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200727 July 27, 2020


Static Test Firing

 The Days the Earth (Didn't) Stand Still
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

        I have been doing a little research for a project I am working on and got to thinking back about the Static Test Firings I remember from my days of growing up in Huntsville. As part of the Space Race the rockets being developed at Redstone Arsenal were often tested there and the results could be felt almost everywhere in town I think. 

        I specifically remember feeling the tests when I lived in my early home on East Clinton Street. There are always stories being circulated about dishes falling off tables and shelves and although I do not remember that ever happening at my house, I do remember windows rattling and the dishes in the cupboard clanking together as well. Of course this was always accompanied by the deep "freight train" roar made by the sound of the engines and often the distant skies were filled with smoke as well.

        Personally I do not remember any of the tests resulting in an explosion and I really don't think many of us actually considered the dangers involved with the activities going on at the Arsenal. I remember several Boy Scout activities out on the Arsenal and I remember going to an open house out there were the crowd of people attending were actually allowed to stand and watch one of the tests being performed, but I think that was before the Saturn V days.

        I was fortunate enough later in my life to be able to see a space shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral and have seen a couple of other "Rocket" launches, but I think I will always remember the test firing days of my youth more. I don't remember ever getting notice of when one was going to happen; I would just be sitting around the house and hear the sounds and start feeling the vibrations soon afterwards.

        Please, if any of you have you own memories of those tests, would you please share them with the group. I think that is a part of our history which is being lost by the younger generations. Send in the stories, we want to hear them.

Apollo 4 Launch

        Memphis, TN - Still socially distancing. I haven't shook anyone's hand or hugged anyone's neck since March. We are staying in except for doctor's appointments and food and necessity shopping. I have cancelled our Canadian cruise and we have not visited any of the family as well. Hope all of you are staying safe and surviving. Remember, this can't last forever.


This Week's Name That Tune Group of Songs

Began writing and recording music in 1956, and had first hit song in 1957.
Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1961.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class of 1986, and into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. 

1. What are the names of the five songs? (Yes, there are 5, listen carefully)
2. Who did them?


Thomas Davidson, LHS '69, "The songs this week were recorded by the Everly Brothers. The first song is Bye Bye Love.  The second is Cathy's Clown.  The 3rd song is All I have to do is Dream. ( one chord clue - - tough!) Number four is Let it be Me.  Finally, number five is Wake up Little Suzie. These guys had simple, genuine, and incredibly beautiful harmony!  Phil and Don are rightfully in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly, Phil passed away five or six years ago.

Jeffrey Fussell , LHS '66, "Tommy, you threw down the  glove on this weeks challenge,  While most of the clips were pretty recognizable as songs of Don and Phil aka The Everly Brothers, Number 3 was a challenge.  I heard a brief tremolo enhanced E chord. Full disclosure: While knowing the artist and having eliminating most of the other possibilities,  I confirmed my guess on YouTube before answering. Not sure if this puts me in the penalty box, but here’s my submission:

 “Bye, Bye Love”
“Cathy’s Clown”
“Devoted to You” X Wrong
“Let it Br Me”
“wake Up. Little Susie”

Max Kull, LHS '67

1. What are the names of the five songs? 

1 - Bye Bye Love
2 - Cathy's Clown
3 - chord.  Could be All I Have To Do Is Dream or Crying In the Rain but I'll go with "Dream" (Full Title "All I Have to Do is Dream")
4 - Let It Be Me
5 - Wake Up Little Suzie - My how times have changed..."our reputation is shot"...those lyrics would be "quaint" in today's culture.

Who did them?

The incomparable siblings, Don and Phil.

Assuming I'm right about "Dream", 3 of the 5 were written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, the great songwriting couple who wrote a great many of the Everly Brothers hits.

Linda Kinkle Cianci, LHS '66, "The Everly Brothers were probably my favorites in the late 50s and early 60s.  I think I started dancing my version of rock 'n roll when I was about 10 years old. We had a small record player that could blast sound through the neighborhood.  During that time, kids rarely played indoors during the day.  If we went inside, we were given work to do.  So, Mom had us take our record player out onto the porch to blast away, while kids from the neighborhood gathered - Jerry Brewer, Dwight Tuck, Shelia Walker & others.  I can remember Mom telling us, over and over, to turn it down because the neighbors were going to complain (and they did). Our brood was wild enough without adding another reason for complaints. That lasted about two minutes, then the volume went back up.  Add to that mix a barking dog, and several kids singing along at the top of our lungs, and you can envision the scene.  Every couple of weeks, our cousins would come to "town" from Meridianville and we were allowed to roll back the area rug in the living room and dance to those 45 rpm records.  Fun childhood memories! I missed that chord for #3 the first five or fifteen times I listened, until I finally figured out that there must be a blip of a single chord hidden in there somewhere (thanks for the tip).

This week's movie is a comedy about a French Detective who is on the trail of a jewel thief.  
The movie has been selected as ‘culturally relevant’ by the Library of Congress and is permanently stored in their Film Registry.
This movie was the first one in an entire group of related movies.  In fact, it could be considered to be the cornerstone of one of the first movie franchises.
This movie illustrates the idea that things may work out in a positive way even when you don’t execute very well at all.
What was the movie and how did it get its name?
Who was the main character and the actor who played that role?
Who was originally considered to be the star of the movie and got top billing?
Can you hum the theme song of the movie?


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Clothing Fads

Max Kull

LHS '67

    A couple for your list...Madras Shirts and Turtlenecks.

    (Editor's Note: I also missed Leisure Suits)

Subject: Mrs Vernon
Spencer Thompson
LHS '64

    Thanks for the obit. Do you know if any of our other teachers are still living.



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