Friday, April 19, 2019

My Latest...

...favorite Hillbilly song title:

"If Your Phone Don't Ring,
It's Me"

Weakly Reader By Warren Sparrow

The Weakly Reader
Volume V, No. 1
Forest City, North Carolina
18 April 2019
From the Town of Forest City, North Carolina, I welcome you on this bright April
morning to the latest edition of The Weakly Reader. What a month this April has been. In the
aftermath of the Notre Dame fire, many folks are having a hard time saying “Happy Easter.” To
make matters more unsettling came the strange behavior of a woman obsessed with the
Columbine massacre of 20 years ago. We still have 13 days to go!
Amidst all this angst let us not forget “that famous day and year.” Yes, it was “the
Eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five,” according to Longfellow who wrote about it 85 years later
(April 19, 1860). We all know the story of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. How long has it been
since you read Longfellow’s account? I am not sure I ever read “the whole thing”… until
The Weakly Reader humbly presents the following abridged version of “The Midnight
Ride of Paul Revere:”
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the Eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
(Paul tells his pal to hang a lantern or two, etc.)
Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her mooring lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
(Paul’s pal wanders through town, looking for clues.)
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
(Meanwhile, Paul is antsy, waiting for the signal from his pal.)
And lo! As he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And, yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
(Paul is on his way. In Bedford he hears the crowing of a cock, the barking of a farmer’s dog.)
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,--
How the farmer’s gave them ball for ball….
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
There you have it. Big April: Easter and The Midnight Ride, together By the way,
both events needed someone to spread the word. Who? Naturally, two guys with the same
name: Paul.
Thanks for listening. Happy Easter and God bless America!
The Weakly Reader
Warren Sparrow, Editor and Publisher
165 Fox Run Road, Forest City, NC 28043

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I Remember

...the coach telling us, in the locker room, before the game....that
" will remember this for the rest of our life..."

And that was true. those games...the practices...the windsprints….in 90 degree summer weather…"cotton mouth".....

Yes, I remember.

And the games....I remember some of those too.

But, the "real" action.....or so I was led to believe. began after the game.

Now, donl't get me wrong, I/m talking about the victory parties, etc.

all riight, maybe a kiss or two from my girlfriend...but that's it.

However, truth be known, that's why I, and just about every other high school male, put up with such physical torture.

The mental picture in my mind...was of an after the game photo of the girlfriend of the her gridiron  hero looking longingly  into his eyes.....just before the  kiss.

But the truth was:

"Don't spend so much time in the locker room talking with your buddies...….we've got to be at the after the game party in 30 minutes."

"Yes Dear."


Monday, April 15, 2019

Oh, say. can you see......

Somewhere,and don't ask me where, I came across the lyrics of  what was called "The Central High School Anthem."   The only thing I remember about it were the first few lines.....which were…..  "On the banks of Sugar Creek...…"

Well, that's what killed it for sure.  Otherwise, we probably would have sung it at our graduation.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

College Days

I still have my  "beanie" that freshmen at Furman were required to wear.

It's a little blue cap with a big F on the front.

The purpose was to let the upper classmen know who they could harass without consequences...for at least a semester.

It was not a fun time for me.  After all, this was college, for crying out loud ...not junior high school.

But it was "tradition"....held over from the 1930's or so.

I chose to go to Furman because my boss at WGIV, Francis Fitzgerald, a man I greatly respected, went there.

During the 3 months or so I was there, I never felt real comfortable.  Too many things just didn''t match my idea of what I thought college should be like.
For one thing, boys and girls were housed...not only in different dorms....but dorms 15 miles apart....on the other side of town.

The girls dorm was called "The Zoo."  That was the OFFICIAL name...not a nickname, but the official name!   (A great injustice however....because some of those South Carolina girls were absolutely  beautiful!)

Our dorm had a "Den Mother."  We were required to be in our rooms by `10pm each night......

This wasn't my idea of "college life."

I transferred the very next semester to UNC.

It wasn't perfect, but it was where I should have been from the very beginning.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Violin Lesson

I was in the fourth grade at Elizabeth School when a music teacher came in our classroom with his violin...with the purpose of getting kids interested in learning a musical instrument.
He gave his talk about the "joy" and benefits of learning to play an instrument....mainly to deaf ears.
Then, he put the violin to his chin....and began to play a few bars of "The William Tell Overture"....also known as "The Lone Ranger's theme song!"

It was an epiphany moment for me!  I was hooked.  I didn't put the violin down very long for the next 12 years.

I took private lesions from a wonderful man, Michael Wise as well as a very nice lady, Mrs Evelyn Spratt.  Both terrific teachers!

But the lesion I remember most happened one hot summer day when I was practicing a particular  difficult passage of music  I was preparing for an upcoming  concert with the very professional Charlotte Symphony. I was honored to be selected to perform with them for one concert.

But that one particular passage....had me completely baffled. I tried playing it several different ways...but none seemed right.  And there was no one I knew of that I could call to find out.
Then I heard a voice from my open window…...
"Pardon me," he said.
It was the yard man....the man my Mom had hired to cut our lawn.
"I couldn't help but listen to you practicing....and I must say you sure do a fine job with that fiddle.
but, you're misreading that particular passage you're working on. "
Then, he went on to describe how it should be played.

At my next lesson with my teacher, Mr. Wise, I played the passage as the yard man had told me....and Mr. Wise was amazed... and impressed.  He said I was the only student of his who had ever interpreted it correctly.

I just smiled.


Monday, April 08, 2019

"Pow, Pow, Splat..."

"Look, look.
See Dick.  See Jane...….go up the hill."

Now which one of those "stories" do you think 5 year old Eddie Myers couldn't wait to read?

You got that right. "Pow, Pow , Splat" comic books won every time.

What happened after Dick and Jane went up that hill....would have to wait a few years before Eddie and his buddies would give a hoot about that.

As good as our teachers were....they could only lead us in the right direction. To really learn anything, bottom line is......YOU have to teach yourself!

And to do that have to WANT to learn....whatever the particular subject is.

I think if one of our teachers had told me WHY...........I wanted to learn algebra...I would have done much better.


Sunday, April 07, 2019

Buying Time to Think

"Well, well, well...….said the three Artisions…..."

Now that makes no sense whatsoever.  But I've been saying that for years....

I think it's something I say when my mind is in a "holding patterrn."

That is, when I'm confronted with something that is totally unexpected.....and I really don't know what to say......but I know that I'm expected to say something.

Uttering that meaningless phrase....allows me to borrow a little time while I try to think of something

President Nixon used a similar technique.....he used to say, "About that....let me say this....."  which gave him a few seconds to organize his thoughts.

That's my opinion anyway....


(to be continued...)

Friday, April 05, 2019

Nancy Robinson Passes

By Jerry Gaudet

I was saddened to receive the following email:

"I am Jack Heintzleman, husband or your classmate, Nancy Robinson.  I am sad to report that Nancy died last Thursday, March 28th.  She was buried in the Bridgewater, Virginia town cemetery.

Nancy has enjoyed reading emails concerning the activities of  her Central High School friends.  Thanks for your many notices.

Go well, Jack "

We have the following contact information:
Mr. Jack Heintzelman
Sunnyside Eiland Assisted Living Center
3935 Sonnyside Dr, Suite B, room 366
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Everybody Has at Least..... great true story to tell!

I believe that.

My son David and I were sitting at a restaurant in Falls Church, VA a few years ago when I departed this great wisdom to him.

"For example," I said, "I'll bet our waitress, who just served us...has experienced at least one unique and fascinating event in her life."

So, to  prove my point, I asked her, as she was serving our coffee, to tell us of her most exciting  event in her adult life.

"Easy," she said. "I'll never forget  it. It was the day...not long ago, if fact,
right here at this very table....

that I served Buck Owens' bus driver..."

"How's your schoolwork coming ,Son...….…."



Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Next LDL Tuesday April 9

Our usual disclaimer (and vision test)...This message is being sent to all CHS'54 classmates for whom we have an E-mail address. We recognize that many of you live great distances away and may not elect to "do lunch", but we want you to know what we are doing and hope you'll come when you can.

You've waited long enough to hear! The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on...
Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please tell other classmates!  Invite them to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
Hope you get the idea that we'd really like to see you and sure hope you'll come!


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Obie Retires

Carolinas Freedom Foundation Announces

Retirement of Longtime Executive Director Osborne “Obie” Oakley
and Hiring of New Executive Director Susan Perry Yarber
Charlotte, NC January 15, 2019...Osborne (Obie) Oakley retired in January 2019 after serving 16
years as the original Executive Director of the Carolinas Freedom Foundation. The organization
conducted a regional search and is pleased to announce that Susan Perry Yarber has been hired
as the organization’s new Executive Director.
When the Carolinas Freedom Foundation was founded in 1995 by former prisoner of war and
retired Air Force Col. Quincy Collins, he drafted fellow Citadel alumnus Oakley to manage the
foundation’s programs, including its signature events: the Carolinas Freedom Foundation
Veterans Freedom Breakfast and the Carolinas Freedom Foundation American Airlines
Veterans Parade.

After serving as a Green Beret in the Army, Oakley returned to Charlotte and ran his family’s
successful printing business. In addition, he worked to create service opportunities for himself
and his fellow veterans. Thirty years ago, Oakley and two friends raised the money to build the
Vietnam War Veterans Memorial in uptown’s Thompson Park. He has: chaired boards, raised
money and awareness, and been a prime force behind the Carolinas Freedom Foundation. For
his tireless work to serve others, the Army honored Oakley with its highest civilian award, the
Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

Susan Perry Yarber is the organization’s new Executive Director. Yarber’s multilayered
background includes marketing at Fletcher, Barnhardt & White, non-profit management and
fundraising through her years with the Charlotte Chamber, Alliance Credit Counseling,
Blumenthal Performing Arts, and more. Yarber’s family has deep connections to many branches
of the armed services. With years of experience in events and volunteer management, Yarber is
already an asset to Carolinas Freedom Foundation.

Carolinas Freedom Foundation has retained Terri DeBoo of Terri DeBoo Ideas@Work, a
Business Growth Advisory firm, to manage the Executive Director transition and coordination of
corporate and individual fundraising.

Carolinas Freedom Foundation strives to inspire patriotic citizenship in our youth and community through the
service of our veterans and first responders.vCarolinas Freedom Foundation Announces

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Funeral for Bobby Wells' brother, Ed

Fw: Ed Wells Funera - Update


John Lomax

1:46 PM (4 hours ago)
to Undisclosed

Dear Classmates,  The following emails regarding services for Ed Wells were sent by Walter Mills. 
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 10:10 PM
Subject: Re: Ed Wells Funeral - Update

UPDATE - A cookie and punch reception will be held in the Worship Center foyer after the 1 PM service on 3/30.   Walter
On Wed, 20 Mar 2019 21:58:37 -0400 <> writes:
The service for Ed Wells will be on Saturday, March 30th at 1 PM at First Baptist Charlotte.. 
This is a week from this Saturday.  There are extended family members that cannot be here until later.  I am not sure about receiving of friends at this time.  I will let you know when I hear more.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Stop Look Listen

Back in the late 60's , when environmentalism was the "big thing"...I was flying back from a business trip...and Ralph Nader, the first environmental "super star" was on the same plane.  I knew him because he had been a guest on my TV show a couple of times.

Sitting beside him was obviously a school teacher....she had no idea who was next to her because she was totally occupied grading papers.
A good guess would have been that they all had something to do  with "environmentalism"....the things around us.....since that was such a hot topic in schools back then.

What a fantastic story she could have told her class the next day!

Instead,  I'll bet she lectured the class on....oh, something like...."We've got to start paying attention to our "environment"...and the things around us...…..because, if we don't ….we only have 10 more years to live.!@

Just a guess.


Thursday, March 07, 2019

When the Rubber hit the Road

This ain't about driving.

It's about walking.

Walking to the Kiddie Show at the Visualite Theater when Jimmy and I were about 9 years old.

He had found some strange balloons in his father's bedroom drawer  and asked me what I thought they were.

I replied, "They are balloons, you Bozo.  Haven't you ever seen balloons?

Sure enough, we blew them up, and although their shape was a little was oblong, instead of the usual "round" shape...of most balloons, they were balloons all right.

But, they must have been some kind of special balloons...because, I never saw so much attention from passing traffic that we got that day from those balloons!

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

LDL Tuesday March 12th

Our usual disclaimer (and vision test)...This message is being sent to all CHS'54 classmates for whom we have an E-mail address. We recognize that many of you live great distances away and may not elect to "do lunch", but we want you to know what we are doing and hope you'll come when you can.

The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on...
Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please tell other classmates!  Invite them to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
Hope you get the idea that we'd really like to see you and sure hope you'll come!

Monday, March 04, 2019


I've forgotten his name...but for this story, I'll call him Mr. Smith. He was once the richest man in the little town where my Dad grew up...and once tipped my Dad 5 dollars (a huge amount back then....when Dad was a delivery boy for Western Union.)
Like a lot of people, he lost most of his money during the depression and wound up in his old age destitute and a resident of the "Old Folks Home" outside of Charlotte.

My Dad would visit him occasionally on Sunday afternoons and on this particular Sunday, my Dad decided that he should bring the old man a gift. Earlier that week my Dad had bought me my first watch, a pocket watch. Dad asked me if I would let him give my watch to Mr. Smith and he would buy me another one the following day.  I said yes.
The following day, as the owner of a brand new pocket watch, I was proudly showing it off to my buddies.  They  were obviously impressed because the next day while waiting for the bus, they told a group of "big boys" about my new watch.

"Oh, let' see it," one of the boys said. "Yeah, let us take a look."

So, I took the watch out...and handed it over for them to admire. The oldest boy in the group. took the watch...and threw it as far as he could into the weed covered lot.  Just then, the bus arrived and they all got on...still laughing.  I boarded the bus as well, since I had a dental appointment.

It was in the daylight of the next day before I could search for my watch, and search I did....but to no avail. I searched for the rest of that week in fact, but it was not to be found.
I finally just gave up.  A couple of months later, they built a house on that lot.

I was tempted a few times to knock on the door and  ask the new residents if they ever heard any strange "ticking" sounds...……..but I decided against it.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

I Changed My Mind

Forget what I wrote about giving up this website. I changed my mind. Posting is difficult with my failing eyesight...but not impossible. This is one of the few links I have to some of the finest people I was privileged to know. So I'm not going to do that. My magnifying glass and I are going to continue.....!!

Every Boy...

....wants his father to be proud of him! No doubt that was a major factor in my case. Practicing football in 95 degree August weather was not something you did for the fun of it. There had to be another reason....a compelling one. Impressing the girls was one, of course but perhaps even more important was th almost universal desire of boys to impress their fathers! I remember vividly the first time I impressed my father. What a great feeling! And, it wasn't anything I did. No. It was somethin many of you dear readers did. It was one Valentine's evening when I was in the fourth grade, I believe, and I had brought home all the Valentines I had received and showed them to my Dad. He was obviously impressed by the sheer number of cards....and began reading the notes on each one. He literally "beamed." "You have a lot of friends, Son. I'm proud of you!" T Thanks to all of you! -Ed

Friday, February 15, 2019

Everyone Has Them

I suppose....I call them my "Believe it or Not" moments....after the famous Robert Ripley. After my radio and TV career...I spent a couple of years as a salesman...selling film processing services...mainly to government agencies. A big part of my job was entertaining our clients...aka taking them to lunch on a regular basis. Leo, who later became a great friend, was the point man for my largest of the major government agencies. Leo LOVED "Strip Bars." And that's where we wound up every time I took him to lunch. (Oh,what sacrifices I made for that company!) I remember so well the first time I invited him to lunch...and asked him where he'd like to go. He replied, Anywhere there are dancing girls." I told him that was fine with me....but, he'd have to pick the place...because …..I like dancing girls as much as the next guy, but I'Vw worked out of my home for several am not up to speed as to what is happening in downtown DC. So he picked the place , and as we entered...there was already a girl dancing on stage...which we had to go right past to get to our seats. She was totally naked. We passed no more than 3 feet from her as we walked toward our seats....and as we passed by she looked down...and said...."Hello, Mr. Shephard!" "So, you've never been here before, eh?" said my friend. "That's right....I've never been here before. The reason she knows me is because.....she is the daughter of one of my neighbors." "Fast thinking, but I don't believe a word of it." But, it was true! One of my "Believe it of not" moments. -Ed (This story happened many years ago...perhaps 15 or 20. ) -Ed

Monday, February 11, 2019


I've been posting on this website for about l0 years or so....and I've enjoyed every minute of it.....but the time has come for me to step down. Eyesight is my main problem.  Overall, I
am healthier than I have a right to be.
But the time has come for me to .hopefully, let someone  else maintain this  website

I'm hoping Warren or Obie...or  another of our sterling CHS54 pals will find time enough to continue this.  There are no statistics on how many of you look at this site ….but I'm sure a bunch of you do.  Its a great way to stay in touch with our dwindling number of classmates

Whoever takes it over will probably use a different URL  (address. I'll be sure to let you know what that soon as possible.
 I/m not going anywhere....I'll be right here  and will certainly  "chime in" from time to time.

Best wishes to you all.....and thanks for "listening" all these years!


Wednesday, February 06, 2019

LDL Feb 12th

What's up for you next Tuesday?  Maybe you could give us a try, huh?

The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on...
Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

The Next LDL

Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please tell other classmates!  Invite them to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
Hope you get the idea that we'd really like to see you and sure hope you'll come!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Looking for his Mother

Hickman, Charles (Penske)

9:27 AM (8 hours ago)
to me
I’m trying to find anyone who might have known my mother when she was at Central High. Her name was Martha Anne Mungo. Could you possibly help? She was born in 1941 so I think she may have been in the class of 59.