Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flowers From Shirley

To all Class Mates:

I need to inform you I have hit the next mile with this breast has reached my coconut head. I have had two brain radiation treatments already and eight more to go. This is to let you know what is going on with me.

Mary Sue, Marlene and Carolyn will need to take over leading the "LDL" programs. Please keep it going.
I will come when I can, soon as I finish treatments and have little more energy.

Can't drive for a while. Keep sending emails, call etc. Call If you
need something. Have a great summer. This is a real experience...
am I having fun yet?

 Just keep postive and keep laughing.


Maintaining her great sense of humor and positive attitude, Shirley's note with the bouquet of snapdragons read:

"I just wanted you to know that I've entered the "Snapdragon" part of my life...
Part of me has snapped, and the rest of me is draggin...."

What an inspiration Shirley has been, and continues to be to us all!  -Ed

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Talk About a DUKE Fan!

So there he was, about to engage in mortal combat with the enemy and what is he thinking about?

“At the end of 1944, we were in convoy to the Lingayen Gulf (Luzon, P.I.) for the January 5th invasion, when my battery commander (an Alabama grad) and I learned that Duke and 'Bama were to play in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st.”

That was what Coach Irv Edelman wrote for this website a couple of months ago. In all fairness, I’m sure there were other things on his mind at the time but any of us who were ever in his classes or on his teams were well aware of his devotion to his alma mata.

So are all of his friends.

Recently one of them was riding the train to Washington and struck up a conversation with a gentleman who turned out to be an assistant coach at Duke. Edelman’s name, and his lifelong love of Duke came up in the conversation.

A few weeks later a large box arrived at Edelman’s door……and in it was a warm note along with a Duke football, autographed by the head coach, David Cutcliffe.

Even Carolina fans will have to admit that was a first class gesture! -Ed

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mystery Photo

Frank Clontz (CHS'55) sent in this great photo. We all recognize our own sports legend, Jim Beatty; but who are these other people?

Just kidding.

Even the "non baseball" fans can identify Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the NY Yankees. The only mystery about it is the identity of the little kid.

By now, he may be famous as well and recognized nationwide.

If you happen to know his identity, let us know.  -Ed

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Blogger, John Brock

John Brock is a retired newspaper editor, publisher, college professor and motion picture producer. He is also one of the country's outstanding chroniclers of Southern Culture. Brock is a CHS graduate, class of 1950.  -Ed

"This goes on your permanent record"

I don’t know what the practice is today but when I was growing up, public schoolteachers and principals always held the threat of my “Permanent Record” over my head like a hammer.

Whenever I misbehaved or even when they suspected that mere thoughts of mischief were rattling through my brain, they would threaten me with, “You know this will go on your Permanent Record”.

A student’s Permanent Record attained status with God’s Book of Life and students lived in fear we would be haunted through our lifetimes with what might be recorded within this grave document.

Only at Central High School did I begin to question the existence of a Permanent Record. But doubts were still strong enough to keep me in line throughout my public school career.

A lifetime has passed and I have yet to be confronted with my Permanent Record in any job interview, induction into the US Army, upon joining a new group or, for that matter, at any juncture in my life.

So, I have decided that it is time, once and for all, to settle this haunting question of Permanent Records.

Citing various Freedom of Information laws that did not exist when I was a student but which now guarantee Americans the right to access every private record from their dental records to their school Permanent Records, I have asked the Charlotte Public School Administration to furnish me with a complete and accurate copy of my Permanent Record.

Truth is at hand. If indeed there is such a record, I will learn, at last, if my sins have been recorded for posterity.

Does my PR contain the misdeeds of my youth? Does it recite the times I brought firecrackers to school and set them off at recess? Does it relate my indiscretions regarding shared homework assignments, etc.?

I once dangled a fake spider over the head of a Study Hall teacher as I approached from behind. After much screeching, she ordered me to “go to the principal’s office”. I did.

A number of years ago,  I came across Mr.Otts in an assisted living facility where my mother was residing. I told him the story and he said that he did not remember the incident.

I replied, “Of course you don’t. I was only instructed to ‘go to the principal’s office’ which I did. I sat there a few minutes and then went back to class, whereupon, I was asked, ‘did you go to the principal’s office?’ and I responded that I had indeed gone”

I never bothered to mention that I said nothing to anyone in the office about why I was there. I had merely followed the teacher’s instructions to do no more than “go to the principal’s office.” I did exactly as I was told. No more. No less. After all, my Permanent Record was in jeopardy.

I now anxiously await a response to my request for a copy of my Permanent Record.

I will let you know if I do indeed get a copy of the dark secrets contained therein and perhaps, I will even share the contents with you.

In the annals of human events, it is time that the mystery of the Permanent Record be settled once and for all.


John Brock's latest book, Southern Breezes Whistle Dixie can be purchased ($12.95) from
Southern Observer Press
PO Box 1711
Pawley's Island, SC  29585

PS....John's father was the founder of the legendary Brock's Barber Shop around the corner, on Pecan Avenue, from Stanley's Drug Store.  -Ed

Saturday, June 19, 2010


(We were saddened to learn of the death of  Dr. John Otts, our principal at CHS. I believe most of us will agree that the public education system will not see a leader like him for at least 100 years. Perhaps never. Please feel free to add your comments about the man. I'll start the discussion.  -Ed)

He was Mister us. We didn't have to wait until he earned his academic Doctor title to know that this man was a leader. A very special leader.

I never heard him raise his voice, although we knew he was mad as Hell at us for that "wrecked car" that was parked right across the street from the school...that some of the boys couldn't resist from adding even more destruction. Who can forget the day we were all called into the auditorium and interrogated.

I'll never forget the time I tried to move the marble bench right outside his office in order to tape an election poster to the wall....and the bench fell and broke in half.

When he heard the noise....he came out of his office to see what was going on....and all he said was, "Well, there goes $50." And went back into his office.

Then there was the time that one of the DJ's at WGIV became ill...and the station asked if I could leave class early and come fill in. Mr.Otts approved my leaving school early, excusing me for the rest of the day.

At the final assembly in 1953 he told the school that the 1953 graduating class was the finest that he had ever had.

I was hoping that a year later he would say the same thing about the class of 1954.
But he didn't.

That's the only time I ever disagreed with him.  -Ed

Warren Sparrow writes:

"He was a bright man and down-to-earth. He got me to stop chewing my nails. I never realized what a significant role he played in my life until years after I graduated from Central. He was the one who said at graduation that no subsequent graduation (college, etc.) would be as meaningful as the one from Central High. Having been to two subsequent ones, I know he was right."  -W. W. Sparrow

Betty Rose Templeton Palomba

"I was not aware of all the things he was responsible for while at Central. I must have been on another planet. I must have really missed something.................although I did think he was a very nice principal." - Betty

John Merritt:

"I thought highly of John Otts. I nearly caught his wrath one time, and glad I didn't test his patience. "They" say small kids can pick up on friction and disharmony and learn early to recognize signs of well being. I believe most of the bigger kids at Central read John's signs accurately and gave him his due attention and respect. Surely I do not know the details of his leaving the system, but I'm certain the system learned to regret his lack of promotion. I worked for three school principals, (two good ones) and none could match his judgement and composure." -John Merritt

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ronnie Rallis' Sister passes

Jerry Gaudet reports that Ronnie Rallis' sister, Barbara Economou, passed away this week.

Our sympathies to Ronnie Rallis on the passing of her sister..

This is the obituary from the Charlotte Observer.

Barbara Economou

Mrs. Economou, a native of Charlotte, NC was born April 29, 1922 and passed away on June 15, 2010 in Sarasota, FL.
Barbara attended public schools in Charlotte and graduated from Central High School. She then attended and graduated from business school and worked as an administrative secretary for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System until her retirement.
Barbara married her loving husband, George, and together they raised two children, a daughter, Catherine, and a son, Deno.

Her husband, George, predeceased her in 1978 as did her beloved daughter, Catherine, in 1968.
Barbara is survived by her son, Deno, a Circuit Court Judge in Sarasota, Florida and his wife, Alene.
She is also survived by her sisters, Tula Pappas and Ronnie Pourlos, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral service and Trisagion for Mrs. Economou will be held 11:00 AM Friday, June 18, 2010, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Interment will follow in Elmwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the cathedral one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Cathedral Foundation of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203.
Arrangements are in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, 1111 East Blvd. Please share condolences online at

Published in Charlotte Observer on June 17, 2010P

Dr.Otts Dies

Bob Ellis just informed me that our friend and principal, Dr. John Otts has died. He was 100 years old.

Dr. John Coan Otts

BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC -- Dr. Otts, 100, a distinguished educator and churchman, died June 12, 2010 at Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain, N.C. A memorial service will be held at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church Saturday, July 17th.

A son of the late Bertha Warren and John Coan Otts Sr., he was born in Spartanburg, S.C. August 14, 1909. He was educated in Spartanburg public schools and at Wofford College, graduating in 1930. He later earned a master's degree in English at Vanderbilt University, a master's in Education and an Ed. D in School Administration at Columbia University in New York.

His career in public education spanned the period from 1931 to 1961 which included the Great Depression, World War II, the post-war, baby boom and the beginning of desegregation, all causes of education upheaval. For eight years he was a teacher of English, mathematics, journalism and public speaking in Spartanburg High School, where he also was head of the English Department and school-year book adviser
For the four following years he served as principal in two Spartanburg schools. In 1945 he became principal of Charlotte Central High, succeeding Dr. Elmer H. Garinger and Dr. I.E. Ready. As leader of one of the largest high schools in North Carolina, he won acclaim for instant Discipline, crisp communication and an ability to inspire both teachers and students. He was fondly remembered for abrupt 'three-day' dismissals of students who misbehaved.

 At faculty meetings Otts encouraged teachers to challenge students with the most advanced material to bring out the best within them and prepare them for college or the workplace. In addition to being principal, he often taught courses in speech, psychology and family living. The latter included sex education, at the time a forbidden subject in many households. He also took part in school theatricals, faculty-student basketball games and various skits.

He took a great interest in students and privately helped many find the means to further their education. He would call a college admissions director about a worthy student and ask that he find a place for him. For years after his principal-ship he was often a guest at high school reunions, delighting alumni with his wit and self-deprecating humor. He showed a warm and engaging side of himself that former students had rarely seen. He left Central High in 1955 to become assistant superintendent for personnel and public relations and later for instruction in Charlotte city schools. When Charlotte schools were desegregated in the fall of 1957, he led in planning the procedure, overseeing school and class assignment, working with police and briefing the press.

 In 1960, as Charlotte and Mecklenburg County school systems were merged, he became assistant superintendent for instruction though-out the system. A year later, when many Charlotteans expected Dr. Otts to succeed Elmer Garinger as superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Otts resigned to become professor of education at what was then Queens College. The move enabled the merged school system to hire an outsider unaffiliated with either of of its previously separate systems.

During his Charlotte career, Otts was an active member of Covenant Presbyterian Church where he was an elder and for over 20 years taught the Men's Bible Class. He also was a member and president of the Charlotte Civitan Club. From Queens College he move to UNC-Chapel Hill where he was a professor of education and often taught off-campus acting dean of the UNC School of Education for one year.

 In the fall of 1967, he returned to his native state as dean of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. As dean and afterward he often taught prisoners at night helping them earn their GEDs. Dr. Otts was a member of many professional and academic associations and a consultant on many academic committees. The Wofford College Alumni Association presented Dr. Otts its Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding achievement and service.

In the summer of 1975, he retired and with his wife, Lou, enjoyed extensive travel. A number of their travels were in conjunction with academic seminars. He was called from retirement in 1979-80 to serve as interim president of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education at Richmond, VA, later renamed Union Theological Seminary-PSCE.

In 1985, Dr. Otts and his wife moved to Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain where he assumed many leadership roles. He was president of the Residents association, a lecturer at resident-enrichment programs, editor and frequent contributor to the community newsletter and participant in 'readers theater' productions, especially Shakespeare. He was also a member of the local Kiwanis Club and a volunteer in the 'terrific kids' program in local schools. He again tutored prison inmates, helping them earn their GEDs.

 He began a long struggle against macular degeneration, but through the books on tape program of the Library of Congress, he was able to continue his love of reading and kept up with current events. Still in firm voice and good memory, he was sustained by visits from his children and former students who dropped by to thank him for his positive impact on their lives and the way he ran their schools. Gradually, his health declined, his strength ebbed, his voice softened and his marvelous memory began to fade.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Lou Smith Otts of 58 years and by his sister, Elizabeth Wofford Otts of Spartanburg. He is survived by four daughter, Rebecca Fant and her husband Robert of Pendleton, S.C.,; Charlotte Otts of Grants, N.M., Beverly Monroe of Decatur, Ga; Sally Rogers of Charleston, S.C. and seven grandchildren.

In lieu fo flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to the Wofford College Alumni Fund (Class of 1930) 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303; Union Theological Seminary-PSCE, 3401 Brook Rd., Richmond, VA; or Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711. .

Published in Charlotte Observer on June 18, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guest Blogger, Bob Raiford

I pointed out the story I had written titled, "Fired for Interviewing CHS Students," to Bob Raiford and offered him the opportunity to respond and/or make any additions or subtractions that he wished to as a GUEST BLOGGER on our website.  -Ed

A listener asked me a few years ago how I would have reacted today to the WBT/Nat Cole incident that you wrote about on your blog.

My answer was, and is, probably the same way.

Nat Cole was not one to ever play the race card and was criticized by Negros (which is what they were called back then) because he wasn’t in their fight.

Cole didn’t perform what was then called “race” or rhythm and blues music. His stuff was American popular songs, “white music.”

People often asked me if I ever heard from Nat Cole for taking a stand in his behalf. No, I didn’t.
And I didn’t expect it.

That was a broadcast of conscience, not a publicity balloon, as one New York newspaper critic charged after the publicity the broadcast generated nationwide and did give me an in to NBC where I went to work on the announcing staff a couple of weeks after that.

It was there that I first met Nat King Cole. It was in the coffee shop of the NBC building in Rockefeller Center in mid afternoon. He was sitting alone having a cup of coffee. So was I.
I went up to him, introduced myself, “Mr. Cole, I’m Bob Raiford. I’m the DJ who came to your defense after the attack on you in Birmingham.”

He said he was pleased to meet me and asked what I was doing now.
I said, “Well, I just started to work on the NBC announcing staff.”

Know what he said?
“Well, you got a better job out of it, didn’t you.”

I could have popped him in his mouth when he said that, but I didn’t.
I just walked away….thinking if that was his attitude, why did I bother.

On the air, I remained a bleeding heart liberal because I felt it was the right thing to do and continued that mindset for twenty more years working in radio and TV in Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

You may ask why did you change.

And I say succinctly, “because I saw so many of the causes I championed turn to…..well, turn to…garbage.”

 -Bob Raiford

(Bob Raiford is heard regularly on THE BIG SHOW, a syndicated radio show heard nationwide in over 100 markets.)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leaping Lizards

After today, June 13, 2010,  the LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE cartoon will no longer exist.

I was never a big fan of that comic strip, but seeing another ever so small piece of the American culture that we grew up with go down the drain makes me sad.

According to Wikipedia, the daily comic strip was created by a man named Harold Gray in 1924.

The story told of Annie an orphan whose only friends were her doll Emily Marie, and later, her dog Sandy.
She escaped from an evil orphanage and made her way in the world by pluck, hard work and a cheery disposition.

The title of the strip was inspired by James Whitcomb Riley's popular poem of 1885 titled Little Orphan Annie which begins:

"Little Orphan Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups and saucers up, and brush the crumbs away...."

Even though the official explanation as to why she is being "killed off" is because the comic strip was running in fewer than 20 newspapers...and as we know, newspapers themselves are dying like flies, I prefer to think
that, just like in Annie's fictional world, the redheaded wonder escaped from the comic strip....just as she had done from that horrible orphanage........... found some eyeballs........and simply GREW UP!

"Arf, Arf"   -Ed

Celebrity Watchers

One of the main sports of the thousands of tourists who flock to our nation's capitol every summer is celebrity hunting. And if you know the right places to go, spotting important and well known personalities can be pretty easy.

A hot place to find the movers and shakers of politics and the media is a restaurant on Connecticut Ave, a few blocks up from the apartment house where Harry Truman lived before he became President. It's an unlikely looking hangout for the glitterati, but usually there are at least one or two having a meal there. It's called Ardeos.

Don't be fooled by the Bardeos name above the door. That's probably there just to fool the tourists.

Warren Sparrow, the CHS54 globetrotting foreign correspondent, and his wife Becky along with their son Artie  (a UNC graduate who's now in the publishing business) were in town on personal business and joined my wife Linda and me for dinner at Ardeos last Saturday night.

We had a fine time but as far as I could tell, it was an "off night" for celebrities. There was nobody there more "famous" than us.

The thought occurred to me that instead of tourists flocking to Washington this summer, perhaps they are simply hoards of Americans coming to visit (what's left of) their money.

And the politicians and media are just lying low.  -Ed

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Briarhopper Connection

In the story I wrote about the loving attention given to my Mom during her years at the Wilora Lakes retirement home, I failed to mention that Yvonne Grant was the daughter of "Whitey"....of the famous "Whitey and Hogan" Briarhopper duo.

Whitey still resides at the Wilora Lakes home and I believe he is the last surviving member of the Briarhopper band that we grew up listening to.

Tom Warlickwebmaster, musician and  co-author with his wife Lucy, of a great book about the group,  reminded me that the famous band is STILL performing: Tom's book is titled,
The WBT Briarhoppers - Eight Decades of a Bluegrass Band Made For Radio."

"Celebrating 76 years of continuous entertainment, The WBT Briarhoppers still start every show with, "Y'all know what 'hit is? 'Hit's Briarhopper Time!" Then, Dwight Moody, Tom Warlick, Alana Flowers, and Trent Moody sing the theme song, "Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie."

The Rev. Dwight Moody was playing fiddle with Homer Briarhopper Drye in the early 1940s. Dwight is a Grammy-nominated musician who travels the world playing his fiddle and working with Rotary International to eradicate polio worldwide. Tom Warlick plays upright bass who also plays banjo in the style of Shannon Grayson and sometimes plays in the old mountain style on stage. Alana Flowers is an award-winning banjo player and a member of the Flowers Family Band who recently graduated from Belmont Abbey College. Lead singer and guitarist Trent Moody is a Grammy-nominated artist and an International Music Award winner.

The current stage show includes "advertisements" for Peruna, Kolor-Bak, Zymole Trokeys, and Radio Girl Perfume and these are straight from the original sheets that Charles Crutchfield read on WBT in the 1930s and 1940s.   -Tom"

Check out their website at where you can also order the Warlick's outstanding book      -Ed

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

LDL 21

The CHS'54 Let's do lunch “LDL” for June

 By Jerry Gaudet

Our “Lunch Mavens” were all away for our lunch as Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett and Clyde were happily away at the beach, Marlene (Ritch) Beaty was working the S.C. Elections, and (unfortunately) Shirley (McClanahan) Maynor was checking in with one of her doctors.

Carolyn (Keziah) Hudspeth expertly carried on in their absence, admirably earning her “LDL Lunch Maven” award. Many thanks to all of these classmates who do us proud with lunch arrangements month after month...

The June lunch “theme” was “Graduation”. Graduation to "Senior Status" that is...

Layered on top of our usual fun was a birthday celebration for Jimmie Pourlos. Jimmie shared his birthday cake with us even though we had sung Happy Birthday to him. Congratulated on being 39 years old, Jimmie corrected us to 41...

Everyone left “LDL” #21 with happy tummies and glad for having been there...

We’ll meet again on the second Tuesday of July, the 13th, and will look forward to your being with us. Call a friend and suggest that they meet us at Jimmies.

Guest Blogger

This website welcomes news tips and stories from its readers.
Today’s Special “Guest Blogger” is a CHS ’51 grad who writes about the father of CHS54’s Carol Bennett:

"If he had stayed away from the plant nursery in Florida, chances are it never would have happened.

But, as it was, what could Ed Bennett do?

He visited the nursery with his brother and sister–in-law to see about buying some shrubs and there were the orange trees, dozens of them, barely two feet tall.

It had been a long time since he had seen little ones like that. He thought back 39 years, back to the time he left his fathers orange grove between Lakeland and Plant City to make his living elsewhere.

As a Western Union telegrapher, he had been back to Florida many times, he had seen many orange trees, but the little ones with oranges the size of golf balls…..

He found himself reaching into his pocket and paying the man $6.50 for an orange tree. He put it in his car, and he brought it back to Charlotte. He put it in his back yard at 2413 E. 5th St.

It’s still small enough to put in the basement on the chilly days. When it gets too large for that, Ed Bennett is going to build a shelter for it next to his garage. He’s going to keep the shelter warm with canned heat. He’s going to keep that orange tree going.

All the neighbors have come to see it.

“I think they’re doubtful about the whole thing.” Mr. Bennett admits.

His wife has her doubts too.
“She says I’m making a fool of myself,” Mr Bennett confesses.

But who could agree with a judgment like that” What man doesn’t have an orange tree, or some kind of dream tucked in his aspirations?

Climate and temperature at 2413 E. 5th St. do not lend themselves to the cultivation of orange trees. But climate and temperature, you see, have nothing to do with it.

-Charles Kuralt CHS'51

Charlotte News June 6, 1956

Monday, June 07, 2010

"Her Perfect Days"

My Mom was the one who insisted that my sister and I sell the old home and move her into a retirement home. Not that she really wanted to, but she felt that such a facility was where she needed to be.

 She was right about that. She was 95 years old and had lived alone in the house since my father died in 1958. She had recently begun doing things like forgetting to close the front door at night…..falling asleep on the front porch glider…leaving the stove turned on, etc.   She gave up  her drivers license the same day we moved her into the Wilora Lakes retirement community. She had been a very independent woman.

She was never truly happy after that. Wilora Lakes is one of the best facilities of its kind, but as she said, “…it’s where I need to be…….but it’s not home.”

Almost all of her friends had died years ago and making new friends was difficult, because she was almost deaf.

But there were some bright days; the brightest of which were provided by a girl I knew only slightly at Central High.. She was a freshman when we were seniors and sat behind me in the violin section of the CHS orchestra. Yvonne Grant was her name and her parents were both residents of Wilora Lakes.

Because of the Central High connection, Yvonne took my Mom under her wing….and would swing by and visit her each time she visited her own parents. Several times she took her shopping for knick knacks and stuff.

My sister and I both were amazed at the positive effect Yvonne’s loving attention had on my Mom’s outlook. She often said that to her, Yvonne was like having another daughter.

My Mom died in May of 2005.

Yvonne Grant Tucker passed away suddenly in January 2010 after a life filled with “perfect days.” -Ed

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
-John Wooden

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Barrel

Remember those big beautiful Victorian homes that lined Elizabeth Ave when we were at Central? My violin teacher, Michael Wise, had his studio in one of them. And two houses over was where the author and publisher of the Carolina Israelite, Harry Golden lived and worked. Golden achieved national fame with his book ONLY IN AMERICA in which he suggested that the way to solve the race problem in the South was to remove the seats from lunch counters; his theory being that the whites and blacks in the South got along fine, until they sat down. He called his theory, THE VERTICAL NEGRO PLAN.

I had been a Harry Golden fan since my days at UNC where they tell about the time he was to speak at a rather somber event of some kind or other at the university…..and as he rose to approach the podium his chair knocked over his briefcase…and a bottle of Jim Beam Bourbon fell out and slid across the stage.

For years he produced a one man newspaper, THE CAROLINA ISRAELITE. It was the closest thing to a personal blog as it could be, only it was printed on “dead trees” since the internet, of course, hadn’t been invented back then. He wrote all the stories, pasted them together, and did everything but print it himself. He called it an “almost monthly” publication and its subscription list read like a “who’s who” in America.

What fascinated me the most about him, was his apparent memory. His paper was full of short stories about his childhood growing up in the Jewish ghetto in New York City. Many others had wondered about his “photographic” memory too, so he explained in one of his columns that for years he kept a barrel next to his desk and every time an article would catch his attention or a thought or flash of memory would come to him, he would write it down and throw it in the barrel.

And when it became time to publish the next edition of his paper….he would simply go to the barrel.

Always Looking for ways to improve my own skills,
I adopted that technique for myself. That was around 1959.

Trying to think of ways to keep this website fresh....I suddenly remembered "my barrel." which I had totally forgotten about since 1969 or so.

I found it after about an hour search.

Sad to say, there was very little that was worth saving. The insights and cleaver sayings that I had cut out from newspapers and magazines 50 years ago were all terribly outdated or had become cliches.

So, the “barrel technique” didn’t work for me.

Too bad I didn't discover what brand of typewriter he used…..I’ll bet that was his secret. -Ed

Friday, June 04, 2010

Big Foot, Elvis and Hillary

Now that I have your attention.........

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill.

Jerry Gaudet reports that this will be our twenty-first such lunch gathering. We'd like to share this opportunity with YOU!
Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

Our "Lunch Mavens" will be away. This month, for answers to any lunch questions, please contact: Jerry Gaudet, , or phone 704/537-7436.

Plan to join us...there's plenty of room.'ll be glad you did!

By the way, if you do see Elvis, order something for him, but go easy on the milk. His favorite foods are (were?):

·         He loved watermelon and cantaloupe
·         He said his favorite meal was breakfast
·         Elvis ate a lot of sandwiches because he said he didn't have a lot of time to eat
·         Elvis liked his meat cooked very well done
·         When Elvis cooked, he generally fixed eggs and bacon
·         One item to be hand-made each night at Graceland was banana pudding
·         Elvis did not drink alcohol
·         Elvis drank milk and would say, "Milk makes 'ya sexy!" 



Thursday, June 03, 2010

Interview with CHS Students got him fired!

The Night WBT Signed Off Early

Without a doubt the king of the Disc Jockeys when we were at Central was Jimmy Kilgo. Who can forget Kilgo’s Korner…with his engineer Francis Nockamuro…spinning OUR songs on WIST on “Big Ole Friday Date Nights’ as we par….uh…drove around town in our parent’s car.

As I recall, Kilgo’s Korner ended around 11:30, so if we were still out after that, we tuned in to WBT for “Raiford at Random.” Bob Raiford was the host and In my opinion the smoothest and most sophisticated DJ Charlotte ever had.

But, he made one “mistake” that WBT never forgave him for…..and in fact, fired him for.

On the air.

This happened a year or so after we graduated, but I remember hearing the broadcast that night.
He played an interview he recorded with a bunch of Central High School students.

It all seems so insignificant and “much ado about nothing” now, but in the early 50’s radio stations were just beginning to stretch their legs as far as local programming was concerned, after 40 years of mostly re-broadcasting network programming, i.e., soap operas, comedy shows and dramas.

Plus, this was the era of the “Fairness Doctrine,” and radio stations went out of their way to NEVER say or DO anything that was the least bit controversial. Otherwise, they would be inundated with people from “the other side” demanding “equal time.”

The controversy had to do with the singer Nat Cole, who had been attacked on stage by some racist rednecks in Alabama. Raiford, who was very aware that WBT…with its 50,000 watts….beamed all the way up the Eastern Seaboard, felt compelled to let his audience know that what happened in Alabama could and would not happen in Charlotte NC.

 He taped an interview with the Charlotte chief of police Frank Littlejohn…who denounced the Alabama attack and vowed that he would never let such a thing happen in Charlotte. Also on the tape were several CHS students who all denounced the perpetrators of the Alabama incident.

Raiford was proud of the interviews and told WBT’s management about it and that he planned to broadcast the tape on his show that night. He told me years later that he thought he might win some kind of award for a major southern radio station to take such a stand.

Instead, the WBT suits decided that it would be TOO CONTROVERSIAL…….and directed Raiford NOT to play the tape on his program.

Raiford ignored their order…….and told his listeners about the tape and that the station managers had
Ordered him NOT to broadcast it on his show, but that he was going to anyway.

He did.

A few moments after the last interview with the CHS student, Raiford got a phone call from WBT’s management…….firing him and ordering the engineer to sign the station off the air immediately.

With the strains of the song “For All We Know” in the background, Raiford was truly “at Random.”


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Looking Brighter

It was great getting Jerry Gaudet's  "e Blast" telling of the encouraging news from
Betty Rose Templeton Palomba...

"Lou started another regimen of Chemo today. He will do chemo until next Tuesday and will be off a week, then he will start another week of chemo. After that they will do another CT scan.

We are extremely encouraged with his CT scan of 5-24-10 which stated: "Considerable reduction in the solitary hepatic metastasis, only 6mm (formerly 1.3 cm) No evidence for disease progression''.

Have a wonderful day, Betty"