Thursday, April 29, 2010


Some people collect stamps, some collect coins and our own committee president, Obie Oakley, collect.......adventures!

There's a new video on YouTube that Obie produced celebrating the mountain climbing adventures that he and three of his best friends experienced back in the 1970's. Instead of letting the many pictures they snapped along the way just sit in an album in a drawer somewhere, Obie created a fascinating slide show for his friends to enjoy and show to grandkids. Their trips covered three western states, Mexico and Canada.

He agreed to share it with us here on the website.

He titled it HIGH ADVENTURES...........Take a look, .you will enjoy this!

I know I did. It's my favorite way to mountain climb; enjoying the scenery but not having to sleep outside in a tent!    -Ed

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

March Madness 1951....continued

By Irv Edelman

"Dear Ed,

Thank you for the update on our Central High class and the items that you included about me. Both of the latter are incomplete so let me fill in the blanks:

First of all, that infamous basketball game between Piedmont and AG; the final score of 2-0 was the official score of a forfeit. This is what happened:

My Piedmont team was missing 5 players who had measles and I worried about how I would play against George Powell being so short-handed. However, I need not have worried. George only knew one kind of defense to play..a 2-1-2 zone. Knowing that, and realizing that back in those days teams could hold the ball as long as they wanted to or as long as their opponents let them, I was reminded of that being a favorite play of the Carolina team.

Carson McClain could out jump any of the AG players so we figured on getting the tap, scoring the first basket, and then holding the ball.

George Powell liked to start a fast break off his zone defense and we could not run for a whole game. So, we were ahead 2-0 and I was nervous. I had not tried this before. But we got possession of the ball again, scored a basket, making it 4-0. This time we really were determined to hold the ball. George was furious! He called time out and came over to our bench. “Irv,” he said, “move that ball!!”
“The rules say I don’t have to. If you want the ball come get it.”
The time out cost him a technical foul and that made the score 5-0 and we kept possession. At this point,

Bobby Hord’s Dad came to the edge of the court and tried to get his son to sock somebody, but Bobby was not that type of kid.

“Irv,” George yelled, “if you don’t move the ball we are going home.”
I did not move the ball; George pulled his team off the court; and the referees declared the game forfeited.

Some of the boys probably don’t remember the details as well as I do because, after all, most of them were on the losing side.

As for the anecdotes relating to some of my wartime experiences, I should have been an officer, but I was called up before the end of the school year and had to go in as a private. The manpower shortage in 1943 was severe. My first battery commander was a Georgia Tech grad who saw that I got my diploma just before the Army finished processing me.

So, I went overseas as a corporal. We fought our way up the coast of New Guinea and made the landing at the Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. At that point, 17 members of our outfit (197th AAA) had earned enough months overseas and combat time so that they got rotated back to their homes in New Hampshire.

My Battery Commander at that point was an Alabama grad. One of the rotated soldiers was our wonderful first sergeant, young, but wise. So I was promoted to acting First Sergeant and for the next several months automatically moved up the ladder to "top-kick." The rest of the war I ran the 197th. When we were staging for the invasion of Japan, the atom bomb was dropped, making about 1 million Americans soldiers happy that we now could get back home alive."



Time Machine

Your email box is probably as cluttered as mine, so I promise to resist posting a bunch of "links" to YOUTUBE videos on this site no matter how clever or interesting they are.

But this one is an exception.

This film, was originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall, shadows indicating time of year, actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!)..It turns out that it was filmed only four days before the quake and shipped by train to NY for processing.

I don't know if that is completely true or not.....but even if you only watch a minute or two of this early (perhaps the first) 35mm film.... taken by a camera mounted on the front of a cable may feel that you just took a ride in a  TIME MACHINE.


This is what it looked like four days later (April 18, 1906)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

GREAT news for Linda and Ross!

Her name is Abigail Lynn (named for grandmom and great grandmom ... the Gayle part and the Lynne part)

The GREAT grandmom is, of course our own Linda Garmon Huggins! As you can imagine, Linda says she and Ross are ecstatic! My guess is that they have all but forgotten to worry about Linda's upcoming surgery Thursday for the removal of an abdominal mass; but we won't forget her in our prayers this week!  Anyway, worry doesn't accomplish anything.......but prayers do!

This is their proud grandson, Matthew Ross Murray holding his brand new baby girl, Abigail Lynne

Friday, April 23, 2010

Message from Howard

 Nancy Gibson Tomlinson's husband Howard sends us this information:

"My email address is .
I finally have my computer back in operation and will always be glad to hear from any of Nancy's class mates.
I overlooked information for those who might want to make a donation to Hospice in her name. I would have been unable to care for her at home without their care and help. The address is;

Tidewell Hospice
220 Wexford Blvd
Venice FL 34293

Regards Howard"

Jerry Gaudet adds:

This is the contact information we now have:
Mr. Howard Tomlinson
640 Back Nine Drive
Venice, FL 34285-4546

Downsizing Part 2

Speaking of downsizing, when I was making DVD copies of our 55th Reunion show, ONCE UPON A TIME, I had no idea how many of our classmates were planning on attending.  Hence, I made many more discs than were needed.

If those of you who were unable to attend the reunion and didn't get a copy OR know a friend who would like one just let me know and I'll send them a copy.

It's all free, of course. Just email me with your request:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day / Lenin's Birthday

     This is the 40th Anniversary of that great American tradition called Earth Day. It just occurred to me that I’m actually doing my part to save the planet by hanging onto so much accumulated “junk” (See article below “Downsizing”)

     The New York Times reports that San Francisco (of course) is leading the war on trash. Garbage collectors there who spot orange peels or aluminum soda cans in a trash bin will leave a note reminding the home owner how to separate his trash properly. Anyone found repeatedly flouting recycling protocol will be issued fines of $100 for small businesses and single-family homes and up to $1,000 for large businesses and multiunit buildings.

     So, hanging on to “junk” earns me a pretty good grade in the trash department, but, unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to stop my dirty habit of exhaling carbon dioxide. Almost 74 years of such activity certainly qualifies me as a serial exhaler!

     I’m so ashamed.

     But I’m doing my best to try to make Ira Einhorn, one of the founders of Earth Day and master of ceremonies of the globally televised first Earth Day ceremony proud of me. I was going to send him an Earth Day card……but I can’t find the address of the prison where he’s now rotting away for murdering his girlfriend and hiding her body in a trunk.

     Well, nobody’s perfect.   -Ed

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I know, I know. It’s high time we all started thinking about getting the mountain of treasures we’ve accumulated over all these years in some kind of order. (I just can’t bring myself to say “throw the stuff away…..but you know what I mean.)

So far, “thinking about it” is as far as I’ve gotten. However, I have stopped going to thrift shops and yard sales. As my wife so sweetly points out, ”You don’t need any other people’s junk to add to your own junk.”

Junk?  Hah!  I beg to differ..

Over the years I’ve found some real gems! Most of which I bought for  bargain prices! However, there was one I brought home that I didn't select

It selected me.

I’m talking about my styrofoam angel, pictured here. Other than the dress, the face and the wings…’s insides are styrofoam. It’s 2 feet high….and as you can imagine, very light. So light in fact that when I accidentally bumped into the bookcase in the small thrift shop, it fell from its position on the upper shelf…….and landed right into my arms!

I wasn’t in the market for a styrofoam angel that day….but… could I resist that obvious message from above.

It's been sitting here in my studio for several years now, and not being superstitious, I don’t believe it has anything to do with bringing me good luck.

But, so far, I haven’t had any bad luck.

There is one supposedly “good luck” symbol that I picked up later at that same shop. It’s a ceramic figure of a man carrying all sorts of utensils and goodies in a sack on his back. He’s called Ekeko……he’s a symbol of good luck to the people of Peru. Kinda like a Peruvian Santa Clause.

Unfortunately, I brought bad luck to Ekeko……….I dropped him and broke off his leg.

Finally, look what else I found in my favorite Falls Church, Virginia thrift shop!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Prayer List Addition

Frank Clontz (CHS55) send this report:

Re: Linda Garmon Huggins:

"Just talked with Linda's Husband, Ross and he advised me that Linda has some health problems. Currently, the doctors have found a Mass in her lower Abdomen that will require surgery this coming Tuesday, the 20th if she will well enough to undergo being put to sleep. She has been fighting pneumonia the past few weeks and doctors are concern that her lungs might not be strong enough for her to be put to sleep for the surgery. They, the doctors, are not sure of the mass in her lower abdomen until the operate. At that time they can tell with 15 to 20 minutes what the mass is.

I pray and ask others of the class of 54 to pray with me that she will be fine and fully recover from her physical problems. I told Ross that we will be thinking about her and praying to God that she will be fine. I, for one, believe that she will recover and be back to the Linda that I have known and loved, as a good friend, for fifty-seven years.

Be of good cheer and devour each day.

Frank Clontz"


Our old high school was the home of at least two nationally famous writers. Charles Kuralt comes to mind immediately since many of us knew him. But the other one has just about been forgotten.

CHS graduate Marion Hargrove became famous in 1942 for his bestselling book, SEE HERE PRIVATE HARGROVE (The book was made into a 1944 movie starring Robert Walker and Donna Reed.)

But that's about all we ever knew about our famous alumus. Hargrove continued writing, but unlike Kuralt, he worked behind the cameras....away from the bright lights of show business. Nevertheless, his work continued to be a part of the American culture until his death. In 1955 he moved to Hollywood and began writing for movies and TV. Among his credits are:

The Music Man  and television episodes of Maverick (1957), The Restless Gun (1957), Colt .45 (1957), Zane Grey Theater (1957), the pilot script for 77 Sunset Strip entitled Girl on the Run (1958), The Rogues (1964), I Spy (1966), and The Waltons (1975),

 I thought you'd like to see this letter I stumbled upon on the internet about CHS's other famous writer:

"Marion Hargrove was my father.

I, like most people, was deeply impressed by my father's generosity and kindness. He was an fascinating and very intelligent man with a vast array of interests. He was also a fabulous story teller. As my daughter said, he loved to tell them stories, especially of me as a young person. One of his favorites was as follows:

The Warner Brothers studio had sent him to New York to discuss adapting the Broadway show of The Music Man with Morton da Costa (the stage director - who had also directed the movie of Auntie Mame) and Robert Preston (the lead actor in the Broadway show). Since I was with him that weekend, he took me along to the Russian Tea Room to have lunch with these two to talk them into coming to Hollywood to make the movie. As we were ordering lunch, my father asked me if I wanted a glass of milk. I was looking at the menu, and said in an astonished voice: "A dollar twenty-five for a glass of milk??!! That's outrageous!!" (This was in the early 60's). However, my father said not to worry?.. that Jack Warner was paying for it. I still said no. I had water. So, the lunch went on with my father trying to convince the two that if the second act was pumped up and a different finale was written, that it would make a great movie.

Just before we left, Morton da Costa turned to my father and said he thought they would do it, but only if your son is the executive producer. (I was very tight with a buck) Anyway, the film got made; my father won the Writers Guild award for the best musical; da Costa was nominated for an Academy Award (as well as 6 others on the film) and the Directors Guild award.......and; it was one of the last big screen American musicals. 

I can't tell you how much I miss my father in the last few years. He was always a source of love and inspiration. When I went back to North Carolina, with my daughter Hannah, for my father's memorial service, I told her that she would have to get used to people not being in a hurry and wanting to talk to us. These are the people my father grew up with. And sure enough, everyone from the man at the counter of the rent-a-car office to waitresses at road stop diners wanted to chat with us and exchange personal histories. The most asked question was: Who are your people? It was a wonderful experience to be among the people who helped mold my father's character. I was very proud to be my father's son and told everyone so. 

The years that have gone by since 2003 do not diminish the love of a lost one. I'm glad my children got to know him. My favorite picture of my father is having a granddaughter on his lap in my backyard reading to her. My children are still great readers and will carry on the literary tradition he felt was so important.

Rest in peace, Dad."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Rest of the Story

Warren Sparrow has an amazing "update" to his terrific "hoosieresk" (I think I just made up a word) basketball story.........with a Duke vs Butler connection. To read his original story....followed by "The Rest of the Story"........CLICK HERE

It's downright spooky!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

LIVE, from Anderson, SC

That's quite a haul! But to visit old friends AND also enjoy a meal at Jimmies of Mint Hill, was well worth the trip! I have no doubt those were Gaither Blackwelder's thoughts and he and his wife Linda motored back down to Anderson. Jerry Gaudet reports:

First-time attendees Gaither and  Linda, came up from Anderson, SC. to attend this month's LDL event.

He even invited his brother and a couple of longtime friends to meet him at Jimmies. We all enjoyed seeing Millard Blackwelder, Glen Nanny (CHS'52) and Larry Thames (CHS'53).

CHS'54's "LDL" continues on the second Tuesday of each and every month. Today, 4/13/10, was the nineteenth such gathering at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill. Plan to join us next month.

(Reminder:  All CHS graduates are welcome to contribute news and stories to this website as well.  -Ed )

Detroit Lions, etc

It seems that I'm not the only one who remembers "The Clippers." I'm posting some of their comments at the bottom of that story.  -Ed

Sunday, April 11, 2010

..and then there was the time

   As you know, one of the main jobs of a granddaddy is to tell his grandkids stories about what it was like when he was a kid. I’m still doing that, since two of my 5 grandkids are still at that “tell me a story, granddaddy” stage.

   I like doing it, and am fairly good at it. I think they like my stories, but the problem is…..they don’t believe a darn word of any of them.

   Take for example the story about that day at Elizabeth School. when I was about 10 years old and had just gotten real interested in football, having seen my first game between Central and Gastonia. Seeing those players with big shoulders (that I later learned were pads) and bright uniforms hooked me completely.

   Anyway, at recess one day I happened to look over at the open field next to the school yard, and lo and behold ….playing football (practicing) before my very eyes were……the DETROIT LIONS!

   At this point in the story I start hearing moans of disbelief……as my audience quickly disappears.

   Sometimes I wonder, myself, if I really saw what I thought I saw.

   So you can imagine how relieved I was to come across this newpaper article from a 1946 Michigan newspaper.  -Ed

(Click on article to enlarge)

  (And yes, the Lions practiced the week before the game on the large open field next to Elizabeth School. The Charlotte Clippers  were the champions of the Dixie Football League that year. I believe the league folded the following year. )


 "While at Piedmont I was one of the water boys and helped the managers for the Clippers when they played at home. I knew all the players. Dave Harris became coach at Harding, and one of the players married the principle at Elizabeth. Cannot remember his name but he was a tackle. Great memories and great stories."  -Don Nance

"Enjoyed your article concerning Detroit Lions and the Charlotte Clippers. It took me down memory lane. When I was 10-12 years old we would go to all the games. At that time I was a member of the Optimist Club and we could get in free. I would go with Jay Summey, Ken Flower, Larry Flower, Dickie Ratcliffe Etc. Those were good times. No adult would accompany us and we were very safe. How times have changed..."   -Bob Ellis

 "Your assessment of our neighborhood lightning strike made me laugh. More importantly, your piece about the Lions and the Clippers was a real eye-popper. How did you get that clip? Amazing. I loved the Clippers. Until tonight I never knew they were a Lions farm team. I remember they played on Sunday. I am not sure how God let them get away with it. But, they were very good. I went to many of their games. They did well against teams in their league but every now and then they would take on the "big boys" and get clobbered.

As you can tell, our internet is back. So is our TV. We bought a new answering machine complete with three cordless phones. Life is good."  -Warren Sparrow


Near Miss at the Sparrow House

Warren Sparrow reports

"Thursday evening lightning struck the house two doors from ours. Fire broke out. Thanks to the rain and the quick response of our fire department, the 100-year-old house was saved. 

But, there was significant damage and the folks who lived there have moved into temporary quarters. We suffered minor damage: Fried cable TV and internet, fried answering machine and fried cordless phone. Let me tell you, when lightning strikes within 150 feet of you, it makes an impact." 

Fried Cable? Fried TV and internet?  That ain't minor, Warren. That's a catastrophe!  -Ed

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reid Johnston Continues Doing Well

Janice Johnston is keeping us up on Reid's progress...

"Dear Friends.

Once again we want to thank you for all the cards, phone calls and e-mails you have sent Reid. They give him hope and inspiration and help him cope with the illness. He was able to take chemo yesterday and of course he continues to take the radiation every day. Except for the fatigue, he is tolerating the treatments well. He has some decrease in his appetite but is eating a regular diet.

He sends regards to everyone.

Peace and Blessings to you and yours,
Reid and Janice."

Reid's contact information is:
Reid Johnston, wife Janice
1215 Erinshire Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211


LDL This Tuesday

It's the second week of the month again, April 13th to be exact, and that means another LDL event at Jimmies of Mint Hill!

These events are getting more and more popular as our group of CHS seniors socialize and feast at what many consider the restaurant with the best food at the best price of any in North and South Carolina!

The founder of this outstanding establishment is, of course, our own Ronnie Rallis.

Friends of our classmates are certainly welcome too!

Tuesday April 13th, 11:30am.

Ches Pie

   I don't mind admitting my ignorance when a subject that I know nothing about comes up in conversation. But when the subject is popular Southern foods...well, that's something I DO know a little about.  Or, thought I did.

   Until one of my friends up here asked if I knew how to make that great Southern delicacy CHES pie.

   Not only do I not know how to make it, I never heard of it.  Well, that drew loud guffaws. (a guffaw is similar to laughter, but with a sharp edge)

    Is there a chance that perhaps it's something that IS very common in North Carolina, but we call it by another name?

   The Yankees around here are often confused when it comes to the South.  For example they still insist that we address groups of people as "YOU ALL" (cue the guffaws) when in fact we never say that.

   We always say, "Yawl"  or "All Yawl"

(If all yaw'll have been eating ches pie for years, and can't believe that I've never heard of it please feel free to guffaw.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Great Moments in Sports


   The Bulldogs of Alexander Graham Junior High were on a roll! AG’s coach, George “The Wizzard” Powel had devised a formidable zone defense that none of their opponents had been able to penetrate all year. The big game with Piedmont was coming up and the odds in Las Vegas were overwhelmingly in AGs favor.

   The teams were fairly evenly matched personell wise; AG’s Greg “The Glove” Laneve, Warren “Big Bird” Sparrow, Gene “The King” Lookabill and Tommy “The Enforcer” Hurt graced the Charlotte sports pages daily.

Equally talented were the Panthers’ Ed “Skyhook” Berryhill, Carson “The machine” McClain, Jack “The Mailman” Campbell and Alton “Kid Dynamite” Widenhouse. But everyone agreed that coach Irv “The Surprise” Edelman’s team was in for a long afternoon!

   Piedmont took an early 2 point lead……….and stopped at mid court….just dribbling and passing….daring the AG team to come out of their zone and get them. Otherwise……the panthers were going to dribble and pass the game away….and win by 2 points. A brilliant and almost unheard of strategy at the time; reminiscent of another legendary coach, George “No Man Line” Sparger.

AG’s coach was adament that Piedmont had an obligation to try and penetrate his team’s zone. Coach Edelman’s attitude was simply…..”If your team wants to score any more points….come and get the ball.”

That’s exactly what Coach Powel did. He came and got the ball and took it …and his team home.

Final score, Piedmont 2, AG 0. 


Contributors to this story were: Warren Sparrow, Kay Hurt and Tommy and Kay's talented son in law

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Update on Lou Palomba

Betty Rose reports that her husband Lou had his first experience today with oral chemo and his first chemo infusion.  She says that she's hoping he will get through this with flying colors.

"....he will take oral chemo now for two weeks (14 days) - off one week and then start the pills and infusion once again. After that he will have a CT Scan to see what has taken place. Hopefully it will be gone and he will be free of cancer. We will keep everyone posted.

Continue to keep Lou in your thoughts and prayers. 

Thank you, much love,

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Nancy Gibson Tomlinson Passes

Jerry Gaudet sends this sad news:

Today, the sad word came from Shirley McClanahan Maynor and Karol Broadwell Welch that Nancy Gibson Tomlinson has passed away. Karol's husband, Bob, is Nancy's cousin and he kept us well informed of Nancy's condition.

It is understood that Nancy passed on Friday, April 2, at about 7 PM, after a long, long battle with complications from cancer and COPD. She died at home with all of her children present. Nancy had been a wonderfully supportive friend to several of our classmates suffering similar illnesses.

This is the contact information we have:
Mr. Howard Tomlinson
640 Back Nine Drive
Venice, FL 34285-4546

We do not know at this time if Nancy's email will be read by family...

Breaking news from Djubouti


The Republic of Djubouti is the smallest and poorest country in Africa.

And guess which country is sending money, supplies and manpower to help lift it up from abject poverty?  France? Germany? Saudi Arabia? Iran?

Nope. The mean old USA.

Our humanitarian aid to countries in need is so common and ongoing that it's no longer news. The reason it's just become news to us is because the grandaughter of Betty Rose (Templeton) and Lou Palomba is among America's Finest who are over there

 US Air Force lst Lt. Jessica Siemer, who's husband Tim is flying cargo planes into Iraq and Afghanistan, will be serving in Africa for the next 6 months as a contractor

Jessica, 25 years old, graduated from Myers Park High School with a scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She is stationed on a Naval Base in Djubouti along with service people from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

When Jessica left on Wed., March 31st, there were 240 service men and women being dropped off in Rota, Spain; Sigonella, Italy; Bahrain and the last stop being Africa.

Needless to say, her grandparents, are very very proud of her and all that she has accomplished.

And so are we.

Tim and Jessica are stationed in Seattle, Washington.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool!! Aw, forget it

I try to keep this blog as timely as possible and since this is April Fool’s day…..I thought I’d play a joke and write something outrageous……and then…..the punch line would be “April Fool!”
But it just dawned on me….and millions of other Americans, I’m sure, that like so many things recently, Congress has ruined April Fool’s day.
I can’t think of a thing that is so outrageously unbelievable in today's America as to qualify for a traditional April Fool Joke.
So much for that tradition.

Instead I’ll wish you a “Happy Easter.” (Soon to be re-named “Spring Festival” or some such nonsense, I’m sure)

This is how a church in London……..said it.