Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Told My Mom Not to Throw My Comic Books Away!

....but NOooooo, she not only got rid of them, but made me clean my room occassionally. Talk about child abuse!

Other than that, she was a perfect Mom!!

By now you've heard that the first Superman comic book recently sold for 1 Million dollars! A few days later, the first edition of a Batman comic sold for 1 Million 75 thousand dollars!

At one time I had BOTH of those comics. Chances are if you were into comics like I had them too!

Nothing against Elizabeth School, mind you, but I learned to read.........from comics, not school.

For years, Bobby Burris and I traded comics at least once a week. Between the two of us I venture to say that  at one time or other we had read 90 percent of all the comics ever printed in this country.

According to the press, neither one of the purchasers has been identified (which makes me think there might be some hanky panky going on) but if this story is true......surely no other Mom would throw their kid's comic books away after they outgrew .I'm hoping that one of the "sellers" turns out to be Bobby Burris. -Ed

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Number One Crackerjack!

Ellouise (Diggle) Schoetteler found this recent interview with a Charlotte "institution:"

Arthur (Guitar Boogie) Smith!!

Take a look, you'll enjoy it.

Click Here

Friday, February 26, 2010

Something Warm, for a Change

Warren Sparrow checks in with a heart warming true adventure.... (Photo lifted from the movie "HOOSIERS" -Ed)

I hope you like this story as much as we enjoyed living it. -Warren

Yesterday Becky and I went to see our grandson Warren's middle school (Wiley MS 8th graders) basketball game. The game was played at Jefferson Middle School. Jefferson was undefeated. Wiley, Warren's team, had lost one game. Wiley took an early lead, about 10 points at the half, against a bigger team. The Jefferson team cut the lead to two or four by the end of the third quarter, The crowd was very excited and loud, naturally pulling for the home team. Midway through the fourth quarter Jefferson pulled ahead. Wiley was on the ropes. It looked like the home team was on the way to victory.

Then an amazing thing happened. One of the Wiley stars tried to take over the game. He dribbled around, juked his man and drove for the basket. He was clobbered on the way to the goal, sprawling on the floor. Time out. The Wiley coach took him out and replaced him with the smallest kid on the team. By rule every player on the team must play in every game. Honoring this rule, the Wiley coach took out the star who appeared to be hurt and put this little kid into the game for the first time. Mind you, this kid usually plays less than 60 seconds.

To make things more strange, the Wiley coach tried to get his No. 1 star on the foul line for the critical free throws. The Jefferson coach smelled a rat and complained to the officials. He was right, of course. So, the refs told Star No. 1 to step aside. The crowd roared its approval.

Up stepped the little kid who had not played more than five minutes all season. The yelling intensified as the child got the ball from the referee. The kid dribbled a couple of times and shot. The ball skimmed the front of the rim and dropped cleanly through the basket. Now Wiley was one point behind. The ref handed the ball to the kid again. He shot. It was instant replay. Kerplunk. The child whose coach did not want him to shoot the foul shots made them both and tied the game. I almost cried.

The Jefferson players never recovered. Wiley won the game. It was a wonderful thing for our gang. You should have been there. It was just like that Gene Hackman movie...only we were there.

Thank you for listening. Like Dean Martin sang, "Memories are made of this." May the lord bless everybody, particularly those little kids who are not good enough to play in the games.

Joyfully yours,


Terrific! Thanks Warren.  We're still looking for more true don't be shy....chime in with a story of your own....or whatever.....this is an equal opportunity website!!!  -Ed

UPDATE:  The Rest of the Story

Allow me to revisit the "Hoosiers" piece. In light of Butler's near-miraculous last-second shot against Duke, we are reminded of the Gene Hackman movie which you mentioned in my story about our grandson's basketball game last month. In the movie as well as in our grandson's game, both teams came from behind and won. In the Butler/Duke game, the underdog's last-second shot failed. Bad theater but good for us Duke fans. Listen to this....

The 2010 Butler team plays in the gym where "Hoosiers" was filmed. This is the same gym where the real game was played years before the movie was made. The real Hickory High was in fact Milan High. The big school was Muncie Central. Milan won on a last-second shot.

Here is, with all due respect to Paul Harvey, "the rest of the story." For the 1958-9 basketball season I was the basketball "color" announcer for the Duke campus radio station. Jim Faris, one of my fraternity brothers, was the play-by-play man. At the time of Milan's improbable victory, Jim was living in Indiana. Not only was he living in Indiana, he was a student at Muncie Central. Not only was he a student at Muncie Central but he was at the game when Milan beat Muncie Central.

Had that last Butler shot beat Duke, I am sure Jim would have croaked. Me too.

Jim has been practicing law in the DC area. He has retired, He and his wife Joan are moving to Indiana. I guess you can go home again.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Name to our Prayer List

Jerry Gaudet reports that Don Bryan's wife, Betty, suffered a fall on January 11, breaking her hip in three places. Don is presently her only caregiver. Some of you may know that Betty took care of Peggy (Don's first wife, classmate Peggy Strawn) in her last days.

(Our sympathy and best wishes go out to Betty for a speedy recovery!  -Ed)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From the Window

I often think of that old saying, "The storm is always worse from the window."

That's so true!  The times I've been ill (frankly there haven't been many), I'm convinced that my wife Linda feels worse than I do. And vice versa.  I went through "labor" 3 times.

So, remember our "spouses" when adding to your prayer list.

I understand that Mitzi (Roper) is nursing her husband John these days. He hasn't been feeling well for several weeks.....and may be in the hospital getting checked out.

Haven't heard anything lately about our other classmates who are going through medical problems, but when I do.....I'll post them on the website.

Meanwhile, I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about our snow storms up here in the Washington, DC area, so this will be my last mention of it.  The three feet of the white stuff on my roof.....DIDN'T cause it to collapse.....although a lot of "flat roofs" (such as the Falls Church Fire Department) did.

My spirits were lifted yesterday when I saw this Hyacinth at the Giant Food Store. Just one whiff of this wonderful flower tells me that SPRING is almost here!  What a high that is!

I tried to take an "artsy" picture of the flower contrasted with what's left of the snow on my roof....but it didn't come off very well.....the garbage can...and the sagging gutter kinda spoiled it.

So much for art.


From Wickapedia: 

Myth associated with Hyacinth

"Hyacinth was a beautiful youth loved by both the god Apollo and the West Wind, Zephyr. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns at throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, but was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died.[2] A twist in the tale makes the wind god Zephyrus responsible for the death of Hyacinth.[3] The youth's beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. Apollo did not allow Hades to claim Hyacinth. Instead, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from Hyacinth's spilled blood."

(Who would have known. Ain't the internet wonderful.  Speaking of Myths, has anyone seen Al Gore lately?  If you do, tell him to call his office.   -Ed)

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Sad Note From Nancy

Nancy Gibson Tomlinson sent us this note:

"This e-mail is to let you know I have been very ill for the past six weeks. My doctors have confirmed that I am in the final stage of the disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis - for which there is no cure). I was given 3-5 years to live 8 years ago when first diagnosed with this animal.

Unfortunately I have reached the end of the line. It has been a great ride with a wonderful husband, family and great friends.

I want to thank all of you for your e-mails, prayers and cards. I no longer have the strength to maintain my e-mails on a daily basis so I will ask that you restrict your e-mails to personal.

Much love to all of you - Nancy"

(What a trooper she is! What an inspiration she's been to all of us who have loved her all these years!
She and her loving husband drove all the way from Florida in a car full of oxygen tanks to be at our 55th Reunion!
In the not too distant future, we'll all be at a great reunion.....but there won't be any oxygen tanks....or walkers...or hearing aids, etc. -Ed)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Penny Postcard

I saw this postcard on eBay today. It's from the 1930's...which I understand was the golden age of postcards. The price for mailing postcards stayed at one penny until 1952, when it went to 2 cents. It now costs 28 cents to mail one.

I wish eBay had shown the reverse side of the card. I'd love to read the message. But, since I don't plan to bid on it, I'll just have to imagine what it might say.


"Dear Babs,
 Having a wonderful time, wish you were here.
Thought you'd like to know that they're going to chop down the tree and cement over our high school's beautiful front lawn for a main road to be called "Elizabeth Avenue." If they keep this up, next thing you know they'll cement over practically everything and build tall buildings....etc....until we won't even recognize our little town.    -Sam"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowfall in Charlotte Scenes

Our friend from the class of 55, Frank Clontz checked in with an eyewitness report from Charlotte:

"Attached are several photos from this morning. I know you guys were covered with tons of snow but the small amount we got overnight looked pretty this morning.

Oh, by the way several years ago in a January, I think, we got 21 inches of snow overnight accompanied by high winds that made the snow into 10-12" ribbons and it was really surreal. I tried to take photos of the "snow ribbons" but did not have a fast enough camera.

Another note, the class of 55 is planning a 55th reunion on May 15th. I guess we just had to copy what you guys did."


Nice photos! It was certainly a more civilized storm than ours. Also, hope yaw'll have as much fun as we did at our 55th!  -Ed

Thursday, February 11, 2010

and on the Eleventh Day.....

...of February, there's light at the end of the tunnel!

If it weren't for the obvious earthly artifacts (houses, cars, lamp posts, etc.) this photo could easily be mistaken for one taken on the surface of the moon.

I don't know when I've been so glad to see the sun!  Even though there's still a foot of snow underneath what appears to be a "plowed" street.....the plowing happened between storms. During the height of the storm yesterday, the snow plows were ordered to stop. They were completely overwhelmed.

Things are quite a mess here in the Washington/Northern Virginia area, but that sunshine has lifted your humble webmaster-czar's spirits greatly!

There are still things to be concerned collapsing roofs, hazardous driving conditions, 5 foot (and worse) snow drifts, etc.

But frankly, today, I'm concentrating on the positive aspects of the storm.

#1 - The government has been closed for almost a week!
#2 - Al Gore is nowhere to be found!

I'll think of more as the day goes on. Please feel free to add to my list.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Another foot of snow is expected here before this ends tonight.

The Falls Church Fire Station's roof folks up here have something else to worry about. It's estimated that our 2 feet of snow we got the other day has put about one ton of weight on the roofs of the homes.......I haven't heard how much another foot of the stuff will add to it.

Spring can't come soon enough!


The picture above was taken looking out my front door.  Below is what it looks like from Ellouise's window....a few miles north of me in Maryland.

Ellouise has a few more pics up on her website. She says that    "... if you ever yearned for snow when we were kids.........then HERE IT IS!"

Also, check out the video she posted on her site yesterday. It's very funny....AND short.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

News From Florida

 Jerry Gaudet reminds us to keep Nancy on our prayer list:

Shirley Maynor spoke with Nancy Gibson Tomlison today. Unfortunately, Nancy's health concerns are not improving. Nancy asked that everyone hold emails until further notice saying she is not up to reading and sending right now. Nancy's energy and breathing ability are diminishing.

The suggestion is that you send cards or notes to:

Nancy Tomlinson, husband Howard
640 Back Nine Drive
Venice, FL 34285-4546

Teacher Don Newman Dies

Former Central High School teacher Don Newman died Sunday afternoon, 2/7/10, at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte. Don had been in failing health for some years, and had been in the hospital for several days when he passed away.

The Newman family will receive friends Tuesday, February 9, at Wilson Funeral Home on Albemarle Rd,, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, and the funeral service will be at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church on Wednesday at 2:00 PM.

Obituary from the Charlotte Observer
February 9, 2010

Donald Isaiah Newman 

Mr. Newman, a native of Clinton, grew up on a farm in Sampson County, North Carolina, and retired as a principal in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. He first taught at Piedmont Junior High School and Central High School. Then he served as Principal at Piedmont Junior High School, Ranson Junior High School, Olympic High School, and Tuckaseegee Elementary School.
He earned his BA degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Masters of Education degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. He was a World War II Naval Veteran and served in the Pacific on Convoy duty and in the Philippine Islands.
As a member of the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, he taught adult Sunday school classes, was a member and teacher of the Epworth Class, and sang in the Chancel Choir. He was a former member of Saint Luke's United Methodist Church on Shamrock Drive. He loved to play the piano and sing old hymns, like 'Rock of Ages' and 'The Old Rugged Cross.'
He is survived by his wife, Sally, and by his children, Donna Newman, PhD, of Raleigh, NC, Sara Johnson of Nashville, TN, Laura Newman of Aiken, SC, Debra Callahan of Harrisburg, NC, Lisa DeLane Huneycutt of Concord, NC, Melanie Perry of Albemarle, NC, Kathy Nixon of Franklin, NC, Susan Brown of Gastonia, NC, by his brother, James Francis Newman of Clinton, NC (formerly of Norfolk, VA), his sister, Peggy Royal of Sampson County, and by his numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lucille Newman, his eldest daughter, Sylvia Gregory, his son, Neil Griffin, Jr., all of Charlotte, NC, and his brother, Oswald Max Newman, of Clinton, NC. He and his family were blessed to have had Angela Leigh to take care of him during his last few years of life.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at Wilson Funeral and Cremation Service, 5301 Albemarle Road, Charlotte. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church. The Rev. Arnie Corriher will officiate. Interment will follow at Sharon Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Choir Fund at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, 6401 Hickory Grove Road, Charlotte, NC 28215. 

Online condolences may be made at

Monday, February 08, 2010

And It Keeps on Coming

I know you're getting tired of hearing about all the snow we're getting up here in Virginia. I know that Linda and I are tired of it!

 We're expecting another foot of it.....on top of the 2 feet we already have...and they're predicting a lot of wind and ice along with it.  I expect to say "goodbye" to our electricity any moment now.  But, so far, so good.

Don Nance sent us a couple of beautiful photographs taken outside of his house in Wythville, VA...around Christmas time.

 If any of you have pictures.....or'd like to share, please send them along.
I've got a lot of time on my hands right now.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Proof That Evolution Sometimes Works In Reverse

Fifteen months ago RFK Jr. proclaimed that "... global warming means no snow or cold in Washington," DC. He went on to add:

"...meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy."

So now I know who's responsible for this:  Exxon Mobile!

Just wait until I get my hands on that evil "TONY THE TIGER!"

When I get out of here.

In about a week.


Saturday, February 06, 2010


That's what they're calling it up here in the Washington/Northern Virginia area  This is what it looks like out my front window at this time (12:20 pm notice mailboxes). They say we're about half way through this storm.

This is what my car looked like early this morning...right outside my carport.  I would show you what the roof of my house looks like....but I can't get out my front door.

This is a shot of the tree that fell this morning between my house and the house next door. If you don't hear from me for'll know that the snow finally covered us up completely. So far I'm hearing that over 90 thousand Virginia residents are now without power.....hope mine stays on for a little while longer.


Friday, February 05, 2010

But Al Gore said..........

....oh, nevermind.

Everybody up here in the Washington/Northern Virginia area is hunkering down in anticipation of our second 2 foot snowfall of the year.  From what I read on the internet, Charlotte is going to be a bit more fortunate since the forecast (at this time) calls for mostly rain.  However, a lot of it is going to be freezing rain...and that's the kind that pulls down power lines etc.

The Loss of power is a possibility for both our areas.

I sure hope that doesn't happen to any of us, especially on this SuperBowl weekend.

Nevertheless, the silver lining is that Congress won't be able to meet for at least a couple of days which means our wallets will get a brief rest.

The other positive note is that the birds have started telling us that SPRING is on the way!  (Listen closely and you can hear them. The reason for this is that around the first of February, our feathered friends begin to notice that daylight is beginning to lengthen.....and it will soon be time for the spring prom!)

And, there's always the possibility that this predicted storm won't amount to a hill of beans.

Anyway, it's just a storm....not armagedden!

BUT, not getting to see the SuperBowl would be serious.  


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

LDL Enters its Second Year

The "Let's do Lunch" initiative entered its second year on January 12th. The brainchild of Shirley
Maynor, the LDL events have proven to be a highly anticipated feature among the 54 Wildcats.

A couple of "first time" visitors at January's bash at Jimmies of Mint Hill were: Mamie Goodwin Baucom and husband Mack and John Merritt.

The NEXT LDL fest will be held on February 9th at Jimmies beginning at 11:30am!

Bring a friend!!

Mary Kratt's Mom Passes

 Our deepest sympathy to Mary Ran Norton Kratt on the passing of her mother.

Martha Hood Norton 

Mrs. Norton, 100, a resident of Plantation Estates in Matthews, died in her sleep January 30, 2010. Born in Prosperity, TN on July 31, 1909, she was a unique and spritely soul, the youngest of eight children and the only girl. She grew up in North Carolina's Mecklenburg and Gaston counties where her father, Rev. James Boyce Hood, held his final pastorates in Associated Reformed Presbyterian churches at Back Creek and then at Pisgah near Crowder's Mountain.

Her mother was Eva Lee Hickman Hood, a native of Rockbridge County VA. A graduate of UNC-Greensboro, Martha taught English and Latin in high schools in Mt. Ulla, Mooresville, and Mt. Holly, NC and in Beckley, WVA.

At Duke University graduate school in 1932, she met fellow student Randolph Norton of Deltaville, VA, whom she wed in 1934. They were married 66 years.
Martha was an exceptional teacher, lively storyteller, Girl Scout leader, fisherman, swimmer, homemaker, rock collector, longtime member of Sardis Presbyterian Church and the American Association of University Women, and a much loved parent and grandmother. She was a descendant of early Mecklenburg settler Tunis Hood, who arrived in Mecklenburg County in 1775 with his wife Elizabeth and farmed in the Mint Hill area near Hood's Crossroads.

Martha was predeceased by her son, James Randolph Norton and her husband William Randolph Norton, and survived by daughter, Mary Norton Kratt and husband Emil F. (Jim) Kratt; grandchildren, Emil William (Bill) Kratt and wife Cathy of Raleigh, NC, Laura Kratt of Troy, NY, Hunter Kratt Skinder and husband Mark of Greenfield, MA; and great-grandchildren, Eli Jacob Kratt, Ethan Randolph Kratt, and Eva Cedar Skinder.

A proud, generous, and high-spirited woman with many gifts, Martha's delightful letters, meandering tales, witty sayings, and admonitions to her family and kin will long be remembered. At the age of 97, although blind and confined to a wheelchair, she demonstrated to her spellbound great-grandsons how to swim the sidestroke.

A graveside memorial service will be held at Sardis Presbyterian Church at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 15.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Crisis Assistance Ministry, 500A Spratt St, Charlotte NC 28206 or to the North Caroliniana Society, Wilson Library, UNC Campus Box 3930, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

Heritage Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Published in Charlotte Observer on February 3, 2010

6 More Inches of Global Warming

,,,and a "BIG ONE" predicted for the weekend.
Where was all this snow....when we really needed it?

Just think of all the "days off" from school we could have enjoyed if only the snow had showed up 60 or so years ago!  But Noooo!

I believe we can count on one hand the number of days school was closed back then because of snow. I don't even recall anything about it ever being closed because of "teacher meetings, etc" they do today.

The only times I ever remember getting an "unscheduled holiday" was when I was able to convince my Mom that I was really, really, sick! (and wouldn't be well enough to go outside and play til at least noon.)

That tactic worked pretty good until late one afternoon my 5th grade teacher, Miss Willis, happened to drive by the house and saw me playing in my front yard.

I could never look her in the eye after that.

From what I hear on the news, Charlotte has had a tough winter too. If anyone has any pictures I'd love to see them.