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200824 August 24, 2020


 Annalie Butler Maynard
LHS '65
? - August 17, 2020

    Annalie Butler Maynard, age 73 of Brownsboro passed away Monday, August 17, 2020.

    She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Gordon Maynard; children, Todd Maynard (Brandy) and Brant Maynard (Elesha); nine grandchildren; two brothers, Bill Butler (Arlene), and Phillip Butler (Becky); sister, Donna Barnhart (David); and a number of nieces and nephews and loving family members.

    Mrs. Maynard retired from the Madison County School System, and was a member of Life Church Huntsville.

    Burial was in Maple Hill Cemetery.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

        Memphis, TN - Last week I began trying to collect the names of my classmates who had spouses who were veterans and as of today I have only had five responses. I know there are more than that out there. I know of at least two of my close friends who were and have yet to respond. So, I am going to continue to collect names for a while. These will be included in my Veteran's Day Tribute in November, so please help me if you can.

My Personal Top 10 Important Places While Growing Up in Huntsville
The Countdown From 10 To 1
Last Week #10 The Grand News Stand
This Week - # 9 The Lyric Theatre

The Lyric Theatre
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    The Lyric Theatre was a big and dark and exciting place, full of fun and thrills, and later even romance. When I was growing up it offered the most fun a kid could have on a Saturday in Huntsville. Though it had an exotic name (Theatre and not Theater) few people in Huntsville would say they were going to the “theatre.” That phrase seemed too hoity-toity for the small Southern town folks. When I was growing up, my crowd usually didn't even say we were going to the movie. We said we were going to the "picture show" or "show" for short. Even when I started dating, I asked girls for dates with the phrase "Do you want to go to the show with me?"

    Saturdays were special. There were usually double feature movies at the Lyric Theatre every Saturday morning. Before those started there was a special showing we commonly called a "Kartoon Karnival." It was about an hour of nothing but color cartoons and on days that there wasn't anything unusual playing, it cost ten cents to get in. During at least one summer there was a special event on Tuesday mornings when the admission price for a movie and cartoons was an empty Golden Flake Potato Chips bag. I never knew why they wanted them. When I was a kid, whole Saturdays were spent in theatres, no matter what was showing.

    The Kartoon Karnival was the epitome of what children liked and adults hated about movies. There was plenty of screaming and yelling and running through the aisles and throwing of popcorn and candy wrappers. Perhaps it was held to give the kids a time to do things without disturbing the adults. The kids loved it.

    During one period kids were given a special ticket when they entered the theatre. These were not the normal door-prize type tickets, but big ones about two inches square with a big number ranging from one to 16 in the center. These tickets were used in the “Crazy Races” part of the Saturday morning activities. Sometime during the morning, a special short film was shown with “Crazy Racers” and each racer wore a number. The races were conducted in the mode of the Keystone Cops or Our Gang type films and at the end of the short 15-minute or so race one racer won. If your ticket matched the winner’s number, you were a winner as well and went up on the theatre stage and received a prize. Usually 15 or 20 prizes of some type of games or toys were given to the lucky few. There were only a limited number of the race movie plots, but each movie had many different endings so the same number did not always win the same race each time you saw it. After getting up early on Saturday mornings for two years and faithfully going to the movies, my number finally came up and I won a clay construction set.

    On some Saturdays the Lyric Theatre held live talent shows with special prizes for the winners. During one period the event was broadcast live on WFUN radio. Five or 10 people got up on the stage and performed their act and then the master of ceremonies would let the crowd pick the winner by yelling or applauding. There was not a lot of talent displayed but someone was always a winner. I don't even remember the prize I won the time my brother Don got all his friends to clap for me after he had goaded me into getting up on the stage and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." I think I was about seven then.

    In the early days of dating, before we had driver’s license to make trips to the drive-ins, downtown movie dates were common. They gave the young people a place to sit in the somewhat private darkness with whomever they currently had a crush on. If you were lucky, or knew someone who worked there as an usher, you could escape to the privacy of the balcony.

    It was as private as you could get, considering you were sitting in a room with a hundred or more people, all who seemed to be watching you instead of the movie. The movie dates had one other thing going for them - they were cheap, since in the early stages of dating you usually met your date inside the theatre instead of having to pay her way.

    Many first dates were to movies and many first kisses were made in the dark of the flickering projector lights. Kids started movie dates before they had any other way of dating, so it was up to the girl to get her own transportation to the movie and the boy did likewise. Usually you met each other inside the dark theatre and whoever got there first saved a seat for the other. It didn’t matter what was playing on the screen - that was not the reason for being there anyway.

    1n 1954 the admission price for children at the Lyric and other theatres was 15 cents. By May of 1960 the price had gone up to 25 cents for children and 75 cents for adults. That was three times as much for an adult ticket, so many kids tried to stay “children” as long as they could to avoid paying the higher price. Now if it was an adults-only movie, then they tried to be “adults” and were more than willing to pay the extra cost of the ticket for the chance to see something they were not supposed to be old enough to watch.

    I have a couple of special memories of going to the Lyric as a kid. One was when I went with my grandmother to see “Alice in Wonderland” and I got so scared when she was falling down the hole I made my grandmother get me out of the theatre and take me home. The last movie I saw in a theater with my grandmother before she died was a John Wayne movie. She loved John Wayne movies. I also remember going to see “The Music Man” at the Lyric in 1962 and meeting my girlfriend inside. We watched about 10 minutes of the movie together before we snuck out and went to a much more private location and had to rush back in time for her father to pick her up back at the theater at the appointed time. Luckily no one ever questioned either of us on what the movie was about. Funny thing though, later in my life I found that it became one of my favorite movies and I loved the soundtrack. I also got to meet Meredith Willson, who wrote it, in person after a live performace when I lived in Fort Worth, Texas. 

    I have so many other stories about going to the Lyric I could write a book on just those times. Even though it was special, it comes in at number nine on my top 10 list.

Still looking for Spouses of Veterans and Veterans

    I am adding a form below to collect information of the spouses or ex-spouses of veterans. The veterans do not have to have graduated from Lee High School, but I am only interested in the spouses who did. So, if you were/are married to a veteran, then please fill out the form below so your service can be recognized.

Information for Spouse of Veteran

    And, if you are a veteran and feel your name is not on the list we have shared for the last couple of issues, then please fill out this form.

Veteran Information