Christmas 2016 Get Together
Photo submitted by Dianne Hughey McClure
(Editor's note: Still playing catch-up with some things submitted over the holidays.)
Christmas get together at Pat Mullins (in back at head of table). To her right is Diana and Adonna across table is Cookie and Dianne. All from LHS Class of 1964. Nothing like a visit with good friends.
Why I Chose UAH
I started UAH in the Fall of 1966 and graduated in August of 1971, as an electrical engineer. I didn’t graduate magna cum laude, but getting to UAH is a long story and I will attempt to condense it somewhat.
My dad was a ’31 grad of API, mechanical engineering. Yes, Auburn. He and Shug Jordan, ’32, were good buddies as students and ran track and cross-country together. So I had the connection, so to speak. But I had this interest in the US Navy that ran pretty deep. It started way back when I was much younger and out my back door it was just a short quarter mile to the Naval Reserve at the Tennessee River in Sheffield. Many of you may remember me joining the Naval Reserve in our Junior Spring Semester, and several of our fellow students followed my lead and joined the Reserve as well. It was a smart move they told me later. The Navy became a dominant theme with the possibility of the Naval Academy out there visible through some kind of fog for someone so motivated like me. Free schooling! Distant thought.
Chip mentioned our counselor, Mrs. Webster. Her idea was that your greatest hope of success with college was to go straight out of high school. That was for later. I was still a Junior and looking to going to regular Navy Boot Camp at Great Lakes the entire summer before our senior year. Look at our Senior Year Book pictures. My hair is just beginning to fill back in for whatever that was worth. In all these distractions a formal career path was still a little vague.
In my early days my mother thought I should become a doctor. She was an RN, but she was gone early. Dad being an engineer/military engineer saw the attributes I exhibited and suggested engineering over the anatomical sciences. So off I went into the bigger world as an E-3 in the US Navy. I was an average student at Lee but in the more structured environment of the Navy at the FT school I was assigned I graduated 2nd out of a class of 17, just barely behind the lead guy. He got a better start but toward the end i was doing better than he was but the law of averages just wouldn’t let me pass him. I caught up with him later aboard the USS Maddox when we pulled into Subic Bay, PI. I was aboard the USS Carpenter.
While I was cavorting in the South China Sea, my dad took the initiative to enroll me at UAH, which was a small commuter school then. I could live at home to save some money, and I received the GI Bill. I was amenable to that. I had no big plans. Then Annapolis came into view, required a six-year extension of service. I would have to go to prep school to catch up to a more competitive level just to start as a plebe. If you flunked you still owed the six years. Well, I hadn’t been back home for nearly a year and a half by then and that possibility at that low ebb left me to think about it. So, I started UAH, worked part time 4 years at the von Braun Research Institute.
Huntsville aerospace was in terrible funding by 1971, but TVA was hiring for their Nuclear Program buildup. So off I went to Knoxville for 35 years with a young family. No more rocketry, became a power industry expert. It was not an easy transition competing with engineers with traditional educations. UAH was definitely different. Still, I was right in there with the best of them and did some great things thanks to UAH.
After TVA I worked in Oak Ridge/Doe community for eight years. That should tell you something - achieve the title of senior engineer with the company I worked for.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. I say “Thank You!” Go Navy.
A Guest Editorial
by Mike Crowl
Why write a story or event about your life? You may be surprised whose life you may touch or inspire. You might bring back some great memories for someone. You might inspire someone to share some of their memories. You may give comfort to someone. You might bring laughter or joy to someone. There are all kinds of feelings that one can reach when writing. We all wonder why reading and writing were taught at early stages of our childhood.
What is it about the past that intrigues us? I'm sure we all have our reasons for soul searching our past. Certainly there are times in our life when we all look back to relive some hidden memory or moment. Do you ever wonder why, as humans, we have these yearnings. The human mind is as magnificent as anything one could possess. Look at your own life and take a moment to recall how many times you have flashed back to your past. What is it that makes us do that? When you really think about it, it is fascinating!
We all have been gifted to have the ability to file our past in memory. Our mind can sort all our life experiences into different files for recall. Some files are put away to help us cope with them as we progress in our lives. Did you ever wonder how the human mind knows how and where to file our past to help us best live our lives. When one ponders on it , it really is amazing. What a gift we all have been given.
Can you even imagine not being able to read or write?
All of us are so blessed with these abilities. We all are amazing people that have school memories or life experience. Everyone has something during their school days or life that people would find interesting to hear about you. Pick one and share it with us. I am sure others beside me would love to hear from you! I thank those of you who do share and I hope I can encourage others without sounding condescending.
The Traveller is a great outlet for everyone to use. Tommy has dedicated his time, unconditionally, to all of us. He doesn't get enough recognition or appreciation for all he does. It’s very obvious he really loves the Lee family and loves publishing the Traveller every week!! Think about it, I repeat EVERY WEEK . It's unbelievable, thank you Tommy!
I challenge all of us to take time be thankful for life itself. It is so taken for granted by so many without any thought how precious it is. As we all know our past and present on this earth aren't forever. Go out there and try to complete something special to you. Make amends for some wrong doing. Inspire someone you should have a long time ago. The only limits are the limits you put on yourself.
So in conclusion, take the limits off and live your lives to the fullest!! We all control our destiny!
Memphis, TN - I have a question for you this week. In the past I have included a series on the TV shows we grew up with, each week highlighting the hits from a specific period. Do you watch them? I am wondering if the time I spend searching for and including these video could be put to better use in a different direction? So...I pose this question to you, "Do you watch them?"
I have decided to put it to a vote, and please be honest. If you do find them entertaining, just send me a short email saying so - even if it is just a subject line of "Keep TV". If at least five of you send me positive emails, I will continue; if not, I will take that as a sign and try to find something more entertaining to share with you.
Thanks again for those who continue to support this newsletter. I am still in the process of catching up after being gone on the cruise and visiting family over the holidays and it is taking time. I have to limit the amount of material I put in each week, so it is taking a while longer than I had hoped. That is a great position to be in, after some very long stretches of not having anything to share but what I wrote myself.
Please continue to contribute and I will continue to publish.
My brother Don (back), my mother, and me and our TV on East Clinton Street.
The Vintage Television
If you are wondering why the Paul Anka song above sounds familiar, it was used in a Seventies Kodak TV commercial.
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Last Week's Issue
Great job my ole friend!