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180528 May 28, 2018

    Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.

    Once again as we honor the members of our Armed Services who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, I remind you we only had one classmate from the Classes of '64, '65, or '66, who was killed while on active duty. That classmate was Capt. Dennis Faber of the Class of '65. Dennis, was serving as navigator, when he and seven other crewmen were killed during a C-130 training mission near Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 8, 1978. Dennis was married to Cherri Polly, LHS '66 at the time. 

 Capt. Dennis Faber of the Class of '65

        The Town Talk (Alexandria, LA) September 10, 1978 - Eight crew members of an Air Force C-130 cargo plane were believed killed in a fiery crash on a remote, wooded hilltop in central Arkansas. An Air Force fireman at the crash site Saturday said no crew members survived the impact that demolished the plane's fuselage, sheared off the tail section and set ablaze a three-quarter mile stretch of tees.  

    Air Force officials released the identities of five victims and said the identities of the sixth victim and the missing crew members would be withheld until relatives were notified. The victims were identified as Capt. Edwin Hayashi, 29, of Aiea, Hawaii, aircraft commander; Capt. Dennis Faber, 31, of Arlington, Texas, navigator; Capt. Thomas Smith, 29, of Fort Worth, Texas, instructor-navigator; Staff Sgt. Randall Vogel, 28, of Red Banks, N.J.. flight engineer, and Staff Sgt. William Ramsey, 27, of Cincinnati, Ohio, load master. Maj. Chan Sharp said the plane and the five identified victims were assigned to the Little Rock AFB's 62nd Tactical Airlift Squadron.

    The four-engine transport crashed about 11 p.m. Friday in a sparsely populated area about 8 miles northwest of the base in Faulkner County. Residents said they saw a fireball in the sky and heard several explosions. One woman told the sheriff's department she could see the plane burning from her home. The plane was one of four flying in formation to practice instrument approaches at the base northwest of Little Rock. The plane, flying third in the formation, clipped a hilltop and burned, scattering wreckage throughout the woods.

        The Class of '67 had four who gave their all in Vietnam. Their names are listed below:

1. Jimmy Kiger (USMC)
Casualty was on Sep 17, 1966

2. Frankie Acton (US Army)
His tour of duty began on May 20, 1965
Casualty was on Apr 11, 1966

3. David Mallory (USMC)
His tour of duty began on Jan 17, 1969
Casualty was on Feb 25, 1969

4. Sam Smith (US Army)
His tour of duty began on Feb 06, 1968
Casualty was on Jul 14, 1968
The Class of '68 lost at least one classmate in Vietnam.

Stanley Reed Lewter (US Army)
His tour of duty began on Aug. 14, 1967
Casualty was on Mar. 1, 1968
Casualty Date: 03/01/1968
in Long Khanh Province, South Vietnam

I am not sure of which class the following classmates identified with, but I know we walked the halls of Lee together.

Ronnie Smith (USMC)
His tour of duty began on Dec 19, 1967
Casualty was on May 28, 1968

Ed Huff (USMC)
His tour of duty began on Dec 23, 1966
Casualty was on Oct 27, 1967

The Butcher Shop Party of 1962
 - It Took A Lot of Dough
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

Most of the private parties to which I was invited when I was a teenager were held in the traditional places of such parties.  They took place in the homes of the people who were throwing the parties.  In my recollection, most of the time the parties seemed to be hosted by the females of the groups and the guests were often limited to a small close group of boys and girls, usually numbering a dozen or less.  Very rarely did a boy hold a party at his house, although I'm not really sure why.  The only parties I can really remember attending at a boy's home were the ones connected to the Scouting activities in which I participated.  As a Boy Scout, I was in a troop that had several older boys (Bob and Jim Ramsey, Don Cornelius, Johnny Carter, Ronnie Hornbuckle and a few others from Lee)  who were members of a Senior Patrol we formed a  so we could have parties with girls.  I remember we had at least one boy-girl  party up on Monte Sano Mountain when we celebrated Bob Ramsey's achievement of making Eagle Scout. Aside from those, all the other mixed parties I ever went to were hosted by girls I knew. (The most memorable one at a private home was hosted by Escoe German.)

Several group parties took place at larger venues, but the one private party I remember which was held at a location different than a private home was one that Carolyn McCutcheon hosted for some big event, which I want to remember as her sixteenth birthday.  Whatever the real reason for the get together, it was probably the largest private party I had ever attended and the number of people on the guest list number made it necessary to hold it somewhere other than in her house.  I do remember it was during the school year, and it was not all that warm outside, so she needed an inside room large enough to hold the invited crowd.

Her father owned, or knew someone who owned, a butcher shop on Oakwood Avenue, which was just a few blocks from my house in Lincoln Village.  It was not the traditional little mom and pop store front one would expect such a business to be.  This shop was in a much larger building, which was obviously built for some other reason, but probably rented for the butcher shop because of its off the main beat location and affordable price.  Whatever the reason, the shop was more like a small grocery store, with large open top coolers lining the walls and big freezers in the back of the store.  It, in fact, looked a lot like the meat department of any of the local Kroger or Piggly Wiggly stores of the era.  Since the only food items that were sold were refrigerated, the rest of the large floor space was empty.  There were no cans of green beans or boxes of Cheerios and no isles of flour or sugar.

I can't remember if the party was held on a Friday or Saturday night, but it was one of them so we could stay late and not have to worry about getting up early the next day to go to school.  It started at the normal time and the masses of people started arriving around seven o'clock.  It was a younger crowd, since most of us were just reaching the age where we could even hope to get our driver's licences.  Few had already reached that privileged status, and even the ones that had didn't all have cars, so many of the guests were dropped off by parents.  I was dating a younger girl at the time and all I could do was plan to meet her at the party.  I didn't have to worry about transportation since it was a short walk to the location for me, just about three blocks.  Since I did not have a car yet, I usually had to walk much farther than that to go to the other parties which I attended.

Most of the evening was spent doing the normal things that we did at parties back then.  We had a record player set up, and the ones who owned their own records brought them for music. As the norm of the time, most records had the owner's name written on the label with nail polish or if it was an album, in ball poin pen ink on the cover. Since this was a larger crowd, we did not worry about the type of entertainment we usually had with smaller, more intimate groups.  We didn't plan kissing games, or scavenger hunts, or plan to spend the evening just sitting around listening to the music and drinking Cokes and eating snacks.  The prime entertainment on the agenda was dancing to the music from the record player.  There was no appointed disc jockey and as well as I can remember, and no one person had control of the music.  The records were all sitting on the table or in a metal rack by the record player, and if you wanted to dance to a particular song, you just went over and played it.  Today I find it hard to believe we could have done that for a whole night without anyone being in charge.  I guess it was just an etiquette thing to wait until one song finished before you put your own choice of music on the turntable.  The fact that I can't remember makes me feel that it was no big problem, and we just took turns without worrying about anything.

I do remember that we were still in the middle of the "Twist" era and so lots of fast songs were played that night.  I also remember that my girlfriend was wearing what we called a "Twist Dress" back then.  It was more like a long blouse than a dress, and it hung from the shoulders down to about the knees,without a belt or anything that formed anything resembling a waist line.  There was fringe around the bottom hem, and when the wearer did the Twist, the dress seemed to stay stationary while the occupant's body moved back and forth.  The dresses were solid colored material, no plaids or checks, or anything else.  I remember my girlfriend's dress was a pastel yellow.

I have my reasons why I remember so much about what she wore that night.  I remember it because she and I had our picture made while we were dancing.  Cameras were not as common back then as they are today, but at some of the parties, especially birthday parties, there were usually one or two people who brought them.  At other parties, we didn't take cameras.  It was not that we didn't have them, it was primarily because we couldn't afford to buy film and pay to have it developed and the pictures printed.

        Most of the cameras kids owned back then used black and white film, and the most common size was named 620.  We didn't know what 620 stood for, and didn't care, but only knew that when we bought film at the drug store that we had to buy that size film.  Some of the smaller cameras use 127 size film.  All I know is that 127 was smaller than 620, but basically they both were the same.  The film was on rolls and had paper backing.  You had to open the camera and take the empty metal spool from the last roll of film and move it to the take-up spool slot.  You then tore open the foil envelope in which the film was stored and took out the new roll.  There was a small paper tape that held the film tight and you used your fingernail to cut the tape.  You put the film in the empty slot in the camera and unrolled the paper protector enough to insert the "V" on its end into a slot on the take-up spool.  After you turned the film winder enough to see that it was working and the paper was secure on the take-up spool, you closed the back of the camera and  then you were ready for business.

You usually had twelve pictures on a roll of film.  If you were going to be taking them inside, then you needed a flash attachment and flash bulbs in addition to film.  The flash bulbs usually cost more than the film and the hardest thing to remember was to change bulbs between pictures.  The probability of a flash bulb flashing on the first try was about 50-50.  We quickly learned that if it didn't go off, you took the bulb out, stuck it in your mouth to wet the contacts, and then put it back into the flash attachment to try again.  After a while, a lot of photographers made the wetting ritual a part of the required process just like remembering to wind the film.  You learned to lick the bulb before you ever tried to take the picture.  It was terrible to have more pictures to take than flashbulbs available, and just like hot dogs and hot dog buns, the number of shots left on a roll of film and the number of bulbs remaining never matched.

The memorable thing about the picture taken of her and me that night was that whoever took it snapped the photo while the two of us were dancing.  The photographer that captured the moment on film was either Dianne Hughey or Carolyn, and I tend to believe it was Dianne, since Caroline was busy most of the time being the hostess.  Whoever the photographer of the night was took our picture as we were slow dancing to one of the records.  My girlfriend and I were about the same height, but for some reason, she seemed to be straining to put her arms around my neck during the dance.  Her position, and the way the Twist dress was made, resulted in a strange picture.  It made her look like she was pregnant, and wearing a maternity dress.  I had never before stopped to think how much the Twist dresses looked like maternity dresses.  Neither one of them had waists, and neither were worn with belts.  There in the photo was a picture of me dancing with a n apparent pregnant fourteen year old girl.

Of course she wasn't.  Our relationship had not progressed to the point where she could have been, but it certainly looked that way, and for that reason, the picture was never shown to anyone but our closest friends once it came back from being developed at the drug store.  Teenage pregnancy was not common, or funny.  There was something wickedly sensuous about the thought of pregnancy, but not a rumor you would want to start.  The picture stayed the personal property of our relationship until we split up for the last time.  It was one of the items that was sent to me in the large manila envelope to forever close the chapter of the Girlfriend-Tommy romance.


If you remember attending this party, send me your memories.

        Memphis, TN -  Once again we take the opportunity of recognizing those classmates with whom we shared time at Lee High School who lost their lives while serving in the United States Military. Memorial Day was created to honor them. While we have historically recognized the members of the classes of '64-'65-'66, it is an honor to also remember members of other classes who also made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom. If you know of any additional classmates who were killed while serving, please email me with their information so I can add them to future lists.

    Also, if you know which class claims Ronnie Smith or Ed Huff, please let me know so I can group them with their fellow classmates.

        I know several veterans who have passed on, but Memorial Day was created to remember only those who died while in uniform. Lest we forget!

Lee Class of '68
50th Reunion
July 28, 2018

John and Sandy Cates

    We are working with the Lee High '68 50th Class Reunion Committee.  Greg Patterson asked that we send the 50th Class Reunion Invitation and Registration Form to you.  Please send/share the information with your Lee High friends and classmates.  We hope to have a great party and look forward to you/your classmates being there, too.  



From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Typing

Bruce W. Fowler, Ph. D.

LHS '66

    Pray excuse my inattention and thus the latency of this, but I have a bit of typing experience to share, subject to your graciousness.

    I never took typing in HS but I did peck away at a juggernaut office machine my parents obtained for me to key term papers on, and I subsequently went off to college with a Smith-Corona portable. This was not how I learned to "type," however. 

    Somehow, John Scales, Frank Sliz, and I formed a conspiracy to cross academic boundaries and take an Engineering College FORTRAN course. I know I didn't originate the idea and am unsure of whether it was Frank or John that did, but It addressed one of my perceived needs and I was a willing co-conspirator.

    In those days, computer code was "written" on pasteboard cards using a keypunch machine that made rectangular holes in the card in a pattern that represented the letter/character/numeral. Because this process was irreversible, any error necessitated a complete re-do of the card. Accordingly, key-punching, as it was known, defined good keying as accurate, not rapid. 

    This importance of accuracy reinforced my two-fingered style of typing.

    In later years when I had to key nerd manuscripts and a dissertation, this accuracy  proved to be further beneficial and success-enabling in the production of equations (on an IBM Selectric typewriter.) Speed was disparaged on nerd papers if it was accompanied by typing errors in equations. In those days, technical typing tasks were only given to professional typists if they had a firm knowledge of maths notation and formation; otherwise, the author (or one of his junior associates) would type the manuscript.

    Today, I still type (mostly) two-fingered and I look at fingers and keyboard although I use a computer instead of a typewriter. And I am still faster at this type of typing than Millennials who grew up keying but can't handle the maths.


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