View Issues‎ > ‎2020 Issues‎ > ‎2010 October 2020‎ > ‎

201005 October 5, 2020

 My Personal Top 10 
Important Places While Growing Up in Huntsville
The Countdown From 10 To 1 
#10 The Grand News Stand
#9 The Lyric Theatre
#8 Central Presbyterian Church 
#7 Goldsmith-Schiffman Field
 #6 The National Guard Armory
#5 Mullin's Cafe
Last Week #4 - The Parkway (Shoney's to Jerry's)
This Week #3 - Lee High School

Lee High School
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    You should all be able to relate to #3 on my list of places, our own Lee High School. I joined a lot of you late, not starting until the ninth grade of Lee Junior High. Most of you had attended Rison together, and although I finished the first grade at Rison, I left many of you behind in my life when my family moved into the East Clinton district. I had attended Huntsville Junior High (HJH) for the seventh and eighth grades before our move to McCullough Avenue. I don’t think I ever set foot inside Lee before my first day of class. It was new and modern, and all on one floor. Those of you who also attended Huntsville Junior High will remember how old, dark, and multi-level that building was, and what a contrast it was to Lee.

    I cannot remember the social interactions at HJH as much as I can at Lee. I am sure the one-floor design and the connecting hallways fostered that activity. We could all spend hours talking and probably wondering about the attraction of walking around and around the hallways before classes began and during our morning breaks. We all did that. 

    Lee gave me a foundation which made me the man I am today. It gave me the friends I still have today. It gave me crushes on girls, and memories of walking behind tight skirts and friendly smiles I can still recall today. It also exposed me to bullies which I had to learn to deal with and challenges I learned to overcome.

    For me, Lee was also an escape from the shadow of my brother. Don had been the sports hero three grades above me and prior to Lee I followed his school attendance. He continued on to Huntsville High School, but since we were in Lee Junior High’s district, I finally was going somewhere he had not been before me. I had to build and live on my own reputation. That said, there were still some girls at Lee who had known Don previously and saw me as a way to get to him. I didn’t really mind that.

    But, Lee gave me a chance to be my own self, and I took it. Though I did not excel in sports, I found my calling with the startup of the school newspaper. I learned how to type, which was the greatest skill I could have acquired, and I made friends – my own friends. 

    As we progress through the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades I continued to acquire friends and skills which would stay with me to this day. I met my best friend Bob Walker. I became great friends with Dianne Hughey and Carolyn McCutcheon and cannot begin to tell you the influence their friendships had on me. For a couple of those years my steady girlfriend Ginger was my constant companion in walking the halls and I learned the ups and downs of romantic relationships with her. I even learned about leadership as editor of Lee’s Traveller, and was amazed how even the nerd editor fit in with the beautiful cheerleaders of Lee.

    You would not be reading this today, had it not been for Lee. Most of you would probably not even know Tommy Towery exists. Had I not attended Lee my life would have taken a completely different route. Had I not become involved with the school paper I would never have elected to get a degree in journalism, and probably never learned to write. My 1963-64 journals of activities would have been completely different and so would my life.

    Like many of the other places I remember, the Lee I knew as a child no longer exists. But I know now it was not the physical building which I remember – it was the people and the experiences I had there. The Lee I knew back then will always remain in my memories.

    I cannot say it better than Robert E. Lee, as quoted in the photo above.


        Memphis, TN - John Sanders has been scanning and sending me copies of the 1967 Lee's Traveller, and as soon as I figure out the best way to share them with you I will do so. Many of you might not be aware, but I scanned the 1964, 1965, and 1966 copies of our yearbook, The Silver Sabre and posted them on If you go to that site and search for Silver Sabre you will find them. Just in sure you spell sabre correctly