Friday, December 25, 2009

Teriffic Christmas Present

...for Betty Rose and Lou Palomba!

"....I am so glad to be writing this email today to let you know that Lou came home yesterday from Duke University Hospital. The best part was that he was declared "cancer free"!. Wasn't this a wonderful Christmas present for us? It will be a lengthy recuperation with several restrictions imposed by his doctor. Among those are no driving, dietary issues, and to stay away from crowds and malls for fear of contracting anything during this cold and flu season. Believe me, we have felt, throughout this process being surrounded by all the love, caring, healing thoughts and prayers that you have sent to us. It was a tremendous support system and we appreciate and say thank you to all of you for your help.

It was difficult for me to communicate with you via email while at Duke because the computers at the Duke Library in the hospital were not convenient for me. However, now that we are home both Lou and I are checking our emails.

Once again, thank you, thank you for your support and above all thank you for your friendship with us! Happy Holidays each and everyone of you."

Much love, Betty

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jerry's UpDates

How fortunate we are to have Jerry Gaudet, our official Keeper of Records!!

His email "blasts" keep us informed about the going-ons of our classmates. His latest was a reminder to include Jackie Hart Lookabill and Betty Rose (Templeton) Palomba and husband Lou in our prayers.

LaGena, Jackie and Gene's daughter, informs us that Jackie will undergo a medical procedure on Tuesday December 29th.

Betty Rose reports that husband Lou is improving, but not out of the woods yet. However, he's receiving the best medical care possible at the Duke Medical Center....and the added benefit of the greatest nurse he could possibly have...........his wife, Betty Rose.

And speaking of top notch medical care, Bob Ellis reports that his brave grandaughter, Courtney, in Tennesee, has an appointment with one of the finest physicians at the Vanderbilt Medical Center on Tuesday the 5th of January and hopefully will discover the cause of the awful pain in her leg.

Keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers during our 73rd Christmas.

And a little prayer for the rest of us wouldn't be a bad idea either.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prayer Request

Bob Ellis has requested that we send up prayers for his oldest granddaughter who lives in Tennessee.

 "...her problem started several months ago when she noticed a small dimple on the side of her leg.Later a small bump appeared just above the dimple. Later she started experiencing pain. The pain reached the point that she went to the family doctor, who in turn sent her to an orthopedic doctor who scheduled an M.R.I..  After the holidays,she will see a cancer specialist..Our family believes very much in prayer and hopefully some of our classmates also do"

Many, Many THANKS


Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Card From Shirley

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Class of CHS'54!
It has been rather busy for me going back and forth daily for radation
these past 2 wks and then loosing the energy. But things moving
along just fine.

I want to thank each and everyone for the lovely, gorgeous and
so much appreciated Lap Shawl (presented at LDL). Who ever did it, thank you so
much! You all have been so wonderful and thoughtful with cards,
calls and goodies this year during my medical time. I will love all
of you for it always and just because you are so special in my

May God be good and caring to all of you during this blessed
time of the year."

Shirley Maynor

(Scroll down and view the LDL Christmas Luncheon Video to see Santa's helper give Shirley her gift.)


If this website had an "Official Christmas Tree," like Washington does, I would want it to look like this one.

This one is in Don and Lettie Nance's yard in Whytheville, VA. also known as "The Crossroads of the Blue Ridge." (The town, not their yard.)

The storm dropped 13 inches of snow at his house before moving on up to Washington, DC where it dumped 2 feet of the stuff Bing Crosby sang about.

Here in Falls Church, VA......folks are still pretty much hunkered down. the road crews did a good job this time so getting to the grocery store possible, but not recommended. I've heard some folks referring to this local record breaking snowstorm  as the "SNOWPOCALYPSE."

That's cute, but I don't believe that nickname will stick around as long as the snow does. We'll have our White Christmas this year, but by New Year's day, it will be gray.

By spring, black.


Saturday, December 19, 2009


So far the Washington/Northern Virginia area of the country (which includes the CHS54 Corporate Headquarters/also known as "Ed's Basement.) is currently covered with 10 inches of global warming. 10 more are expected....along with wind gusts of 40 mph for the rest of the day.

The reason I mention this, in addition to hopefully getting your sympathy, is to let you know that if this dynamic website seems to be "off the air" for the next few days, you'll know why. The power lines up here weren't designed to carry such a heavy load of wet snow/ice etc.'s not unusual for this neighborhood to lose power because of "excessive cloudiness."


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Watch the VIDEO of LDL 15

Our editorial staff of video editors here in CHS54 TOWERS has finally completed the finishing touches on Jerry Gaudet's latest production in the award winning series of LDL spectaculars.

This one is titled "LDL 15"......the true story of what happens when an elite group of Charlotte Central High School graduates get together for lunch......55 years later.

Don't miss it!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

LDL 15

 Our Chief Coresspondant, Jerry Gaudet reports that LDL 15 was a huge success!  He filed this report:

December’s “Let’s Do Lunch”, number 15, came off without a hitch on Tuesday, December 8, at Jimmies Restaurant in Mint Hill.

In addition to our Christmas theme, we helped Beverly (Smith) Garmon celebrate her birthday. That’s a table number marker in the picture, not her age…though we’d all settle for that, wouldn’t we?

Buck Anderson and his wife, Peggy, were down from “God’s country” up in Fletcher, NC, bringing a wonderful gift of homemade bread for everyone. See what you miss when you don’t come. This was the fifth time they’ve made the long drive to be with us, and it’s so appreciated. Of course, they had pictures of their beautiful new grandson.

Martin Hill’s wife, Pat, still mending from her broken hip, was able to come for the lunch. Pat is still in rehab and looking forward to being at home in another week, just in time for Christmas.

The CHS’54 Christmas project again this year was to bring non-perishable foodstuffs for the benefit of Loaves and Fishes. Charles (CharlieClause) Willis did the honors by loading up the trunk of his car to make delivery of our collection.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!   -Jerry

Circling the Earth

Our Chief Foreign Coresspondant, Warren Sparrow will again soon be reporting from another one of the far corners of the earth....this time from Kansas.

Here's Warrens latest:


One of your Ace{?)Reporters is on the move. This time it is back to Kansas for the graduation of our granddaughter Lydia from Kansas State University. We will be spending a few days in Manhattan (Little Apple), KS.

I have nothing to report other than we are well, enjoying the CHS website. It is a wonderful thing you do for us. Have a Merry Christmas. I am sure you miss Genial Gene and Atlantic Beer. I shall never forget his "taste of freight" commercials. Despite his warning, I have two kinds of beer in the ice box: Modelo and Heineken. I guess I do like the taste of freight after all.

Indeed, Becky and I are looking forward to our Kansas trip. You see Becky is really "Lydia Rebecca" and our granddaughter is "Lydia." She is the first person in the history of KSU to be elected vice president and the next year president of the student body. As a footnote, be advised that the KSU teams are Wildcats. Is not that a hoot?

Attached is a picture taken last September at "Little" Lydia's home in Olathe, KS. Little Lydia is on the far right. Moving left we have her sister Charlotte who is a high-school student. To the left of Charlotte is "Big" Lydia. To the left of Big Lydia is LL's sister Melanie who is a Kansas State student. On the far left is our daughter Catherine, the mother of these three magnificent girls.

Thank you for your attention. Again, Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Mystery Photos

During the annual year end "clean up and organizing" week here at, the staff discovered a couple of old pictures...without labels....or any other way of identifying them. No one remembers receiving them...or who might have sent them in....or why.

But hopefully someone in our vast audience will recognize some of these long ago faces.....and let us know who these folks are/were.

Now, it's hard NOT to recognize the last picture of the young beauty eating a sandwich.....that's got to be Patsy Hartsell....but I have no idea where this was taken nor when.......OR what kind of sandwich she's eating.

I look forward to your guesses.

Send your guesses to: Ed Myers

(Click on the picture to get a closer look.)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Balloon Boy Science

Whew! We can all breathe easier now that “climategate” has revealed that “global warming” was….well, I’ll be nice and not call it a hoax….but it was no more than “hope and change” by governments who hoped to gain even more control of its citizens and/or others who were planning on raking in enough money to change their financial status exponentially.
What a relief not to have to worry anymore about, among other things, being taxed for breathing.
The reason I bring this up is that again this Tuesday, the CO2 level will be “out of sight” when our group gets together at Jimmies of Mint Hill for the 15th LDL extravaganza!

And this one is even MORE SPECIAL.  Jerry Gaudet explains why:

CHS'54's "LDL" (Let's do lunch)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill.

Special note: In keeping with a Christmas theme, please bring a food donation that will go to “Loaves and Fishes”. Bring any kind of non-perishable food. And/or bring a check. The need is great; far more severe than even last year.

Attention classmates that are unable to attend the lunch... we ask that you participate with us by sending a check to...

Loaves and Fishes
P.O. Box 11234
Charlotte, NC 28220

For answers to any lunch questions, please contact Shirley Maynor, .or Marlene Ritch Beaty, , phone 803/547-4866.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Another Prayer Request

Jackie Hart Lookabill's Daughter, LaGena Lookabill Greene asks for support for her Dad, Gene.

"Could you let the gang know that Gene Lookabill, husband of Jackie Lookabill had double inguinal hernia surgery on Tuesday and I , as their daughter would appreciate prayers for his full recovery. As you know they do not have a computer, so if anyone feels led to send a card, this is their address.

Thank you,
LaGena Lookabill Greene"

Gene's address is...
Gene Lookabill
3601 Mountainbrook Rd.
Charlotte, NC. 28210

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Mitzi Update

Mitzi Minor Roper had quite a fall last month while in New York attending a symposium. She suffered a nasty concussion which is only now beginning to heal. The doctors tell her that it will be at least 6 more weeks for her to get her stamina back.

She's undergoing physical therapy  and is determined to return to normal sooner than that.

But even more worrisome to her during all of this, was the illness of granddaughter Loren Jane Roper, the apple of her eye. Loren was very sick for 3 and a half weeks.

But the sun is shining again for Mitzi and Loren. Both are making great progress!

(Photo of future beauty queen Loren Jane and her Mom.  Click on photo to enlarge)

Monday, November 30, 2009

From Historic Wadesboro...

...comes a sports report from our own Neil Jones:

"It would be unnatural for anyone to note and/or care about the oncoming N.C. Western AAA Football Championship Game between Belmont's South Point's powerhouse football machine and the weakley, Church-going, NASCAR-loving country lads of Anson County High School this Friday.

The only possible justification for noteworthy observation is that the poor Bobcats of poor Anson are coached by poor Matt Jones (son of Neil).

If Anson wins, it would roughly compare to Gardner Webb beating Notre Dame. But, just the same, prayers would be welcome."

Neil, I hope you've told Matt about George Sparger's secret weapon for upsetting stronger teams;
his famous "no man line" defense.  -Ed

 #23 UNC wingback Jim Camp; #86 UNC center George Sparger; #40 UNC fullback Walt Pupa; #22 UNC tailback Charlie Justice, at Kenan Stadium.

(Photo of UNC Championship team during the Choo Choo Justice era.  From the Hugh Morton collection at UNC)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Here's a bulletin from Mike Andrews:

"My chance to brag a little.  Anna Jude (A J) Aldrich was born last week to our daughter Rachael and her husband in Orlando.  This is our first grandchild.  I just wanted to let Buck Anderson know he wasn't the last to have a first grandchild.  Fortunately this beautiful child looks more like her mother than her father and even her grandfather.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Mike Andrews"

And Mike has good reason to brag!  Just take a look at this BRAND NEW BEAUTY! ...with the musical name; Anna Aldrich. 


Friday, November 27, 2009

One of the 12 Best the WORLD!

Brooke Hemsley, who just happens to be our own Maxcyne Motte Yaworsky's granddaughter, was one of the the top 12 winners in her age group in the World ChampionshipTumbling Meets in St. Petersburg, Russia last week. Coaches and fans alike agreed that Brooke gave the best performance of her young career!

Her next goal is to compete for the chance to go to the World Championships in Paris next year!

Maxcyne wrote that she would send some pictures of the event soon, and added,

"...please extend my thanks to all the wonderful classmates who wrote letters of encouragement for Brooke before she left for Russia. She was very surprised and hanjkful when I passed them along to her."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

My very best wishes to you all for a very happy Thanksgiving.

                                                                                       Norman Rockwell

One of the many things I'm thankful for is being born in this country and in the city of  Charlotte, NC in 1936. (Give or take a few years.)

Perhaps there were better times and places to be put on this earth, but I can't imagine what, and where they were.

There are many other items on my "thankful" list, but I always begin with that one.

Personally, I get out that mental list often....not just on Thanksgiving.

Try it.  It's one heck of a tranquilizer!

(Not a sermon, just a thought.'s a sermon.  -Ed)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember, the LDL 14 Video is Now Showing!

Be sure to scroll down to the LDL 14 story and watch the 7 minute video that Jerry Gaudet took of the event!

Eat Your Heart Out, Ansel Adams

Last week Don Nance sent this website that beautiful picture he took in Alaska, and today Warren Sparrow contributed a couple of snapshots fresh from his attic.

I'm hoping this is the beginning of a trend!

That's your next assignment, class: send us a few snapshots that mean something to you, and share them with us.
I'll bet there are enough old photographs out there to keep this site lit up for a long time. (It's logging about 75 "hits" a week now. That's pretty good.)

 Warren writes.......

"After looking at the website tonight I thought I should say hello and say thank you for keeping us together. If you are looking for art, here are some pictures from our archives.

The first attachment is a photo of a destroyer coming up for refueling. I am not sure of the year it was taken. It was probably 1958.

The second one I know was taken in 1958. It is one of the Intrepid, now a museum in New York. I was on the USS Canberra at the time. It was a summer cruise when I met Juan Carlos who is now King of Spain. At the time he was a midshipman in the Spanish Naval Academy. I was a midshipman in Duke NROTC, having completed my junior year.

The third one is from inside the Soviet pavillion at the 1958 Worlds Fair. Look closely and you might see Sputnik.

By the way, I watched Duke beat the Charlotte College Owls last night. As far as I am concerned, they will always be the CC Owls. How dare them. Why would you change your name from Owls to Forty-Niners just because you moved to a campus off NC Highway 49? They need to remember their roots. Hoot. Hoot".

(Don't forget to CLICK on each picture to ENLARGE.  -Ed)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Picture Postcard


Don Nance was kind enough to send us this beautiful picture he took during his trip to the Canadian Rockies.

He and Letty met up with another couple on the trip, Pat and George Dillard. You might remember Pat from the CHS class of '53.......when she was Pat Campbell

In my opinion you couldn't find a better looking photograph on any postcard promoting the Canadian Rockies.

It's the kind of picture we used to call "pretty as a postcard." 
But that's just one of the many expressions that are not in use anymore. It's amazing how fast we're losing words and expressions that were once very common.  Some of them "good words," like SUPPER.

DINNER has replaced it; which in my way of thinking is pretty dumb. Dinner is the meal you have at 12 noon, not at 6 o'clock at night.

And what ever happened to words like "sitting on the VERANDA....with my feet up on the OTTOMAN.

Or waiting in the VESTIBULE...or sitting on the STOOP...or playing STICKBALL or listening to 45's on the VICTROLA.

Or wearing GALOSHES?

And young people don't have any idea what an "ICEBOX" is.

Come to think of it, a lot of us would be healthier if we spent more time away from that icebox.


(Editorial Assistance (stolen from) The Cave a great website by Perry Peterson)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Neither Snow Nor Rain...."

..can keep twenty-seven hearty Wildcats from showing up for the class' monthly lunch.

Our "on the scene correspondant," Jerry Gaudet reports that it was a very dark and rainy day that greeted the LDL bunch last Tuesday. But, once inside, the mood became as bright as a sunny day in June. Of course, the sparks flying from the knives and forks of our hungry group helped.

Jerry went on to report that

"... there were four first-time attendees, Don Nance and his wife Letty, Mary Rand Norton Kratt, and Richard Stowe. Shirley McClanahan Maynor presided over the sunny atmosphere as we enjoyed good food and fellowship.

If technical difficulties can again be overcome, we'll try to get a brief video of the gathering to Ed Myers in hopes of getting it on the class web site... . Be sure to look for it and all the other interesting items Ed posts for us.

The next "LDL" will be Tuesday, December 8. Same time, same place, as they say. We invite you to plan on joining us."

(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

FYI......The United States Postal Service has no official creed or motto. Often falsely cited as such, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" is an inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City, derived from a quote from Herodotus' Histories (8.98), referring to the ancient courier service of the Persian Empire:

Please take note of this. There will be a pop quiz tomorrow.  -Ed

Now, See the VIDEO!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Take two asprin......and call me in the morning."

Just because a girl is president of her high school Honor Society and undoubtedly one of the best brains to ever walk the halls of that very distinguished learning institution doesn't necessarily mean that her children will also be brilliant.



At least in Diana Carpenter (White)'s case.

Her son, Dr. Reid Blackwelder, among other things, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents more than 94,600 physicians and medical students nationwide.

And that's just the beginning of this fine Doctor's accomplishments! They can't all be listed in this website's limited space, but you can see them for yourself by clicking on this link. CLICK HERE

But there is at least one common condition that Diana shares with those of us who were mere "C" students (and worse). The medical term for this disease is CBS.


It's incurable. Just ask any of us with children and/or grandchildren!



In spite of an inspired campaign by the CHS class of 55, led by David McKinnon, Joan King Hargett, Martha Gheesling Broadwell and Bob Burroughs, the Charlotte/Mecklenburg School Board voted not to name either of two new high schools after our friend and former athletic director and later principal Ed Saunders.

Their main objection was that he is still alive…..and their “rule” for naming schools states that they must be named after a dead person or some other inanimate object.
The names chosen were Hough and Rocky River.

Not many people know this but when the name for the old Central High was being contemplated, the first choice of the school board was “Sugar Creek High.” In the end, the board couldn’t agree on a name, so at the last minute they decided, “to heck with it. Let’s just call it Central.”

It’s too bad this school board didn’t decide to do something similar in the case of “Hough High,” , such as naming it Highway 15 High School….or something like that instead of a name that no one is sure how to pronounce (is it like “HOW”…..”WHO”…..”HUGH”…..or what?)
I understand that the correct pronounciation is “HUFF”….like in “tough.”

But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that it will forever be known as “HO HIGH”

But, I believe the girls who attend the school will just ignore, or laugh off the dumb jokes and simply chalk it up to "unintended consequences."

Like our girls once did!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Harry Neely and Studio 590

Two highly acclaimed and award winning artists (one of which is CHS54”s own Harry Neely ) have joined forces and opened a working studio and gallery in Pinehurst South. Neely's partner, Betty DiBartolomeo is also a nationally recognized artist.

The studio, named 590, is located in the historic 1815 Dowd Cabin.

Neely and DiBartolomeo are both members of the prestigious national organization of professional artists, the “Oil Painters of America.”
DiBartolomeo also paints under the pseudonym “BC Dream Catcher” to honor her native American heritage.

Neely specializes in “modern/classical still life paintings.The studio, with artists working and teaching most days of the week,  is expected to bring new life to the old Dowd Cabin.

Both Betty and Harry teach at the Artists League of the Sandhills.

(Paintings: "Heirloom Tomatos"      -Neely
"The Shawl Dancer "          -DiBartolomeo)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Time Flies... a Bat out of Heck!

Would you believe it, it's already been nearly a month since our last LDL lunch at Jimmies of Mint Hill!

Jerry's invitation went out today:

CHS'54's "LDL" (Let's do lunch)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill.

Spread the word. Bring someone with you. Invite other classmates to come.

YOU, come!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks for the "Flowers"

Thanks to all of you who bothered to drop me nice notes about Jerry's LDL 13 video. And, as several of you pointed out, there are a couple of things the producers could have improved upon.
Such as........putting the names of husbands and wives next to each other in the credits.

These names should have been listed together:

Harold Cullingford and wife Carolyn

Marlene Ritch Beaty and husband Thomas

Karol Broadwell Welch and husband Bob (Jerry tells me that Bob, interestingly enough, is Nancy Gibson Tomlinson's cousin)

and I failed to list Stephanie Litaker the nice lady who is the waitress who takes really good care of our group.

And, last but not least, there was ONE glaring mistake.
I've been informed that Jimmies is located on HWY 51. Not HWY 50, as the video indicates.

Now I realize why everytime I go to one of these lunches, nobody else shows up!


Catching Up

Your award winning and most modest webmaster was having so much fun playing with Jerry's LDL video that I forgot to mention a couple of news items:

At the October "LDL", Martin Hill told us the bad news that his wife, Pat, had fallen at home severely breaking her hip and pelvic bones. She spent three weeks in the hospital and he went on to say:

"...Pat is doing well and is in a rehab facility in Harrisburg fairly near our home. She is now able, with help, to get around in a wheel chair and she will be in physical therapy for several more weeks. If all the broken bones heal as expected she could possibly be on a walker or crutches in about 3 to 4 weeks. After that, she should be able to begin walking again. Everything depends on her healing normally. Her attitude is good, but she was a very active person and I fear she will try to do too much too soon...


We send our best wishes to Pat for a speedy recovery!!

Finally, tying up some loose ends, Jerry tells me that the  CHS'54 "LDL" on Tuesday October was the 13th such happening that Shirley Maynor initiated over a year ago. She wasn't able to attend this one and was sorely missed.

"Another of our regulars, Gayle Barrier Austin' who had attended all twelve previous "LDL"s, wasn't able to attend either, breaking her perfect attendance record.

Three classmates had missed only one of the past gatherings, Vic Brawley, Martin Hill and Charlie Willis. Only Martin was present to be "honored".   -Jerry"

Some might say that there must be some truth to that old superstition having to do with the number 13.

Of course, none of us believes any of that nonsense anymore.

However, a little "salt over the shoulder" once in a while can't hurt anything.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Live! From Mint Hill

Not quite, but the very next thing to it.

Our roving remote team of dedicated photographers, audio experts, writers, producers, gaffers,(that's an old Hollywood term for "grunts," and is NOT to be confused with the term "geezers." I'm quite sensitive about that.

Perhaps I exagerate, but my enthusiasm is hard to contain. Our all purpose photographer, videographer, producer, director, and all round "good guy." Jerry Gaudet turned his camera to the "movie" setting...and captured these scenes of our latest "Let's Do Lunch" extravaganzas.

Come join the party..........!

Thanks Jerry!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Powertumbling ?

Jerry Gaudet informs us that we now have a chance to root for another champion! This time, it's our own's Maxcyne Motte Yaworsky's granddaughter!

"The young lady in the photo below is our granddaughter, Brooke Hemsley. The past year has been a very busy one for this seventeen year old high school junior. She competed and won in State, Regional, and Western Division Powertumbling championships.. In September, she competed at meets in Las Vegas for a place on the U.S. National Team. She won a place on the team and in November goes to St. Petersburg, Russia to compete in the World Powertumbling Championships.

I hope everyone will join me in cheering for Brooke and her teammates as they represent our country at these events.
Way to go,Brooke!!"      -Maxcyne


Powertumbling just became my favorite sport!    -Ed


Report from the Annual Storytelling Festival

 by Betsy Villas White
   Dateline October 2, 2009.....Jonesborough, Tennessee........."She was terrific!"   That's the word on the appearance of Ellouise Diggle Schoettler at the annual Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough Tennessee.

Three minutes into her fifteen minute story, the audience was eating out of her hand. She was warm and funny and polished and something indeed to write home about. Therefore, that’s what I’m doing.

All you folks at home and away should note that we now have a full fledged, honest-to-goodness, nationally recognized storyteller in our midst. She held her own in the kingdom of storyland and then some. I was proud, her family was proud, my traveling companions were proud, Don and Letty Nance were proud, and the crowd surrounding her after the performance was riding high.

I just kept remembering that I knew her when her stories were beginning. Wonder if she’ll ever tell a story about making button gardens in Girl Scouts at Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church?


As you just read, reports that our own Ellouise Diggle Schoteller's appearence at the Jonesborough, Tennesee annual Storytelling Festival....the SUPER BOWL of storytelling, was  a BOFFO performance, have been confirmed CHS54's ace reporter Betsy V. White.

Our news team was there and got this reaction from Ellouise herself:

"Is it really two weeks ago that I stepped on the stage at Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival with these five other wonderful storytellers, Baba the Storyteller (CA), Tyris Jones (NC) Slash Coleman(VA) Bob Reiser (NY) and Bernadetter Nason (TX). It was really a great experience - facing 1200 folks under a Ringling Brother Brothers type big top tent - all smiling, laughing and loving the stories. 

Personally I was very happy to see Jim and our family and Don and Letty Nance and Betsy Villas White smiling up at me! For a storyteller getting to tell in Jonesborough is a mountaintop -

Lately I have been working on telling "memoirs." You know - tell the story yourself. The festival was over Sunday afternoon so Monday morning Jim and I drove over to Asheville to UNC-A where I told Pushing Boundaries, my new story about my journey to becoming an ERA activist during the 1970s and 80s- for the Women Studies Department. It was cool. Like a real "Jack" tale - coming home (sort-of) to tell my story.

Telling personal history that is not in the history books. A few members of the League of Women Voters joined the audience - including Kathleen Balogh, the new State President. I loved having them there because I was ERA Campaign Director for the League's national Staff - 1979-82 and those days are part of the story. Anybody remeber those days? They were lively and exciting for me - although the loss of the ERA in 1982 was very painful for those of us who though equal rights for women should be part of the US Consttution and worked for the amendment."

But, enough of this rabble rousing. I am grateful to be a storyteller - to see friends, to come "home" and to tell stories."

Thanks Ellouise, and congratulations from all of us old Wildcats.


...and to view Ellouise's website, go to:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sparrow on the Rocks

Warren and Becky Sparrow just returned from a 2,000 mile journey to Olathe, Kansas. I've never heard of Olathe before, but my guess was that the man who named it had a lisp.

Nope, I was wrong. It seems that the town was named by an indian who was asked by the founder, what the Indian word for beautiful was and his reply was "olathe."  The founder took his word for it, and the rest is history. (Word Deny-ers point out that onlookers at the scene spotted several empty bottles of firewater in the bushes.)

There's an old legend about that town that "anyone who visits that magical place will be speaking the Indian language by the time he returns to his own teepee."

Isn't that silly. Anyway, that's all I could discover about that fascinating part of the great state of Kansas, but as this reporter mentioned, the Sparrows were there and enjoyed every minute of it!

Here's the email I received from Warren:


"It has been many moons since our last smoke signals. I note there has been an explosion of stuff on chs54. Thank you for doing it. Becky and I are alive and well, sitting up and taking nourishment. We have completed a journey to Olathe, KS, for a visit with our oldest daughter Cathy S. Peele, her husband Alex and their three daughters, Lydia, Melanie and Charlotte. A good time was had by all. It was a remarkable trip. From Winston-Salem to Olathe and back was 2,200 miles, including some side trips to "points of interest." Like the Three Wise Men, we did it in One Accord.

Attached are some representative samples of what we did. The first photo is a view of the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers near Alton, IL.

The second is a shot of the courthouse where the Dred Scott decision was rendered. I took this picture from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The third picture is one of Becky at the Wild Turkey Distillery near Lexington, KY. If you
look carefully you will see a tanker truck in the background. It is full of bourbon headed for Arkansas for bottling. The name of the carrier? Oakley. What a hoot.

Hope all is well."


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Easy Ed High School

I'm not sure exactly why we called him that; it certainly wasn't because his history class was easy. It wasn't. I think it was because of his informal, relaxed, and often humorous way of teaching that made it seem easy. I think of him as the "Perry Como" of our teachers at Central.

Joan King Hargett (class of 55) is spearheading an effort by her class to name Charlotte's newest high school after Ed Sanders! Now that's a great idea if I ever heard one.

Joan says it will help immensely if we all write to the school board members and show our support and appreciation for Ed Sanders.

She lists many of his major accomplishments which are enormous, but too many to name in a letter to a school board just mention a couple that you think are the best ones.

Ed Sanders:

He served in the Army Air Corps for four year during World War II. After military duty, he became a history teacher at Central High School, Charlotte, NC.

From 1946 - 1951 he taught high school during the day, veteran classes in the evening, carried a paper route and worked to obtain his masters degree.

1951 - Ed became the athletic director at CHS. Two years later he was promoted to Assistant Principal. In 1955 he was promoted to Principal at age 33.

1954 - Brown v. Board of Education ruled segregatiion in schools to be unconstitutional.

1955 - Mr. Sanders oversaw the merger of rival high schools Tech High and Central High, successfully bringing the two together as one student body.

1957 - Three years after Brown v. Board of Education ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Mr. Sanders became a "hero during racial unrest of the 1950's" as he successfully and peacefully enrolled Charlotte's first black student, Gus Roberts, at CHS. He walked through an "arm-linked human barricade" at CHS to protect Gus Roberts and to physically show students that he meant to make it work. Gus went on to graduate from CHS. In preparation for that day, Mr. Sanders had met with the Roberts family during the summer. He also called in the trouble makers at CHS and made sure they knew he would not tolerate unfair treatment. He spoke to the football team and asked their support letting them know that football games could easily be called off----for the season----if necessary.

1959 - Mr. Sanders became Principal at the new Garinger High School after CHS closed.

1965 - Charlotte still had 88 single-race schools. After the landmark case Swann vs. the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education ruled that Charlotte was still largely segregated, the school board was given a deadline by Federal Judge James B. McMillan to effectively desegregate by Fall of 1970.

1970 - Ed was promoted to Associate Superintendent of the Charlotte School System. His assignment was to work with a Citizens Advisory Group and the school board to achieve a fair and stable pupil reassignment plan to fully integrate the school system. In 1974, the pupil reassignment plan, which revolved around race-baced busing of 83,000 students across 102 schools, was adopted and put into motion.

1978 - Mr. Sanders resigned from his post as East Mecklenburg Area Superintendent to become Superintendent of the Darlington, SC school system.

Mr. Sanders currently resides in the Alzheimer's Unit at Southminister's Retirement Community here in Charlotte.

Joan goes on to write,

The CHS class of 1955 meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill. Mr. Sanders is at most of our luncheons. He has a lovely caregiver that brings him or sometimes our classmate, Don Blackmon, sees that he gets there. We have all fallen in love with Mr. Sanders and have so much respect for him.

CHS'55 classmate, David McKinnon, has been in contact with Mr. Sanders' son, Doug. They are the ones that are responsible for the above information. David McKinnon has been our leader in this effort to get a school named after our deserving former Principal, Ed Sanders. Bob Burroughs and others have also been involved.

Mr. Sanders has received many honors. You can Google "Ed Sanders Charlotte Education" and get more facts.

I realize this is a great deal of information and it is mostly just to bring you up to date on Mr. Sanders' life. It does not necessary need to be included in your email to the school board. If you have a personal memory of Mr. Sanders, that would be great to include. I feel that the emails should not be too long---probably a brief email might be better.

Please note: David McKinnon would appreciate it if you send him a copy of the email you send so that we can keep a count on the number sent. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to email him at or call him at 704-684-5003.

Your email should be sent to the following school board members as soon as possible. We will most likely be asking you to send another email to the same people at a later date.

Molly Griffin, Chairperson   
Kaye Bernard McGarry,Vice Chairperson
Larry Gauvreau
Kimberly Mitchell-Walker
James L. Ross II
Tom Tate
Ken Gjertsen
Trent Merchant
"Coach" Joe I. White, Jr.
Dr. Peter Gorman, Superintendent

Again, thanks so much.

Joan King Hargett

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Stork Takes his Time, but finally delivers!

Talk about being "worth the wait!"

Great news concerning Buck and Peggy Anderson.

His name is Andrew John Allison!

 Here's the official email from Peggy:

"Buck and I want to share with Buck's classmates the news of our grandson, Andrew John Allison, born to John and Tonya (our daughter) Allison on October 9 at 11:38 PM. He is a small baby, 5 lbs. 7 ounces 20 inches long, and black hair. Tonya's sister, Trena, who is a nurse, was privileged to be in the delivery room with John and Tonya to witness Andrew's birth. It humbles our hearts that God has blessed our family with this special little guy. As I had shared with you, John and Tonya have been married for 22 years. Tonya has held on to a promise that God gave her years ago, that he would give her a child. The Lord is so good."
Peggy Anderson

CONGRATULATIONS from all of us!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Presenting....the newest Wildcat!

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Asher!
The proud Grandfather, of course, is our own
Don Nance.

Don's short email said only,

"ASHER CLAY NANCE. He was born 9-9-09. He is visiting with me and his big brother Sam. Grand Children are great."

Don promised to send more details soon.

It's that time again

I want to invite all of you to come over to my house on Tuesday October 13th 2009 at 11:30 AM for lunch. I'll have the hot dogs all ready for you when you get here.

However, my feelings won't be hurt if you decide instead to dine with a whole room full of 54 Wildcats at Jimmies of Mint Hill for our monthly LDL extravaganza!

CHS'54's "LDL" (Let's do lunch)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 11:30 AM
 at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill.

Spread the word.  Bring someone with you.  Invite other classmates to come.
YOU, come!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Web Digest

In order to keep this site "fresh," the staff here at CHS54 is adding a new feature. We call it the Web Digest......kinda like the old Readers Digest. (Which incidentally is reported to be going out of business. I'm not sure if it's because people don't read anymore.....or that the content is too deep for modern Americans to digest.)

But we'll watch our email box....and hopefully publish some of the sights that you may have missed on Al Gore's amazing internet.

For example this unique mobile home:

and this car.....
that's It's only one ....with a fantastic paint job.

Look for the new feature on the right hand side of the first page.
And feel free to email me your favorites.