Saturday, August 29, 2015

Carolyn Keziah Hudspeth Passes

Carolyn Keziah 1958

We were very fortunate that Carolyn stayed in touch with
Carolyn Leading an LDL

those of us in our class still around, attendng many LDL's and leading the discussions at several of them. I'm also personally very proud and flattered that Carolyn was a regular reader of this website.

We were very sad to learn that we lost another of our popular classmates this week, Carolyn Keziah Hudspeth.


Carolyn Hudspeth

  • "Deepest sympathy in the loss of Carolyn. I worked at Cytec..."

Carolyn Keziah Hudspeth CHARLOTTE - Mrs. Hudspeth, 79, of Charlotte, passed peacefully in her home on August 24, 2015. Carolyn was born on November 10, 1935, the younger of two children to Zebulon Vance Keziah and Guyoma Cline Keziah. She graduated from Central High School in 1954 where she met her husband to be Jackson G. Hudspeth. They were married June 8, 1957 and Carolyn became a Marine Corps wife as they took up residence in Quantico, VA, and then at Camp Lejeune, NC. In 1960, having started a family, Carolyn and Jack returned to Charlotte and settled into civilian life. Carolyn worked 40 years for American Cyanamid and Cytec Industries as an administrative assistant. She was an active member of Amity Presbyterian Church where she used her wonderful gift of hospitality to plan and participate in many church activities, as well as community events. Carolyn always looked forward to spending time with her sister and brother-in-law, Freda and Ed Donaldson, at their beach house on Isle of Palms, SC. She was most passionate about her children and grandchildren and loved attending their scholastic and sports activities. Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents Zeb V. and Guyoma C. Keziah. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Jackson Gregory Hudspeth, daughter Paige Bennett, of Mt. Pleasant, SC, sons, Mark Hudspeth (Jackie), of Holly Springs, NC, Leigh Hudspeth (Susan) of Waynesville, NC, and her grandchildren, Paul Bennett IV, Lauren Bennett, David Hudspeth, Brett Hudspeth, and her loving sister Freda Donaldson of Davidson, NC. A service to celebrate her life will be held at 11:00am Friday, August, 28, at Amity Presbyterian Church, followed by a visitation in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Amity Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund, 2831 N. Sharon Amity Rd., Charlotte, NC 28205. Condolences may be shared online through,
Funeral Home
- See more at:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What Ever Happened to

Pete Toomey
The late Pete Toomey, an old friend I knew from my WGIV days in the early 50s, made a tape recording of what he remembered about the history of that station. He stayed in contact with Bill Lineburger, the long time chief engineer of Charlotte's first "independent" station.

On that tape he mentioned a name that I heard many stories about, but never met. Since he was mentioned by so many in the broadcast business, I figured that our paths would cross eventually.

But they never did.

I never forgot his name though...and some of the stories about him.

But since my retirement, almost 2 years ago, I have time to do a lot of things I never found the time to do.  One of which is searching on the Internet.

However, I have come up with NOTHING but dead ends in my search for the legendary...CONRAD PHILLIPS.

All I know is that he was a great football player...for Central High before WW2...fought in that great war, losing both feet in the process, returned to Charlotte and was hired as a DJ for WGIV and attended Charlotte College......

Walter Cronkite and Julian Barber
My friend the late Julian Barber and he were good friends and Julian once told me a story about

It seems that he and Julian were going somewhere and they came upon a bunch of young boys playing football.  Conrad decided to coach them a little on the finer points of "passing" and "punting" the football.

The kids watched spellbound as he showed them exactly how to grip the football...and how to "lead" a receiver, etc.

They were in complete awe as this ex-football star began explaining the finer points of "punting;" how to grip it with the laces up and arms fully extended....then two steps and drop the ball....and KICK!

As his foot met the ball.....the perfect spiral sailed high in the air.

And so did his prosthetic foot!

Julian said he never saw a bunch of scared kids run home so fast!

So, if any of you know anything about CONRAD PHILLIPS......let me know.


LDL Report

By Jerry Gaudet

Some folks make a mighty effort to get to "LDL" gatherings.  With great help from his son Donnie, "Pookie" Conder rolled in to be with us and seemed to enjoy being with classmates.  Though "Pookie" can no longer speak, he can certainly communicate with his eyes and laughter.

Jim ("Pookie" and Don Conder
We are told "Pookie" suffered a stroke in 1989.  He was 53 at the time.  Son Donnie shares that prior to that he was an entrepreneur with interest all over the board.  Commercial Fisherman (shrimp), Bait and Tackle Shop in Beaufort, SC.  Owned a Restaurant (Steak and Seafood), A Fence Company and too many others things of interest to list.  His stroke was traced to a blocked artery.  He's resided in four different Assisted Living Facilities.  Each of his moves has been due changes in facility policies or moving him closer to Donnie. He's loved wherever he goes.  The present facility has over eighty women who pick at him...probably why he smiles a lot. 

Here's "Pookie's" contact information.  Get a card off to him, won't you?
James Thomas Conder
c/o Concord Place
2452 Rock Hill Church Rd.
Concord NC 28027

Or, an email can be sent to him by way of Donnie:

Or, you can contact "Pookie's" son at:
Don Conder
200 North Moose Rd.
Mt. Pleasant NC 28224
Telephone 980/722-7313

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's that time of year again...

Sarah Lynn Black

From at least the second grade on...whenever that number 6 Elizabeth bus I was riding up town would start down Elizabeth Avenue toward Central High, my eyes were glued to the right hoping to see that exciting billboard with the Wildcat's football schedule on it. I forget when exactly the new schedule was posted each year, but I think it was sometime in early summer.

Whenever it was, it got my heart beating faster imagining what the upcoming season would be like.

That was my very favorite billboard.

Last time I was in Charlotte, I looked for that billboard and noticed something slightly similar was there, but, of course it had nothing to do with Football.

But to this day, I think of that billboard whenever the pigskin season approaches.  I think perhaps because for so many of my impressionable years, the appearance of that sign was, to me, the harbinger of the approach of my favorite time of the year, football season!

The falling leaves, and cooler temperatures and all are nice...but, to me, the four seasons are Winter, Spring, Summer and Football!


PS....This is my favorite picture of that iconic Billboard. There's something about it that makes it simply unforgetable!   Hummmmm....

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Crime Stoppers

I see where someone started a fire in the  first floor bathroom of our old high school building.

It must not been much of a fire, since it only took firefighters 8 minutes to extinguished it.

But according to reports, the powers that be at the school followed the school's evacuation plan and everyone marched out of the school without panicking. The City shut down the Citi Gold Line Streetcar service and who knows what else.

According to the Observer, they have no idea who did this dastardly deed, but asked the public to contact CRIME SOLVERS if they have any idea.

I wasn' there, so I'm just guessing, but if John Otts were still in charge, that perp would have been wearing an orange suit by supper time that evening.

But, that was then, and this is now.

However, I'm happy to report that there are still a few plain speaking, no nonsense, people around; like this sheriff in Texas...


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mouse Travel

I had pleasant drive around Charlotte the other day, sitting here at my computer thanks, of course to Google Earth. When I take these virtual tours,  I always stop by the old CHS building to make sure the powers that be in Charlotte these days haven't embarked on another one of those"Renewal Projects," like they did back in the 60's, which Mary Kratt called their "Removal Project."
The town actually looks pretty good!  I "drove" around back of that grand old CHS building to see if I could figure where the field house used to be and noticed a "sick"looking, tree... is standing there now, which only confirmed my suspicion that
 nothing would ever grow well in the same spot where that
that foul smelling,
structure once stood.

I also noticed the name "Central High School" is still on the back of the building.  Or is that my imagination?

Sorry to see that almost all those great old houses on Elizabeth Avenue are torn down....but, progress.......?.......I guess.

I didn't see any "street theatre" scenes.....such as those that have shown up in other Google Earth shots.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Connect the Dots

In case you haven't made the connection yet.....

that lovely lady who just announced her candidacy for Attorney General of North Carolina, Holly Jones, is the daughter of our own Neil Jones!

Here's how the Associated Press covered the story:

Holly Jones
RALEIGH – Buncombe County commissioner Holly Jones announced Wednesday she’s running for lieutenant governor in 2016, saying she’d serve as a counterweight to the North Carolina legislature’s conservative agenda, in particular on its interference in local government affairs.
Jones, a Democrat, wants to replace Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who is seeking re-election. She would first have to compete in next May’s primary against 2012 Democratic nominee Linda Coleman, who narrowly lost to Forest in that year’s general election.
Coleman, a former legislator and Wake County commissioner, announced last February she would run again. Former longtime state employee Robert Wilson also plans to run in the Democratic primary.
A commissioner for seven years following seven earlier years on the Asheville City Council, Jones said she wants to present the state an “alternate vision” to what Republicans have offered since taking over all of state government.

I'm wondering if she is elected, and Neil says she will be, how is he going to address her?
Darling? Honey? Naw, forget that fatherly talk, he'll have to address her like everyone else.......

Madame Attourney General.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Finger Licking Good

KFC Restaurant
"There's no accounting for taste," goes the old expression, but personally, the Kentucky Colonel's "finger licking good" fried chicken is hard to beat.  In my opinion, it's the best since my Aunt Kathryn's (Charles Mateer's mother)  iron skillet fried Sunday dinner special.

( Sunday dinner, of course, was at 12 noon, right after church.)

As modest as I am, truth dictates that I admit that I am somewhat of a celebrity at my local KFC restaurant.  It's all because I mentioned one time that I knew the white haired, goateed old man in the white suit, pictured on the wall of the restaurant.

Not well, BUT I once spent a couple of hours with him when
Colonel Sanders
he was a guest on the TV show I was hosting.  (I only bragg about all the celebrities I knew to people who don't realize that anyone who ever hosted a local TV or radio show probably interviewed  at least a 100 "stars" whose 

PR people regularly booked them on as many stations as possible.)

The Colonel seemed to me to be a very 
nice, modest man...who had a lot to be 

modest about.  His early life was one of 

ups and downs, mostly downs, until his love of cooking finally paid off.

Prior to that he had held a variety of jobs, selling insurance, working for a steamboat ferry company and eventually took a correspondence course that allowed him to earn a law degree. 

However, he ruined his legal career by getting into a fist fight with his client in the courtroom.

Sanders First Restaurant in Corbin, Ky

Later he opened a restaurant in Corbin Kentucky and found modest success for the first time in his life. 

 But at the time of his 65th birthday the restaurant had ceased being profitable and he had completely used up his savings. 

 He was  dead broke.

Harland Sanders
Sanders used the money from his first social security check to travel by car, often sleeping in it, calling on restaurants to try his special chicken recipe and invest in its success.  He estimated that he called on 1009 restaurants, often cooking samples for the restaurants, before he got his first "yes" response. 

And, the rest is history.


I could also impress the workers at the local "Trader Vics," except for the fact that there is not one anymore close to where I live.

In fact, there are only 4 left in the United States.  But in the 1960's the "Tiki" theme was popular and a self promoter  named Victor Jules Bergeron changed the name and decor of the restaurant he owned in San Francisco, from "Rinky Dinks" to "Trader Vics."  (Rinky Dink was borrowed from he WW1 song, "Rinky Dinky Parley Vous.")

Bergeron told me that until he came along, there was no such
Victor Jules Bergeron
thing as "Polynesian Food."  He said he just made that up. 

He also "invented" himself, falling right in to the persona of a South Pacific trader/pirate.

His wooden leg (lost in a shark attack, he said) fit right in with  his new image with which he was known to entertain customers by sticking an ice pick in it.  Often he would tell people, "Never get one of these...unless you really need it."

I guess that was pretty entertaining after the customers had consumed a couple of Trader Vics other "invention," the Mai Tai.


Sunday, August 09, 2015


Remember how telegrams used to end sentences with the word "STOP," instead of a period?

The reason was because Western Union charged for punctuation, but not for words of only 4 letters.

Western Union Delivery Boy
I learned that small fact in an article I read about the 150 year old company sending its last telegram in 2006.

In its time Western Union played a huge part in this country's history.

It was an important part of my family as well. One of my father's first jobs was as a bicycle delivery
boy for Western Union. He later taught himself the Morse Code and worked as a telegrapher for the company.  My mother also worked at Western Union.  She retired from there after 40 years.

I often think of how depressing many of her days were...putting those telegrams together from the War Department during WW2 informing parents of the deaths of their soldier sons and daughters...and then sending them out to be delivered.

As far as I know, Western Union is still around, doing fairly well sending money orders.

But those "glory days" of bringing "earth shattering" news, both happy AND tragic, have STOP -ed.


Friday, August 07, 2015

LDL This Tuesday

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
We're sending you this personal invitation to join in.  We'd like to see you.  Help us spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Just be sure YOU, come!

-Jerry Gaudet

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Don't Believe in Ghosts

Of course not.

"Bloody Lane"  Antietam
But, to be totally honest, I sometimes get unexplained chills up my spine when visiting historical sites; Especially Civil War Sites.

Standing in the middle of "Bloody Lane" on the Antietam Battle field was almost painful. I'm sure it wasn't caused by "ghosts," but my own awareness of what happened there.

Nevertheless, I never tire of visiting Civil War sites.

A few years ago, I was driving back from a business meeting in Richmond when I spotted a sign just before  Fredericksberg pointing to the Stonewall Jackson Shrine, which is a fancy name for the farmhouse where Stonewall Jackson died.

Jackson had been wounded by "friendly fire" from members of the 18th NC regiment, led by John D. Barry who died two years later at age 27 according to his family as a direct consequence of his guilt and depression over his role in Jackson's death. This happened during the Battle of Chancellorsville when Jackson had his men continue fighting even after dark, which was unusual during the Civil War.

House where Jackson Died
It was dusk when I pulled off I-95 onto the road that led to the tiny community of Guinea, VA, which as far as I could determine is little more than a few houses and a stop sign. All of the National Parks have signs that announce they are closed after dark, and I was definitely pushing the envelope.  But there were no barriers to the entrance of the small parking lot, so I pulled right in. There were no other cars there either, nor did I see anyone. All I saw was a small white house, which according the the historical marker at the entrance to the parking lot was the house where Stonewall Jackson died.

In spite of the fact that all signs indicated that the "shrine" was closed, I tried the door anyway, and to my surprise it was unlocked. I went in thinking a park ranger must still be there. But got no response to my "Hello, anybody home?  

So, feeling like I really shouldn't be doing this, I became my own "tour director."  The room where
Bed where Stonewall died
Jackson died was well marked, indicating that the Clock, the meager furniture and the bed were all original and in their original positions.

It was in this room, and this bed, where Jackson uttered his famous "last words:+

“Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks”—then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Suddenly, I heard a voice from behind me say,

"The South lost the war when he died."

Startled is not a strong enough word to describe my reaction at that moment. I turned and saw another tourist who apparently had arrived after me that I had not noticed before. He was a tall man, about 40 years old, sporting a short beard. I said something inane like, "Oh....I didn't realize you were here...." Whereupon he repeated his belief that "The South lost the war the day Jackson died."

That's all he said.

He obviously felt very strongly about that. I could tell from his eyes....intense....yes, intense...maybe a little wild....

Perhaps he's a bit drunk, I thought. Whatever, it was I was not comfortable, so I made my way out of that house as quickly and as gracefully as I could. After all, how long can you stare at an empty bed.

Besides...I couldn't get "those eyes"....those wild blue eyes...out of my mind. Also, those chills I often get at Civil War sites were working overtime.

A Ghost?  No. I don't believe in ghosts.

But, as I pulled out of the small parking lot...I did notice that there were no other cars there.

I guess he walked.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Judy Anderson

By Jerry Gaudet

Judy Anderson
We are sorry to have received word through her sister that Judy Anderson Fainberg died the end of 2014 in Encinitas, CA. No other details are available.

"Best All Around"
An Internet search indicates she may have died 11/17/14.  Peggy Bedsol Gandy related that Judy suffered for many years from Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Judy also had three daughters, but no contact information is available.  Judy's husband, Bert, had died a few years earlier.


Sunday, July 26, 2015


Like many Charlotteans and particularly CHS graduates Charles Kuralt is considered by many of us as "our special celebrity."  I know he was very special to me.  I got to know him at UNC and worked for him on the Student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. I had never read this particular interview before......perhaps it's new to you as well.  Enjoy.

Excerpts from 1996 interview with Academy of Achievement
Kuralt's first journalism teacher, Anne BattenI HAD SEVERAL TEACHERS BEFORE college who were encouraging to me. In eighth grade there was a teacher named Anne Batten, who was the journalism counselor to the little school paper that we put out. She made me believe that I could do good work, and there were others. Thinking back on that, I am pretty sure that's what people of that age—seventh, eighth, ninth graders—need more than anything else. Just a little bit of encouragement. They need to believe, 'This is something I can do.' They need a compliment once in a while. Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students.
Pictureds: Anne Batten, Kuralt's first journalism teacher, at Alexander Graham Junior High School in Charlotte.

Charles Kuralt accepting Ernie Pyle AwardWHEN I FINALLY WENT TO WORK for my hometown newspaper, my folks were still very helpful to me. I think my mother had more doubts about my being a reporter than my father did. My father was a public figure. He was in the press all the time, trying to keep the county commission from cutting welfare benefits to poor children, and all that kind of thing. And it was a conservative community, so he was on the hot seat constantly, at war with the county commissioners. And my newspaper editorially sometimes supported the other side. My mother, at least twice, canceled our family's subscription to the newspaper I was working on, because she was so mad about its treatment of my father.

Pictured: Kuralt accepting the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award from Charlotte News Managing Editor Dick Young. Kuralt received the award for his "People columns.
Charles Kuralt at CBS in the early years

I RECOGNIZE THAT I HAD a good deal of good luck in my life. For one thing, I came along at a time when it was pretty easy to get a job in journalism. I went to work at CBS News when I was about 22, and within a year or so was reporting on the air. It's impossible to imagine that happening to a young person today. In those days, television was expanding so quickly that you didn't really have to have much age and experience. Almost any warm body would do. They were hiring people in those days just about as fast as they're laying people off in broadcast news today. So that was purely a matter of luck. I didn't have the ambition to be a broadcaster. I was going to be a newspaper reporter the rest of my life, but that opportunity came along, just because I was the right age. So luck has a part in it. I keep coming back to the passion for what I was doing. That was the overwhelming thing to me. Not where I worked, or where I lived, or how high I rose in the profession, but . . . just the joy of carrying my portable typewriter to an event and trying to describe it.

I BELIEVE THAT WRITING IS DERIVATIVE. I mean, I think good writing comes from good reading. And I think that writers, when they sit down to write, hear in their heads the rhythms of good writers they have read. Sometimes I could even tell you which writer's rhythms I am imitating. It's not exactly plagiarism, but it's just experience. It's falling in love with good language and trying to imitate it.

Kuralt as Sunday Morning HostI WOKE UP ONE DAY and decided I'd done it long enough. But looking back on it, I must say, it was a very satisfying life. There is also this element: I didn't know how to do anything else. I really couldn't have succeeded in the wholesale grocery trade. This was one thing knew how to do. Of course, as anyone does, I got better at it as I got older. As I look back on it now, I think I'd have done better if I had been a little more relaxed in my life. If I had not pressed quite so hard, if I'd not lost quite so much sleep. I don't think I had a reputation as a hard worker, but inside I was always being eaten up by the pressures. And I think I probably could have done a better job if I had been more mature and been able to take a deep breath and just say, 'Come on. Whether this story gets on the air tonight or not is not really the end of the world. We'll do our best, and that's all we can do.' But I was driven. Not on the surface maybe, but I had a tight stomach all the time. I actually developed ulcers. I don't think I could get an ulcer anymore. I think I've learned better than to put all that internal pressure on myself. I had terrible migraine headaches. The funny thing is, they always came on the rare day when I had a day off. I thought of them as Sunday headaches, because as long as I kept that spring tightly wound, I was fine. When I let it relax, then I suffered, because it was such a change.

Kuralt Accepting EmmyI'D LIKE TO WRITE SOMETHING that would live. It's getting a little late. I'd better get at it if I'm going to do that. In television, you know, everything is gone with the speed of light, literally. It is no field for anybody with intimations of immortality, because your stuff, by and large, doesn't live on. It's not easy for me to admit, but I would love to write something that people would still read 50 or 100 years from now. That comes with growing older, I think. You begin to think, 'Well, what have I ever done to benefit society? What have I ever written that would excite a young reader years from now, the way Mark Twain's journalism still excited me when I first read Roughing It and Innocence Abroad?' So we can't all be Mark Twain. In fact, I guess it's fair to say, none of us can be Mark Twain, except Mark Twain. But you do begin to yearn to write some thing that gains a little permanence.

Picture of the Week

OFrom Bob Ellis:

"This is my grandaughter with my 5 great-grandkids.   She is smiling because none of them are hers. "   -Bob

Like most Julys...this one has been hot...and slow. The days, especially, the scorching and humid ones seem to go on forever.  I now know first hand why the weather bureau advises chrononologically gifted people like us to stay inside.

Of course, there are those hearty souls who ignore advice like that and continue to "go, go, go."

Letty and Don Nance

Such as the reverend Don and Letty Nance who "blessed" us with a luncetime visit last Sunday. (Notice how I begin to talk like a preacher when I'm around one.) 

Anyway, Don brought with him a couple of jars of his "heavenly" homemade jelly that I simply can't get enough of!

Tristan Alexander
I noticed that the smiles never left Don and Letty's faces during their entire visit....undoubtedly the result of their newest grandchild, Tristan Alexander (their daughter Charlotte's baby and Jackson's brother.)


Thursday, July 16, 2015

So Long, Pluto

Clyde Tombaugh
As the spaceship New Horizons sinks slowly in the West, we say goodbye to the once proud planet Pluto (now but a mere Planetoid) and "Hello" to whatever else it can find way out there in the Kuiper belt.
Venetia Burney
Clyde Tombaugh was the young astronomer who discovered "Planet X"in 1930 (which was what it was called
until 11 year old Venetia Burney suggested the name "Pluto," to her father, who's good friend was a member of the astronomers in charge of naming planets.)

Pluto's Moiuntains

Clyde was on that New Horizons spaceship, by the way.  At least some of his ashes were. Information from this mission will be downloading for the next 9 months, so there may be a lot of "surprises" from the "by pass" of Pluto yet to come.  But two are already apparent:  there are mountains on Pluto, and there are no craters, such as those which are found on all the other planets. Scientists will have to come up with some explanation for that.

NASA  New Horizons Team

My hat's off to the NASA people who made this space mission so successful, and my eternal thanks to them for helping take my mind off  the mission here on earth by our President and Congress to............(fill in the blank)

And just in case, there are a few Americans left who are paying any attention at all to our out of control Government, a new diversion has just been introduced to the public:

Adult Coloring Books!

Adult Coloring Book