite perfume. For a while I worked part time at Taylor's Apothecary (Cecil Taylor had 2 locations as I recall), and one of my duties was to help ladies choose perfumes. One that to this day will give me a migraine is Evening In Paris. 

Subject:    Skip Cook's Story
Jim Ballard
LHS '67

    I got a kick out of Skip's article on the industry's "smell nice" formulas. Yeah, all through High Skool, clueless me bathed in "Hawaiian Surf". Couldn't shake off the girls - Oh yeah!

    Then I became a REAL man when I started using "Brut". I don't like making complex decisions about how I smell, so a shower and "Brut" alone satisfies my needs to this day.

    Was in denial in High Skool. I'm almost 70 now and still in denial. Fate has a way with things.

    I've still got my last cork bottle, with a little "Surf" still left inside. That smell brings on a flood of memories. Amazing that it hasn't all evaporated after all these years. No oxygen allowed to pass through that  hermetic cork  top when it's  turned tight.

    On e-Bay you can get the old vintage from $150 to $350. That's not all that bad if you're insane enough to want to attract all those vemenz. Hah !