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200224 February 24, 2020


Looking Back to February 1964
Tommy Towery
LHS '64 

        This week's story is made possible by some journal entries I made back in this week of 1964. The comments below are from my book "A Million Tomorrows...Memories of the Class of '64" and were written 25 years after the journal in an attempt to explain my actions and events of the day. Every so often I get out the book and look back at my childhood days and how they led me to the life I now live as an adult. Here is what I wrote back then:

     "Perhaps the most interesting of the comments of the day was in the area of literature.  It seems strange that a book report was due, and to accomplish that task, I didn't go to the library but to the Grand Newsstand instead.  The Grand Newsstand was located on Clinton Street near the Twickenham Hotel.  It was not exactly right next to it but was somewhere along the strip there.  If memory serves me well, along Clinton Street there was the Twickenham Hotel, then the barbershop where Donald's grandfather was a barber and then a camera shop.  There was an alley, then a few other shops along the way and then the newsstand.  Next to the newsstand was a record store, and finally a drugstore comes to mind.

    I remember its being a drugstore, for it was in there that the six-cent Coke was first encountered early in my childhood.  Cokes in the bottle from vending machines had been five cents for all my life, I believe.  One day, I walked into the drugstore and put my nickel into the machine and tried to push down the handle.  It would not move.  I looked at the machine real close, and there, beside the nickel slot, was a penny slot too.  The price had been raised.  Luckily I had a penny, and upon putting it into the slot and pressing the handle down, the ever familiar six-ounce Coke bottle came tumbling out.  That was my first contact with inflation.  The price stayed six cents for a long while, then finally went to a dime, but the initial price increase opened my eyes to the big changing financial world.

    Anyway, the Grand Newsstand was a friendly enough place and one of the favorite places of my youth.  It seemed to be the vehicle to carry me from hobby to hobby.  Besides newspapers and magazines, they sold model cars and planes, jokes and tricks, and stamps.  One time they brought in a professional Yo-Yo expert from the Duncan Yo-Yo Company and he demonstrated the fine art of Yo-Yoing.  If you bought a Yo-Yo from him, he would carve a scene on it.  Yo-Yo's were made from wood then.  He carved a horse on the one I bought from him.  That was just one hobby.  It seemed every time I got a new interest, I could find just what I needed to aid it at the Grand Newsstand.

    Even as one passed from childhood to puberty, the Grand Newsstand could accommodate him.  In the back of the store was the adult magazine section.  There were titles like "Stag," "Men" and of course "Playboy."  The magazines were right on the shelf in view of God and everyone.  They did not have to be covered in plastic as they do today, and many a youth in Huntsville got his first female anatomy lesson in the back of the Grand Newsstand.  Many an eye was strained looking sideways from the comic section to see the pages that the men were flipping through in one of the magazines in the mysterious corner.  More than once, a recently turned teenager was caught with one of the adult magazines nestled inside a comic book pretending to be reading the comic, only to be gawking at the lady with the staple in her stomach.  No one ever got into real trouble, and for all practical purposes, no real harm ever done.  At least none has ever been proven.

    On that date, the object of my attention was not a "girly" magazine but a "Classic Illustrated" comic book.  Those were the source of quickie book reports when you really didn't have or take time to read the book you were supposed to read.  It seems ironic that I bought a "Classic Illustrated" book to do my report, then went straight to the library and checked out a book to read for fun.  That just goes to show that what teachers assigned us to read was not necessarily what we wanted to read.  "Seven Days in May" was a much more interesting book to me.  I would do the required report on the required book, but that didn't mean I had to read it.  With a combination of "Cliff Notes" and "Classic Illustrated" comics, a student could do all the required reports throughout his educational process and never have to read a real book.  I wanted to read what I wanted to read.  I didn't have time to read what someone else wanted me to read.  It wasn't that I didn't like to read or wouldn't read.  It was just that my taste in literature and the educational system's taste in literature differed somewhat.

    So the report would be on what they wanted and they would be satisfied.  I would read what I wanted to read and I would be satisfied too.  As the French say "C'est la vie.""

        Memphis, TN -  I've started wearing the boot I got a few years ago when I suffered from  Plantar Fasciitis hoping it will prevent any further tendinitis and especially trying to prevent my Achilles tendon from snapping.   I find it is not such a pain to wear it when I am the one who prescribed it for myself rather than having some doctor tell me I have to wear it. I have avoided any additional side effects since I quit taking the Cipro and hope my problems will go away even though the warning said the side effects might be permanent.


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Side Effects

Don Wynn

Class of 67


    I am glad you have discovered what was causing your numbness.  With that knowledge, I hope you are able to adjust your medication so that this side effect goes away.

    I know from experience in my family that over-the-counter drugs can also have serious side effects.  One of my uncles became addicted to nasal decongestant spray.  He did not realize that he had become addicted.  Over a period of a few months, his physical condition steadily deteriorated as he emptied many bottles of nasal spray through constant use.  He lost his appetite and his weight plummeted.  His condition had gotten so bad that he could barely walk and could not drive.  He was about 75 years old at the time.

    He called one of his sons and asked him to go to the drugstore and to bring him a new bottle of nasal spray.  His son picked up a bottle and took it to his father.  While sitting in the kitchen, my cousin read the advisory panel on the box.  It listed all the symptoms that my uncle had along with the following phrase, "If you experience these symptoms, discontinue use and see a doctor immediately."

    My cousin drove his father to the emergency room where he was admitted to the hospital.  He spent several weeks in the hospital in serious condition and relapsed several times after that.  The doctors told my cousin that my uncle would not have survived even one more day without going to the hospital when he did.

    I have become very careful about any medication I take and haven't used a nasal decongestant spray since my uncle nearly died from using one incorrectly.

    On a side note, Janet Holland is a credit to our generation.  I can imagine the challenges she has faced and the sacrifices she has made.  Her mother is lucky to have her.  In fact, her mother probably taught Janet some of the lessons about character that she is demonstrating now.


Save the Date!
September 25 & 26, 2020
LHS Reunion
The Westin at Bridge Street
Huntsville, AL

More Information to Come Later
Reunion Contacts
Ann Wilson Redford (
Niles Prestage (
Sarajane Steigerwald Tarter (

Last Week's Name That Tune

Name That Tune

Jeffrey Fussell, LHS '66, "Still not getting them all. Not enough of the intro to #2 to ring any chimes.   The rest came pretty easy:"

“Born a Woman” – Sandy Posey
Woman something? 😊
“This Girl’s a Woman Now” – Gary Puckett
“Long Cool Woman” – The Hollies
“More Than a Woman” – Bee Gees

Last Week's Unknown Song
(I could not give any more of the intro since the next note is the title of the song.)

Woman by Peter and Gordon

    Peter and Gordon were a British pop duo, composed of Peter Asher (b. 1944) and Gordon Waller (1945–2009), who achieved international fame in 1964 with their first single, the million-selling single "A World Without Love". The duo had several subsequent hits in the British Invasion era.Peter and Gordon recorded several songs written by McCartney but credited to Lennon–McCartney. Those hits included "A World Without Love" (US & UK #1), "Nobody I Know" (US #12; UK #10), "I Don't Want To See You Again" (US #16, but not a hit in the UK), and "Woman".

    With "Woman", McCartney used the pseudonym Bernard Webb to see whether he could have a hit song without his name attached. First pressings of the US Capitol single listed the composer as "A. Smith". The song reached #14 in the US and #28 on the UK Singles Chart in 1966. Peter and Gordon also recorded the John Lennon-penned Lennon–McCartney song, "If I Fell", which was previously recorded by The Beatles and released on their 1964 album, A Hard Day's Night.

    Other hits for the duo included "I Go to Pieces" (US #9), written by Del Shannon and given to Peter and Gordon after the two acts toured together. Peter and Gordon had their last hit in the UK in late 1966 with "Lady Godiva", which reached #16 there (and #6 in the US). Gordon Waller died of a heart attack on 17 July 2009 at the age of 64.



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