View Issues‎ > ‎2018 Issues‎ > ‎1804 April 2018‎ > ‎

180402 April 2, 2018


 What We Have Here
Is A Failure To Communicate
Tommy Towery
Class of ‘64

(Editor's Note: This is a modified reprint of a story that appeared in The Traveller back in 2003.)

    We’ve had some great times remembering our days at Lee.  In today’s world where I read back about Rainer and his comrades who joined us from Germany, I have marveled at how they were ever able to adapt to English, and specifically the Southern version of English. 

    One of the entertaining things I did at the university was to work with foreign students who came to the states for their education.  I had the opportunity of having some very talented and pleasant groups of students from India to serve as my graduate assistants helping me work on computers.

    One of the things that I found myself doing with that group was trying very hard to educate them on “American Slang” and found it was a real challenge.  I had a greater challenge when I took four of them to see their first American Baseball game. Not only did I have to explain what was happening in the game, but also had to describe some of the food that people were eating and why they were eating it.

    In the process of explaining slang terms, my mind slipped back to our days at Lee and some of the terms that were common to many of us then, but that today’s generation of high school students (as well as the Indian students) might not have any idea what in the world we were talking about. I wonder how our German friends ever learned how to communicate with us.

    For your fun and entertainment I have decided to offer up a group of phrases that were probably spoken quite often back in the early Sixties, but which may have lost their way in today’s world.  I first tried to come up with ten nouns, but found that some of the other slang terms were just too good to pass up.

    What did you call the object in the picture above, when you first saw it? I was often made fun of by my friends in the Air Force when I used phrases such as "hose pipe" and "picture show." I felt right at home the four years I lived in England, because "hose pipe" is the British term for our garden hose.  I don't think any of them would understand what a "slop jar" was or why I used the word "fixing" which I "used to say" a lot. And I was just as shocked at the number of words others used for a "Coke." To us, any soft drink was a Coke, not just a Coca-Cola. To hear carbonated beverages called "sodas" or "pops" was just plain odd.

    To make this fun, I offer for your explanation submissions the following terms, and will not grade you on how many you get wrong or right.  I have decided that it would be better just to print the best description of the items and list the classmate who came up with that description, so be creative.  The editor is the sole judge, so the staff writers can have a chance to play the game too. Please feel free to give descriptions for all of them, but we will only print the ones selected to be the overall best entries, so try hard. We may only use one description from your list, or maybe two or three, if you are good.  Everyone has a chance to be selected.

    Here are some slang (or common) phrases from our days at Lee for your consideration:

1. Coffin Nail
2. Glass Packs
3. A Slug (not the hitting action, or the slippery slimy thing, but the other one that can be held in your hand)
4. Duck Tail
5. Fruit Loop (not the cereal)
6. Church Key
7. Wet Willie
8. Charlie Horse
9. Indian Burn
10. A Suicide
11.    A Hickey

    Feel free also to submit any others that you might think of and we will feature them in a later issue. Any story that can be added about any of the items is welcome.

    Okay Classmates, you have one hour to finish the test and to turn in your papers.  No cheating (Skip!). Begin. 

Emergency Evacuation
Collins (C.E.) Wynn
LHS '64

THE SETTING - How many of you readers went swimming in the indoor pool at the Downtown YMCA? My partners and I enjoyed ourselves there many times until an event one day caused us to lose our enthusiasm for the place. In fact, I don't think we ever returned. This little snippet is set to the music of 'Jaws'. 

THE STORY - We were all splashing about wildly and gleefully trying to drown one another one day when a loud, insistent whistle sounded followed by a stern authoritarian voice was heard ordering out of the pool immediately. It seems one of my colleagues had made a rather large and ugly personal deposit which was floating lazily in the deep end of the pool. Here I would like the record to show that, under oath, I pledge to all that it was not me. Although no one ever confessed to the crime, I have my suspicions based on some of my friend's past performances and their fairly obvious and crippling character flaws.

        Memphis, TN - This week I decided to look back in the archives and dig up some old stories which I wrote long ago, but which many of you new readers may not have seen or you old readers not remember.

    Retirement is the best thing that has happened to my brother-in-law. "I never know what day of the week it is," he gloated. "All I know is, the day the big paper comes, I have to dress up and go to church."

Lee Lunch Bunch

For the Classes of 64, 65, and ‘66

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Time: 11:00 am

Place: Galen’s Restaurant (formerly Mullin’s)

           Andrew Jackson Way

           Huntsville, AL

    Well, it’s that time again. It has been a long, hard, and cold winter for many of us, and we are ready to get out and enjoy the warm spring days. With that thought in mind, please save the date for our special group to meet, eat, and catch up with each other. Hope to see you there, and please do let me know that you plan to come. I do need to let the restaurant know in advance about how many of our group will plan to be there.

    Thanks and see you soon,

Patsy Hughes Oldroyd ‘65

(256) 232-7583

(256) 431-3396


Ask Dr. John
John Drummond
LHS '65

    Q: John, would you continue your discussion of sleep apnea with some talk about the current trend toward dental appliances that hold the jaw in place at night and take the place of the CPAPs. I know we are having great success with that in my household?

    A: A minority of sleep apnea is caused by upper airway problems, i.e. above the throat, as opposed to the throat or lungs.  But when it is caused by a structural problem in the nose, sinuses, or back part of the palate, there can be an impressive response to a device placed to open up the narrowed airway and allow unimpaired breathing.   In Atlanta we have a few dentists who specialize in "Dental Sleep Medicine".  If the problem does not respond to this device, surgery to the lower jaw (mandible) can be considered as a last resort.


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    No Mail This Week.




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


 Email Me