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190610 June 10, 2019


Pick A Card...Any Card
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    Last week I was looking for an Air Force Officer’s Club card I wanted to include in my military memories on which I am currently working and I came across a few other items from my past life. Before I write about them I want to take time to plea with those of you who served in the military to try to document your service for your family before it is too late. I recently got a copy of Collins Wynn’s, LHS ’64, info and he did a wonderful job of sharing his personal experiences. Believe me; someday it will be important to someone, even though you might not believe so now. Anyway, write something down for your family.

    So, even though I did not find the exact card for which I was looking, I did come across some very interesting other ones. Besides all of my Scouting award cards, I came upon a collection of other cards spanning three years of my days at Lee. They were among a stack of other cards covering the same time frame and which will be the subject of a future issue.

    The first card in the group is dated September 18, 1962, and it is a card showing my registration in the Charkas Judo Karate School. This school was located out on Jordan Lane and I and several of my Boy Scout friends joined together to take judo lessons. We all bought our Judo Gee outfits, and I kept mine for several years before outgrowing and discarding it. We went through all the instructions as best as we could and I earned my green belt before I quit going. My biggest problem was the distance the school was from my home and my lack of reliable transportation to get to the lessons. It was fun and since it was about the time we all became aware of Judo in the movies, I thought I was hot stuff to know the basics of the sport. After graduation and moving to Memphis I also continued my judo skills a bit when I went to work at the Memphis Y.M.C.A. as a physical activities worker. I even competed in a couple of meets for the YMCA. The last time I remember wearing it was when I took Karate at Memphis State as one of my required physical activities courses. 

    The next card is my Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA Junior Bowler) card for the 1962-1963 bowling season. I remember going to the Pin Palace Lanes on Memorial Parkway after school and bowling on a team, but for the life of me I cannot remember who was on the team with me at the time. I think my team included Bob Walker and Larry Bryant, and maybe Lewis Brewer. I also remember bowing sometime with Joy Wells and Linda Shafer, but maybe not related to my official bowing card team. My biggest memory of bowling there was how good the French Fries always tasted. I always rented shoes and remember having the problem of finding a ball which fit my hand and was a weight I could throw. Later on, in my Air Force years I finally could afford to buy my own ball and shoes, but back then I had to rent them. The bowling experience has come a long ways since we had to count pins and write our score down on paper scorecards – after we learned how to keep scores based on strikes and spares. 

    The final card in this set is my Y.M.C.A. card, paid to keep me active until December 2, 1964. Looking back at my journal for the day of December 2, 1963, I find I made an annotation of paying my Y.M.C.A. dues on that date. In looking a little farther ahead in the 1964 entries, I find I got back from the Alabama High School Press Association meeting at the University of Alabama on the day of December 7, 1963, just in time to pick up my date for the Hi-Y dance that night. It was held at the Aquatic Club on Oakwood Avenue and The Continentals were the featured band that night. My date for the night was a classmate named Linda, a girl who I really wanted to date but also one who had little interest in being more than a friend to me. One of my memories of the night was about halfway through the evening she got a call on the payphone from another guy and she talked to him about a half-hour while I waited on the dance floor for her. I don't know how anyone had the number of the payphone to call, let alone how whoever answered if was able to find Linda in the crowd.  I do know I had to be an active member of the Hi-Y, meaning I also had to be a dues paying member of the Y.M.C.A., to attend the dance. I suppose the $8.00 dues don’t seem like much now, but back then it was a lot of money to a boy living in the projects.

    If nothing more important comes up, I will share a few more cards and insights with you next week.

Get Well Jim McBride

    On June 6th, Jeanne Ivey McBride‎, posted on Facebook that Jim McBride was is in Huntsville Hospital CCU. Jim had a heart attack at home yesterday afternoon and was brought to the hospital by ambulance. He received two new stents and on Monday they plan to treat another blockage. Please keep Jim in your prayers, they will be greatly appreciated. I will update more after he see his cardiologist. 

    On Sunday, June 9th, Jeanne updated her information with Jim has been resting well today. Tomorrow he will have a final procedure to unblock his other artery. If all goes well, maybe we can go home this week. I’ve been reading all of your comments and best wishes to him and it has really brightened his time here in the hospital. He has been the sweetest patient and a delight to his nurses.  I hope to update tomorrow with news of a successful procedure and a release date.

    (Editor's Note:    Keep Jim and Jeanne in your prayers until all this blows over. We all send our best wishes to Jim.)


        Memphis, TN - My personal best wishes and prayers go out to Jim McBride during his troubles, in hope all is well and he gets to go home from the hospital soon.

    I know some of you think of me as the world's greatest horder, but I really think I just saved a few more things from my youth than many of you did. Most of the things I saved are really small, like photos, cards, and trinkets, but they sure bring back a lot of fun memories when I come across them.