Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't Forget to Scroll

The good news is.......the good news keeps on coming!

The Staff here at CHS54 Towers has decided for the time being, to keep on publishing "breaking news" at the top of this site. The "happy news" from our classmates will be added to the string already started.

So don't forget to "scroll" down til you see the latest, fascinating stories from our classmates.
It's FASCINATING reading!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Charles Douglas Presson Passes

We were saddened to learn belatedly of the passing of Charles Douglas Presson on 1/1/08. He had been ill for several years and the cause of his death was pancreatic cancer.

We have this contact information for his widow:
Mrs. Pauline Presson
117 Eagles Nest Way
Shelby, NC 28152

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Official! Our 55th Reunion

You've probably received by now, the official announcement of probably one of the worst kept secrets in all of CHS54dom: Our 55th reunion will be held this May.

May 8 and 9th to be exact.

The official party will be held Friday evening beginning at 6pm with a traditional BBQ dinner at what Obie says" a great indoor park facility complete with kitchen and plenty of room to move about and get re-acquainted with old friends and meet new ones."

Also, in addition to the BBQ dinner, our mini reunion is being
extended to include a buffet brunch at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel on Saturday morning at 10:30. This event will be DUTCH TREAT and will be paid
individually at the restaurant.

For out of town classmates needing overnight accommodations, the committee recomends
the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, which is in the SouthPark area about eight miles from Wm. R. Davie Park. Be sure to mention CHS Class of 1954......AND the fact that you are a SENIOR CITIZEN (I hate that term, EXCEPT at cash registers!). The cost should be $88 per night.
For reservations call 704 552 7333 or log on to

CHS High School Class of 1954 Reservation Form:

Classmate's NAME_______________
Spouse/Guest NAME_____________
Phone Number _____________email_____________
Friday Evening BBQ Dinner Number attending____@$30 each TOTAL_______
Do you plan to attend the Saturday morning brunch? If so, how many people_______
(Remember, it's Dutch Treat. You pay at the counter.

Send your registration form in ASAP.......and help us with the planning.

Mail your registration form to:

CHS'54 Reunion Registration
c/o Gaudet
2611 Springway Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28205-2249

Directions to Wm. R. Davie Park

(Click on map to enlarge.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And the GOOD NEWS just keeps on coming!

Lots to Report:

The big news is that our own Obie Oakley is to receive one of the nation's most prestigious military honors!!

Reporter extraordinaire Jerry Gaudet checks in:

Our own Obie Oakley is soon to be honored with the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the highest civilian award given by the Department of The Army. The Secretary of the Army awards this decoration to those who provide distinguished service that makes a substantial contribution to the accomplishment of the Army's missions.

The ceremony to bestow this honor will be on Thursday, April 2, 2009, 2:00 PM, at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC. (The PDF file of the official invitation is attached.)

The invitation to attend is extended to all classmates. If your are able to attend, please R.S.V.P (acceptances only) to the organizers at

Miriam Holder Barrett

I think this is a great idea to hear from different classmates and what is going on in their lives after so-oo-oo many years. I feel I have been so blessed and want to share part of my life after Central.

I was married to Dave Kaleel for 25 years when he died with cancer. We traveled a lot showing quarter horses in open and registered shows. I later married Daniel Barrett in 1986. We continued with horses, but only pleasure trail riding. I started riding with a drill team which was something I always wanted to do. Below is a picture of me riding on my 70th birthday. (You are never too old to follow your dreams.) Daniel and I later got into heavy horses. We Now have a Percheron and a Belgian/Clydesdale cross draft horses. We purchased a wagonette and a Victorian carriage we use for weddings, festivals, and any special event that requires a horse drawn carriage. There is a lot of work involved with the horses, carriages and getting ready for each event. We meet a lot of wonderful people and enjoy driving the horses and making their special day special. I no longer ride with the drill team as there is a conflict with the horse drawn carriage events.

The Lord has blessed us with gentle and beautiful horses which has enabled us to start our horse drawn carriage business at a late time in our lives. Check out our web page.

Hope to see you at the class reunion.



Miriam Holder Barrett

(Wow! What a hoot! Be sure to click on the picture to get a closer look at that handsome couple and their beautiful Clydesdale. I keep looking for a case of Bud...back there, but haven't seen it so far.-Ed)

From Bill Robinson

"... '54 classmates. Sorry I have missed the LDL luncheons. In 1953, when I was a tenth grader at Central, and not knowing what I would do in this world, my father, decided that I did not need to go to high school for three years, made me go to summer school and pick up the two extra credits that would allow me to graduate in 1954. Thus for the ten years I was in the class of 1955, I did tend to have more allegiance to them. For that I apologize because I knew so many of you. Upon graduating, I still did not know what I was going to do, went to NC State, then to Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, Cal for three years, did not like engineering, lived on the California beach and had a great time, but then went into military service for just short of a couple of years, then went to law school at UNC where I found out I knew absolutely nothing. However, I managed to graduate and thoroughly enjoyed practicing law for 30 some years.

I married just before law school, had two great kids, later divorced, but had close relationship with my two kids, She was very beneficial in keeping that relationship going. We are still on good terms. As to our kids, Shel and Randy, saw them thru college, one thru law school, married again (to Kate Widenhouse from Midland, NC) for 30 years until she passed away in 2005. That was a great loss to me. She had two kids, Trilby Carriker and brother Ronald Carriker, and they pretty much became mine as well. Ronnie and his wife, Rebecca, run my real estate business. They have two sons, Trent and Kipp. Just a couple months ago,Trent at 15 and in the 9th grade at Myers Park High School made the varsity soccer team, went to Raleigh and played in Myers Parks championship game this year. First State Championship for them ever. Shel married Stacy Evans from Oxford, NC. They have three boys, Shel Jr., Braxton, and Charlie. He has his own law firm of some 5 lawyers, practicing on East Boulevard, just a mile or so from where he and I both grew up. Randy married a doctor, Wanda, (He has one daughter, Abby) and he is in Property Management in Charlotte. Trilby is a CPA and is CFO of a major construction company in the southeast. She is also in Charlotte.

I retired from practicing law about 15 years ago, doing mediation work for some 5 to 8 years. Worked part time for son, Shel, taking depositions. During this time, I also worked at my business in real estate, but primarily took up tennis at a late age. I still play some 4 to 5 days a week at Olde Providence Tennis Club. After Kate died, I went to grandson Shel's birthday, became involved with Stacy's mom, Annette Evans from Oxford, NC and we married a year later (see photo below). I like to joke that as I married my son's wife's mother, we had to go to West Virginia to get a marriage license. Annette's son, Mason just had his second girl. Except for Abby, heretofore, all we had was boys. The little girls are precious.

Also, below is a photo of Annette and Bill sailing while vacationing with 3 other couples in the British Virgin Islands in February this year.

All in all, it really makes one feel good when you (me) have been so lucky to have had such a great life, having found another great wife, and have great kids and grandkids, all of whom are doing great in their own right. As I read these emails of others with their good news, I am just delighted that so many of our classmates of 54 and 55 have done so well and not only enjoyed life, but made major contributions to so many.

Bill Robinson "

Nancy Grayson

Nancy Grayson sends this response to "in search of good news". In Nancy's lovely photomontage, the reference to "MILR" is "McGill Institute of Learning in Retirement".

(Thanks Nancy. This just proves my long held theory that the CHS 54 class had the most beautiful young girls in the country.....AND.......they grew up to be the most beautiful mature women in the U.S.

It's amazing what a steady diet of country ham and grits does for female bodies! -Ed)

Warren Sparrow

...sends this "blast from the past."

(Thanks, Warren! Like you, I always carry my CHS graduation picture with me at all times, so I can flash it at people who occasionally question my intellectual credentials. -Lee)

Warren Replies:

"When I saw my senior picture and your comments I laughed out loud. Hope all is well. We are fine, "steaming as before." That is Navy talk, taken from the ship's log.

I am maintaining my law practice, fighting the good fight against windmills wherever they rear their ugly heads.

We are looking forward to the reunion. As far as good news is concerned, there is plenty from here. Becky and I are, as I said, "steaming as before." We have lived in the same house since 1972. This house is over 100 years old. It has served us well, allowing our children to walk to school during their grammar school years. I will try to find more information. What I can say is this: Its tax value has gone from less than $16,000.00 to more than $213,000.00.

It is 1.2 miles from the house to the parking deck near my office. It is 9 miles to the indoor tennis court where I play every week. Can you top it? It is about 1.5 miles to the grocery store. It is 1 mile to the ABC store. Is there anything else you need to know?

Life is good here at 1117 West Fourth Street. The State Department of Corrections has 40,000 souls on board with untold thousands in local jails. For us criminal defense lawyers, "steaming as before" is the order of the day.

Hope all is well. I am going to try to find some artwork to attach to this message. I found something. It is a photo of Becky (Lydia Rebecca Smit)and me with the president of the student body of Kansas State University, our granddaughter, Lydia Peele (named after Becky, a/k/a Lydia). This picture was taken last November in Manhattan, KS. Lydia is the first student in the history of Kansas State to serve as vice president and then as president of the student body. Good news? No kidding.

Keep paddling,


(Click on Picture to enlarge)

Chuck Spruill

"Dear Friends,

I celebrated my 72nd birthday this week. I decided we are never too old to try something new. I decided to learn a couple of new dance steps....The "Tango" is the national dance of passion here in Argentina...I have attached a photo of one of my newly acquired steps....I have others, but I will have to share them at a later time....I have to go visit my chiropractor now.

Kindest regards,

Chuck Spruill"

(Dear Chuck,

It's not nice to fool your handsome, debonair webmaster!! The staff here at CHS54 will be sending our crack investigative reporter on the next plane to Argentina to check out your highly suspicious story. If as we suspect, it proves to be sheer fantasy, you will be reported to ASPCAW (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Aging Webmasters.)

You have been warned! -Ed)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Great News from Nancy!

A RED LETTER day for Nancy Gibson Tomlinson

By Jerry Gaudet

Nancy telephoned with her great news and then gave us this follow-up. We rejoice with her...

On Monday 3/9 I went in for a PET Scan and CAT Scan. Something
happened to the PET Scan machine and I had to go back and repeat the
test on Wednesday morning. Thursday I went in to my doctor for the
results. Now I have been living in fear for three months wondering if
the cancer in my right lung was growing and what kind of bad news I
was going to get.

Well all of the wonderful classmates in Charlotte, NC had been sending
up wonderful prayers; good thoughts; blessings and whatever else they
were throwing my way it gave me courage to walk in my doctor's office
ready to accept whatever the news.

He came through the door with a silly grin on his face and took his
seat - looked at me and Howard and said IT'S GONE! I said what do you
mean - IT'S GONE - he said IT"S GONE - My lung and the lymph nodes
were clear - the mass that was there 3 months ago is gone from the
lung and the lymph nodes. So my good friends Raphael (my archangel)
and God were definitely listening to all of you - so God bless all of
you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't have to fight

I am not out of the woods yet because 6 years ago they gave me 5 years
to live (since no one had ever lived past 5 years with idiopathic
pulmonary fibrosis) when I was diagnosised with IPF through open lung
biopsy. My children say I have 9 lives - maybe they are right but I'm
using them up fast. IPF is not curable - they haven't even found
anything to help it. They have no idea how you get the disease - it
turns your lungs to concrete starting in the bottom - working it's way
up. I have lost 2/3's of my lungs to the disease leaving me with 1/3
so I set myself goals for this 1/3 because typically people in the IPF
community refer to the last stages as no warning it is a "crash and
burn." So while I can deal with the pain (thanks to hydrocodone and a
great pain doctor) I will continue to exercise, walk the dog and to
dance because I love it and I refuse to give in to this awful disease.
I realize it will get me sooner or later but let's look to later.


Thanks to all of you for your wonderful notes and e-mails. I plan to
answer each one of them as I can. Much love to all of you.. Nanc

(Nancy, your great news is contagious! I can't describe how good that makes me, and all the other CHS54's feel!! -Ed)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ski Kings.....and queens

I love reporting on our Golden Years! If there were such as thing as "ratings" for websites, like there are in Television and Radio, I'll bet ours would be "through the roof."

Here's another "happily ever after" updates:

This one is from Maxcyne Motte Yaworsky

Somehow, I stumbled on the right formula and could separate these photos out of the file I had of our ski day with Steve and family. Boris is in the plaid jacket, standing on his ski tips in the snow, Nic is in the blue ski suit, and Steve is the giant that is to the far right in the family photo. Hope you enjoy! Incidentally, you do not see any cars in the parking lot because I am standing to the rear of all of them. The parking lot is on the top of this mountain, and you are looking east to see only the tiptops of the mountains in the background.

We have another budding athlete in the family. Cathy's second daughter, Brooke Hemsley, took first place in the State Championship competition in her division for power tumbling this past year. She went on to take first place in the Western division competition in Seattle, and later placed sixth in U.S Nationals. She plans to enter International Competion this summer or fall. She is 17, has a straight A Scholastic average , is a beautiful Modern Jazz and ballet dancer, and was a cheerleader last year. She gave up cheerleading this year so she would have time to teach dancing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

LDL #6

Our ace reporter/photographer Jerry Gaudet brings us another "on scene" report from Mint Hill

Again this month, 31 gathered for the sixth CHS'54 "LDL" (Let's Do Lunch). These lunches are being held on the second Tuesday of every month at "Jimmies Restaurant" in Mint Hill. We hope others will come when you can!

Our "LDL" maven, Shirley Maynor was BACK following hip surgery. We were pleased with the first-time participants Pooky Conder, Carole Bennett Gilland, and Harry Ferguson. And, to top it off, Peggy and Buck Anderson again came "down" from Fletcher, NC, to celebrate Buck's birthday with us. Peggy also honored each of us with a gift loaves of home-made bread. Thanks you, Peggy and Buck!

It was pretty special to have Pooky attend. He was enabled by his son Donnie (who has a twin brother, Ronnie) and daughter-in-law, Karen (who is the wife of the other twin, Ronnie). Think we were confused? Pooky suffered a stroke in 1989 and is wheelchair bound and unable to speak. We think he comprehends what is going around him and he definitely participates with his eyes and gestures. You would recognize the mischievous look in those eyes. It's Pooky, all right. Visit him or send him a card...
Mr. J. T. Conder, Jr.
Saturn Nursing Rehab Center
1930 W. Sugar Creek Rd
Charlotte, NC 28262

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It Keeps on Coming!

..the good new, that is. I hope I'm able to keep up.....

Got this message from Neil Jones:

After taking in all the 50th annversarys, I submit a photo of my significant other and myself
immediately after the Democrat election sweep.
Her name is Margaret Krzyzewski Jones.
You may also now share that the distinguished Anson Historical Society has retained the services of Jones to write a 'History of Anson County'.
Jones has published (2) other historical-like documents available in the Duke Library "The Turning Point in the History of Charlotte" and "Not Appomatix but College St., Charlotte, N.C. is site of end of Civil War.".

Sunday, March 08, 2009

WAITING for good news

Number one on most of our prayer lists right now is the good news we're hoping for Nancy Gibson Tomlinson to receive in the next few days. Nancy writes that:

... I go tomorrow for my Pet Scan and will have the results on the 12th - so your question is right on time. I will let you know as soon as I get the results from my doctor on the 12th. Tell everyone thanks for all the prayers - I can only hope for a clean slate but since I've had no treatment it will take a miracle for that kind of result. God does work in strange ways though. At any rate I plan to be in Charlotte with bells on May 8 and 9. Love ya - Nanc

Let's keep her in out thought and prayers!

Meanwhile, take a look at THIS fantastic family:

Nancy Gibson Tomlinson writes...

...this portrait was taken Easter last year when I had my family together for the first time in many years. Two grandchildren are missing. Mark's girls could not make it. Mark, my youngest son and his lady Carolyn, are on the end; Howard and I are next; Robb, my oldest son and his wife Judith are next; Melanie, my daughter and her husband Kevin are on the right end. Keira and Airi are Robb and Judith's children on the left - Tanner and Wesley are right in front of their parents Melanie and Kevin. Robb (has dual citizenship - Judith is Swiss) and his family live in Switzerland where they have their own Montessori School for 1st - 12th grades. Mark lives in Charlotte and has his own Stone Construction Business. Melanie and Kevin live in Venice where she is a Realtor and Kevin has his own Stump Grinding Business.

And Nancy adds...

I will say take a good look at the 13 year old on the 1st row - she is my carbon copy at age 13 in size and put a picture of her beside me at that age and we look like identical twins. She is even as tall as I am now and can wear my clothes.

(Remember, Click on picture to enlarge -Ed)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

...more, more.

They say that if you want something done, "...ask a busy man to do it."

How true that is! With all our keeper of records has to do, Jerry Gaudet took on the extra task of gathering "good news" from our fellow '54 seniors. And what a great job he's doing.....with your help of course.

The list is getting so long that starting today, I'll be posting the GOOD NEWS in the order of "latest first." So be sure to scroll down to read all of the good things that have been happening with our fellow Wildcats.

From Jim Dellinger:

This welcome (good news) dose is from Jim Dellinger, MD and his wife Bertha;

On 19 June 2009 Bertha and I will celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary. We lived in a small town, Drexal, NC, 1964-2002 where I practiced Family Medicine for 38 years. When I retired we moved to North Myrtle Beach. We live at Barefoot Resort which is on a developed community with 4 golf courses. You know we have many golf courses within 25 miles. I still work part-time in community health clinics.

We have two children. Charlene, our older, is a college professor at University of Southern Connecticut in New Haven, CT. She has one child, girl age 10. Our son is the medical physicist for Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville. He lives in Asheville and has two children, Regan, age 12 and Noah, age 10. We are proud of all of them.

Jim Dellinger

From John and Anne Ballard

We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on June 7th last year. We celebrated in April by taking a riverboat cruise from Amsterdam, Holland to Antwerp, Belgium. This is the height of the flower season. Never saw so many tulips in our lives! We have two children, John, Jr. and Virginia. John has two girls, Amanda and Chelsea. Virginia is not married.

This is a photo that was taken next to our cruise boat that we took from Amsterdam to Antwerp, Belgium last April. We were celebrating our 50th anniversary early because we wanted to see the flowers in Holland. Our actual anniversary is June 7th. We have two adult children, John, Jr. (Laurie) and Virginia (Unmarried). John has two girls, Amanda, a Junior in college and Chelsea, a Junior in high school. All live near us in MN which is a blessing. Hope this reaches you OK.

This good news note comes from Jennie Margaret Forehand:

This is a picture of Jennie and Bill at the dedication of a Maryland Historical Monument to the Maryland member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803-1806). Jennie and Bill drove the entire Lewis and Clark Trail a few years ago, and give presentations ("show and tell") to various groups about the Expedition.

Jennie adds that they are "groupies" at some of the conferences and lectures related to Lewis & Clark. In addition, she says, "Bill's collection of books and models (that he has made) have turned our dining room into the Lewis & Clark library and "shrine."

Andrea (Stalvey) and Chet Davis

CHS'54, in search of good news...Great idea!

Chet and I have been married 50 years (June 4, 1958), have three children and six grandchildren. My sister, Doddie, class of 1956, and I had a double wedding. We were married at Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church.

Andrea Stalvey Davis and husband ChetUNC TarHeels!

(That glass of Chapel Hill's famous red iced tea looks delicious. -Ed)

Responding to "in search of good news", it was good to hear from Kay and Tom Hurt:

We celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary in January. It has been a wonderful ride of "Growing Up and Growing Old Together". We have four children..two girls and two boys...the love of our lives...six grandchildren and two great grands...All of these make our hearts beat. In other words, life has been good. On our 50th the children and grandchildren gave us a wonderful surprise party with about 150 guests. I think for the first time in Tommy's life he was speechless. It was wonderful seeing all the old friends and enjoying our family. We have had a special life and enjoy "Old Age" together. Tommy has a passion for gambling (so do I) and his old cars that he has redone. Life is so short and living with Tommy has been a whirlwind. (picture not available at this time)