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200113 January 13, 2020


Looking Back at a Sunday
In 1964
Tommy Towery
LHS '6

    Back on the Sunday of January 12,1964, I recorded in almost Tweet word length my day’s activities in my journal. I remember my friend Bob was not a church going person.  I don't recall him ever going to church during high school.  He was not from Huntsville originally, and so he didn't have a group of friends he had started going to Sunday school with when he was young. I suppose he never made it into the church group later in his life.  Looking back, I don't know if he would have gone with me if he had been invited, but I never put him on the spot by giving him the opportunity.  I guess he just gave the impression that he was not interested and I respected his right to religious freedom.  The subject was never mentioned.

    Bob was financially better off in high school by not being a church goer. By not going to church it left his Sunday mornings and early afternoons free for him to work.  He usually took that shift as a carhop at Mullin's because so many of the other workers did go to church and they were always looking for someone willing to work their shifts for them.  In the early Sixties, only food places and drugstores were open on Sunday because of the Blue Laws.  Remember them?

    According to Wikipedia, “Blue laws, also known as Sunday laws, are laws designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious or secular reasons, particularly to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest. Blue laws may also restrict shopping or ban sale of certain items on specific days, most often on Sundays in the western world. Most blue laws have been repealed in the United States, although some states ban the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays and many states ban selling cars on Sundays.”

    For those of us growing up in the Sixties, it would be many years before we could go out on a Sunday and do any kind of real shopping.  Sunday was a day for church, and for rest.  Such was the belief in 1964.

    There was a historical activity taking place on that Sunday in 1964, however.  The third part of the Sabine Oral Vaccine to prevent polio was being administered to the people of Huntsville and fears of the dreaded disease were being put to rest.  I remember going to Lee and getting the oral vaccine by taking it via eating sugar cubes which the vaccine had been dropped onto with an eye dropper.

    Again from Wikipedia, “In the early 1950s, 25,000 to 50,000 new cases of polio occurred each year. Jonas Salk (1914–1995) became a national hero when he allayed the fear of the dreaded disease with his polio vaccine, approved in 1955. Although it was the first polio vaccine, it was not to be the last; Albert Bruce Sabin (1906–1993) introduced an oral vaccine in the United States in the 1960s that replaced Salk’s.” 

    Despite the Blue Laws, the newsstands were also open on Sunday, giving people a place to buy Sunday papers I suppose.  Although I most identify with being a patron of the Grand News Stand on Clinton, on the day of this journal entry I became a customer of another store. I remember the name of the establishment more than I remember the actual business – Andan’s Bookstand. On that day, the magazine of choice of the boy who wanted to be a writer was "Writer's Digest."  That was about the only serious magazine which I bought with regularity.  Of course I bought comic books and Mad Magazines and had a mail order subscription to Boy’s Life. I bought Writer’s Digest not so much to learn skills needed in to pursue my goal of being a writer, but because I felt true writers must have to buy such magazines to learn how to write and sell their stories.  Most of the articles were well above my level, and little was ever learned from reading them, but I saw it as part of the dues I had to pay to join the writing profession.  At that time, my main goal was to write poetry and sell it.  I had sent several poems off to kid's magazines, but had no luck in getting them published.  I felt that I needed the magazines to find out how to do it right, but they did not help.

    It would be many years before I actually reached my goal of being able to call myself a writer, but I think I needed some of the initial steps I took to get me on the right trail.

    Today, Bob is no longer with us but I still go to church regularly. I have avoided being plagued with Polio, and I write as an outlet and a hobby pastime. Who knows what foundations we laid in high school actually affected the rest of our lives?

        Memphis, TN -  If there is anyone who reads Lee's Traveller on a regular basis, I would guess Rainer Klauss would be able to tell me about Andan's Newsstand. Earlier I would have nominated Bobby Cochran, but we lost Bobby several years ago, so I can not count on him. I will leave the floor open to any of you who wish to help me in thoughts and the location of Andan's. I seem to recall it being in Parkway City Mall, but am not sure at all about that.

    As me move into 2020 I once again invite any of you with ideas about things you would like to see (or not see) in each week's Traveller to please contact me and give me your ideas. 

    And again, please insure you update me with your new email address should you change if you want to still receive my notices each week when the Traveller is published.

    And a final plea...should this week's issue trigger any memories you wish to share please email them to me.

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

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

Last Week's Name That Tune

Name That Tune

Jeffrey Fussell, LHS '66, "Despite q really BIG clue with the title theme, the best I can muster this week is a “Gentlemen’s C”.  I blanked on two artists and one title:" 
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” – The 4 Seasons
“The Big Hurt” - ?
“Big Man In Town” - The 4 Seasons
“You’re a Big Boy Now” – Lovin’ Spoonful
    I was in the 9th grade when, unbeknownst to my parents, I signed up with the Columbia Record Club. Six 6 albums for $1.00! My first selection of albums included the 4 Seasons.  Their vocal style fascinated me.  They seemed to get sidelined with the 1964 British Invasion. Matching outfits and natty haircuts didn’t comport with the Rocker/Mod styles of the Beatles and Rolling Stones.  But like a lot of excellent music, it endured.  After a decade of “Jersey Boys” on Broadway, Gaudio and Crewe stand shoulder to shoulder with Lennon and McCartney.

Linda Collinsworth Provost, LHS  '66, "I only recognize 2 of the songs this week."

The missing title from last week's contest.

Big Man

This Week's Name That Tune Group

Name That Tune