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171225 December 25, 2017


"The Cinderella Dress"
Barbara Wilkerson Donnelly
LHS '64
    I really enjoyed this last Traveller (12/18), and it reminded me of one of my precious memories of gift giving. On December 11, my Mother has been gone from this earth for 34 years. There was nothing that she wouldn't do for me, and this is the one thing that underscores it all for me personally. 

    On the Saturday prior to Mother's Day, one of the jewelry stores downtown opened for a certain period of time for only children to purchase jewelry. They had jewelry that we could afford, and when I got older, I finally appreciated it. Daddy took me down one day and gave me a few dollars and said he'd wait outside for me. While looking through the glass, I found the most beautiful necklace I had ever seen. "Mother will look like Cinderella in this," I thought. 

    It cost a lot (75 cents) but I bought it. It was pink with pink and white rhinestones, basically a choker and was really most tacky. But I thought it was the find of the century! Daddy had planned for us to buy her a dress, so he took me to Mangel's where I (without his knowledge) had only the idea of a Cinderella dress to go with the necklace. And . . . there it was! It was pink and strapless and looked more like an evening gown than a dress. It did have a shawl to keep you warm (read "cover up that which was showing"), and I thought it was the most beautiful dress in the world. 

    Now, Daddy and Mother went dancing often, and bless his heart, he had no idea what my plans for the dress were, so we bought it. It wasn't a cheap dress - just not suited for the occasion that I envisioned. I could hardly contain myself that night. 

    Sunday morning, we gave Mother the beautiful necklace and dress. "Oh, Mother," I said. "Everyone in church will be staring because you are so beautiful." I never saw a shocked expression. There was only happiness as she gave me the most radiant smile and took the dress to get ready for church. "Pete," Daddy said, "you really have a good eye for beauty." 

    Mother came in glowing and looking just like Cinderella. As we walked into church, my beautiful Mother in her beautiful jewelry and Cinderella dress, I said, "Look, Mother! Everyone is staring at you because you look just like Cinderella." "Yes," Mother replied. "I'm sure they will always remember this gorgeous dress and necklace, and wish they had one just like it."
    Years later, I asked her why she wore that dress because I knew then that people were gawking, not admiring it. She told me that I was the most important person in the world, and if I'd wanted her to wear it another Sunday, she would have. The fact escaped me for awhile longer that Daddy was a very special man to not only let me buy it, but to hold his head up high while looking admiringly at his Ann, who needed nothing to enhance her natural beauty. But I finally got it.  I was a very lucky girl.
    Tommy was correct in his observations about shopping. If you give a gift card, they won't have to worry about receiving a pink necklace and Cinderella dress. Somehow I think Mother preferred the gift.

Christmas Coins
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    Each year Sue and I save all the coins we find in parking lots, on sidewalks, and on store floors and right before Christmas take them and drop them into a Salvation Army kettle. We then multiply the amount by 10 and make a donation to match. This year we dropped $5.45 in coins in the pot and made a donation of $54.50 in addition.

University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) College Of Business Alumni
Establish Scholarship in Honor of Dr. Roscoe E. Bryson 

(Here is a nice article about Gene Bryson, LHS '64. The article was sent to me by Gene's brother, Jerry, who I worked with in Charlotte. Merry Christmas to you and all the Traveler readers - John Roberts, LHS '66)

    Roscoe Eugene "Gene" Bryson was recently honored at a surprise dinner hosted by a small group of alumni and friends who announced a new endowed scholarship at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) that pays tribute to his legacy and extends its reach to future generations. The Dr. Eugene Bryson Endowed Scholarship honors Bryson's more than 40 years of dedicated service to the university.

    Bryson received his doctorate in Accounting from Georgia State University in 1976, and joined the faculty of UAH that same year. He served with distinction for 32 years, winning numerous awards for both teaching and service. Although he retired in 2008, he has continued to follow his passion for education by teaching five courses a year in his role as an Emeritus Associate Professor of Accounting. Each year, Bryson thanks the College of Business for continuing to "allow him to teach."

    Bryson is loved by his current and former students and respected by his colleagues in the accounting profession across Alabama. Bryson has served as an inspiration, role-model, mentor, and friend to so many students and alumni – his name is synonymous with accounting at the college. UAH alumni Ben Singleton (’13, MBA; ’11, Accounting, BSBA) led the effort to create an endowed scholarship in Bryson's honor. The committee, comprised of Ben, Donna Berger (’86, Accounting, BSBA), Krista Campbell, Jerry Mercer (’83, Accounting, BSBA), and Jason Miller (’07, Accounting, BSBA), worked in secret to find donors to assure the endowment’s creation before revealing it to Bryson.

    Current and former deans, Dr. Jason Greene, Dr. Caron St. John and Dr. C. David Billings joined the committee at the dinner to honor Bryson and reveal the endowed scholarship. Humbled by the establishment of the scholarship, Bryson said, "I am proud to accept the honor because this will be such a great help to so many students.” Bryson will help determine the profile of the students who will receive this scholarship.

    If Dr. Bryson has made an impact in your life, we invite you to be a part of our effort to recognize and thank him.

    Give Now

    While gifts to the scholarship fund of any amount celebrate Dr. Roscoe Eugene "Gene" Bryson, donors who contribute $3000 or more to the scholarship fund will be listed on a plaque in the atrium of the UAH College of Business. Donors who give $1000 or more become members of the President’s Council during the year of their gift. All gifts to the fund will help recognize Bryson’s countless contributions by providing critical financial assistance to UAH accounting students for years to come.

        Memphis, TN -


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Gift Giving

Dianne Hughey McClure

LHS '64


    I agree 100% with all you say (about gifts) but just did not know it bothered anyone else as much as it did me. I think it is definitely a loss. There will never again be  the memories of Christmas we have. I also know the loss of letter writing is a big loss I still have letters from my grandmother Ronnie when he was in the Navy Carolyn  many others and even you. I read them occasionally and many memories come to mind. I feel sad for the experience of this my children and grandchildren will never experience. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas.

Subject:  Presents
Bruce W. Fowler, Ph. D.
LHS '66

    Great article in this week's Horse Hide. Your discussion of why physical gifts are superior to "gift cards" added useful information to my own mental ruminations. Well and truly done! 



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