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181001 October 1, 2018


Life After Lee - Looking Back
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    This week I look back on a major anniversary in my life and since I have nothing else to write about I decided to share it with you. If any of you wish to do the same then please email me with your own personal story. 

   It was 30 years ago (October 1, 1988) when I experienced my first day as a civilian after 20 years in the Air Force. I had taken terminal leave and had moved back to Memphis from Omaha, Nebraska, and was already working at Memphis State University when my official retirement date occurred. For those who are unfamiliar with the term "terminal leave" it means I had some unused leave days available and was able to take them at the end of my service commitment  and actually hang up my uniform during those days before I reached my official retirement date. Thus ended my 20-year Air Force career.

    It was 50 years ago on September 23, 1968, when I began active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S.A.F. I had been commissioned through the Memphis State ROTC program and got married in June and began awaiting my first assignment to pilot training. 

    On that day we packed up our 1965 Ford (former Memphis Police Car with a 390 Police Interceptor engine) and left Memphis with a destination of Del Rio, Texas. Neither my new wife nor I had ever lived on our own before, since we did not know when my orders would arrive so we bounced back and forth between her mother’s and my parents’ house with a side trip to a YMCA camp for two months. We had never gone on a solo long-distance drive and had never used a road map for directions to an unknown place. We arrived in Del Rio sometime after midnight with no idea what really lay ahead of us. We had never rented an apartment and I had not been subject to a true military environment since the previous summer’s ROTC field training. Somehow we winged our way through all that the future held.

    Although my dreams of being a fighter pilot would not be realized, I enjoyed (sometimes endured) a 20-year career as an Electronic Warfare Officer in B-52s and RC-135s and retired as a Major at the end of my service. During my time I was involved with the Cold War, Bullet Shot, Arc Light, Linebacker II, Operation Early Call, and El Dorado Canyon. I ended up with over 5,000 flight hours, a couple of combat missions along with a couple of combat support missions, two Meritorious Service Medals and nine Air Medals. 

    Looking back, I am proud of the time (and sacrifices) I made during my Air Force career and still miss the camaraderie and life-long friends I had during those years.


        Memphis, TN - Most of the time I feature stories about things that happened during our high school days. This week's main feature is far away from those days, but only possible because of my high school graduation from Lee. I wanted to have a career in the military and my first option was to earn a commission through a college ROTC program. At the time I did so you had to have a four-year college degree (in any field) to become a military officer. So, four years after leaving Lee with my high school diploma, I left Memphis State with my college degree and my USAF commission.

The Next Lee Lunch Bunch
Date Set

Thursday, October, 25, 2018
11:00 A.M.
Galen’s Restaurant
Andrew Jackson Way   Huntsville, AL

    Hello fellow LHS classmates from the classes of ’64, ’65, ’66.

    Remember to save the date for our next Lee Lunch Bunch gathering. I have had many positive comments to come my way about us meeting at Galen’s, so until someone comes up with a better place for us, I guess we will meet there for now. It does not cost for us to meet there, the food is good, and they are so very nice to us. Jaime, the owner’s daughter, already had us on the calendar from when we were there in April. She remembered that we meet twice a year on the last Thursday of April and October, so she went ahead and put us down for this October. How great is that? 

    I know that September and October are both great months to travel, so if you are out on the road, please make Huntsville one of your stops long enough to join your fellow classmates for lunch on the last Thursday of October at Galen’s. Hope to see you there.

    Please, please let me know if you plan to come. I need to let them know by the day before how many we expect to come for lunch.

    Thanks and see you soon,
    Patsy Hughes Oldroyd ‘65              Or message me or Judy
H (256) 232-7583                         Fedrowisch Kincaid on 
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From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Lee Lunch Bunch

Patsy Hughes Oldroyd 

LHS ‘65

    It’s that time again. Lee Lunch Bunch time. If you will, please put this on the Traveller from now until we gather on October, 25. I sure do hope that you and Sue will be able to come this way to join the group this time.

    Every week when I open your weekly news in the Traveller, I anticipate with dread when a former classmate’s picture comes up first. I know that means we have lost another friend, that it will be an announcement of another death. We all appreciate that you to keep us informed even if it is sad news. Many of us would not know of their passing if not for you putting that information on the Traveller. With that being said, we are losing so many of our lifelong friends on a much too regular basis. I suppose our age contributes to that fact. I don’t know that everyone feels the same as I do, but I look so forward to the lunch group gatherings to see as many as can possibly make it. Our reunions are so far apart, so I always hope that everyone who can will try really hard to save the date and be there for the lunches. We never know when it will be our last time to see each other.

    I have really enjoyed your articles about the Madison County Fair. I, too, have fond memories of going to the Fair. What was so funny to me, was that we got out of school for “cotton picking,” but we went to the fair during that week. That seemed so strange to me, a city girl, because I had never picked even one puff of cotton. Nevertheless, I enjoyed all of the trashy, smelly, exciting sights and sounds from the entrance in the farm animal building down through the midway where my eyes got really big! It was all pretty exciting back then. After that time when we were very young, I never went to another fair. Sweet memories though.

    Thanks again for posting the Lee Lunch Bunch (info attached). Hope to see you soon.

Subject:    State Fair Story

Nancy Watts

    Wow, your article about the fair was great.  I remembered the smells and riding the rides.  Thank you for your weekly newsletter.

Subject:    Better Football Team Photos
Collins Wynn
LHS '64

    Tommy, here are two football photographs that ran in the Huntsville Times.  These are the ones I should have submitted for my recent article as they have the names entered.  Perhaps erroneously, I think these are our 9th and 10th grade teams.  Those without yearbooks might like to see these in this manner.  Use as you see fit.



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