Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ellouise to perform at Spruce Pine, NC

I got this email from Ellouise informing us that she'll be returning to her roots (well, close) on July 16th.

It's a fairly short jaunt in the cool, beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

Can you think of a better way to spend a summer weekend?

Me neither.


Hey, want yal to know. I will be telling stories in NC - on home ground - in the octave of my 75th B-day. July 16 at the Toe River Storytelling Festival, Spruce Pine, NC.
Please let folks know - maybe somebody close by would wander over! Yal come!!!


The 13th annual Toe River Storytelling Festival will take place on Saturday July 16 just across from downtown Spruce Pine at Riverside Park starting at 10a.m and going until 4 p.m. There will be a diverse and dynamic line-up of storytellers to delight young and old listener’s alike.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Google and Me

I don't know if it has happened to you or not....but it's happening more and more. One of my email accounts  edmyers@gmail.com  got hacked by the Chinese last week.

As a result, I think you all received a phony email from someone ...pretending to be me...telling you that I was recommending that you buy a particular Iphone.

The message that was sent under my name said something like....”I just purchased an Iphone......etc...and love it....You ought to buy one too. -Ed”

Google, which runs the site, notified me that the hacker came from China.

It could have been worse. It could have been a virus. But as far as I can determine it was only an advertisement.

Misery loves company, so my embarrassment was lessened a little bit when I read about how many important VIPs also had their gmail accounts compromised.

Hillary Clinton says FBI will investigate Gmail hacking; China denies involvement

Hillary Clinton
Hackers in China launched a phishing campaign that obtained access to the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of people, including U.S. government officials, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The Internet company said it was able to "disrupt" the scam but believes the hackers were able to monitor the accounts of Chinese political activists, officials from several Asian countries, journalists, military personal and U.S. government officials. The hackers were able to obtain passwords to Gmail accounts and change settings to have the accounts grant access to other users or have emails forwarded to another account.

To my Chinese hacker I'd like to say,

廉颇蔺 相如列 传照片 And that goes for your mother too!

But, there's more.  File this under, "Your Government at Work."

U.S. enables Chinese hacking of Google

Google made headlines when it went public with the fact that Chinese hackers had penetrated some of its services, such as Gmail, in a politically motivated attempt at intelligence gathering. The news here isn't that Chinese hackers engage in these activities or that their attempts are technically sophisticated -- we knew that already -- it's that the U.S. government inadvertently aided the hackers.

In order to comply with government search warrants on user data, Google created a backdoor access system into Gmail accounts. This feature is what the Chinese hackers exploited to gain access.

(Source: CNN January 23, 2010)   


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cal Reneau Passes

Cal Reneau
RENEAU, Capt. Calix Lee, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, passed away peacefully at his home June 20, 2011.

"Cal" was born November 25, 1936, in Duluth, Minn., son of Rose Blahowski Reneau and Calix Elzier Reneau. Cal graduated from Central High School, Charlotte, N.C., and then received his degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University Raleigh. He was a veteran, having honorably served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps during which time he served two tours in Vietnam. Cal was active in Boy Scouting. He was one of the youngest scouts (at the time) to be made an Eagle Scout in

Duluth. While serving as Post Commander at American Legion Post 147, Tampa, the post started sponsoring a Scout troop of which he was very proud. Cal worked for Coty Cosmetics in Sanford, N.C., for 20 years where he held various managerial positions. While living in Fredericksburg, Va., Cal served as junior warden at St. George's Episcopal Church, where he and his wife, Tomi, were members for the 10 years they lived there.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Tomi; his daughter, Lisa Lynn Reneau of Fredericksburg, Va.; hisson, Calix Lewis Reneau of Los Angeles, Calif.; his grandchildren, Brenna Pare of Virginia, Calix Josiah Reneau of California, Alexandra "Sasha" Reneau of California and Jennifer Almendarez of Texas; and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations canbe made to American Legion Post 147 in Tampa or Lifepath Hospice in Tampa. A memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Visit www.gonzalezfuneral.com for more information.

(Thanks to my Piedmont friend Richard Ratcliffe for spotting this in the Tampa Tribune -Ed)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Great News About Linda Garmon Huggins

By Frank Clontz

I got a phone call from Ross, Linda's Better Half, as they were driving back to Florence, SC from the Doctors office in Columbia. He sounded very excited as he told me that all the body scans, lung biopsies, and pet scans indicated that she is now Cancer Free. One thing though, she developed "Shingles" over the weekend before their drive to Columbia and was in some extreme pain from that. Ross told me that she didn't care about the Shingles because they would go away but was very thankful to God, all the prayers of her friends and family asking God to heal her body and free it from any Cancer. All the Prayers for her healing were answered.

Whew!  Thanks so much for the report, Frank  We love good news like that!!

(As most of you know, Frank Clontz,  is our official full time ambassador/reporter from the CHS class of 55. -Ed

Thursday, June 16, 2011


 Remember the story we featured back in 2006 about the big CHS54 themed party that Herb Jacobowitz's wife Barbara threw for him for his 70th birthday?

Well, Jerry Gaudet got  a nice note from Herb indicating that he and Barbara might be making a trip all the way from Maryland down to Charlotte before long and fully intend to be there for one of our LDL lunches.


 Letty Nance dropped me a line to add a personal story to my TR3 saga:

"In 1959, when Don was trying to impress me on our first date, he borrowed your TR3. In the mean time, Mother had made me a lovely new pink sunback dress to wear. It was before the days of polyester, so I sat on a stool with the dress draped over the back in order to keep it from wrinkling while I waited for my date.

Then Don drove up in the TR3. Because of its size,I had to wad up my perfectly ironed dress and my torso in order to cram into THE car for the most uncomfortable ride in my life. (I think I heard my mother moan when she saw me crawl in.)

My children are glad I gave Don another chance. The next time he came to get me, it was in his Dad's '55 aqua and white Crown Victoria. Now that was a CAR. As we know, he was a poor seminary student who couldn't afford a car of any kind but drove his sister's '50 Ford.

So, I agree, you sold the wrong car.....And I have another theory about why the thief left the car parked not so far away. It was not because of the low fuel, it was because it rattled his brains.

Sorry to burst your bubble about the TR3, but I'm glad you got your Doris Day.

Have a good day,
Letty Nance"

As I told Don back then, "...the TR3 will be a good test of whether your date is a future winner....or loser.
If, after one date in that thing, she still wants to go out with  you..........then she's a good woman, worth pursuing!"

 After Don told me that you had passed the TR3 test I had a feeling that one of these days, I'd get a notice about the two of you celebrating your 50th Anniversary!  -Ed

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where Did Everybody Go?

By Jerry Gaudet

Was it something we said?

Nobody came “UP” from anywhere distant.

Nobody came “DOWN” from anywhere afar.

Obie Oakley did come “OVER and DOWN” from Highlands, but he does that a lot…still appreciated.
A few were ill or accounted for, but “summer” must have gotten the best of a lot of us.

Even the camera battery “pooped out” allowing us but one picture. All of the others would have been glorious! But were not to be.

Here’s the #1 and only…a portion of those attending…

L to R, Pat Hill, Jimmie Pourlos, Ronnie Rallis Pourlos (hiding behind Jimmie), Gayle Barrier Austin, Sylvia Brawley, Charlie Willis, Obie Oakley, Johnny Culp and Martin Hill.

With the camera having problems, Jimmie Pourlos suggested we just use a big black square to indicate that our numbers were sparce.

Well, there was no scarcity of good times. We considered classmates that were ill or just missing from our gathering. We were grateful of the anticipated food. We were appreciative of our freedoms and acknowledged our country’s flag on National Flag Day…and then we told stories. Lots and lots of stories…some of them true.

Come see for yourself next month, July 12, 2011, 11:30 AM at Jimmies in Mint Hill. You’ll be glad you did.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don and Letty: 50 Years and Counting.....

The mailbag brought in news about another lucky CHS54 couple about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary!

Don and Letty Nance were married on June 24th 1961!

The announcement was made by their children who suggested that it would be a very kind and worthwhile gesture if their many friends who want to honor them would direct their gifts and well wishes into a donation to

The Presbyterian "Childrens' Home of the Highlands"
425 Grayson Road
Wytheville, VA  24382

Don and Letty's address is:
600 Wytheview Drive
Wytheville, VA  24382

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sorry for the delay, Doris, but my TR3 was stolen last night

Dodge Days

(This is Part Two of the mildly amusing saga of a boy, whose life is measured not "by coffee spoons" but by used cars.  This story won't make a lick of sense to anyone who hasn't read Part One.)

Sometime during the night, a thief, or thieves had “hot wired” my Triumph TR3 and zoomed off with it.

And there I was, practically stranded in a brand new city, with a new job, few friends and no transportation.

Triumph TR3  (1955)

Not only that, my little blue magic carpet to Rock Hudson and Doris Daydom.....wasn't even paid for yet.

Nor was there any insurance on the car.

As the days went by, hope for the police finding my TR3 became dimmer and dimmer. All I could do was to grab the first clunker I could afford.

I scraped up $150 for a 12 year old 1950 Dodge.
1950 Dodge

The best thing one of my friends at the radio station could say about it was, “It takes a lot of character to drive a car that ugly.”

I think that was a compliment.

It seemed to drive OK. It certainly SHOULD have. The salesman assured me that it had been owned by a little old lady who ...(oh, you know the rest)...... It had one of the early automatic transmissions called “Fluid Drive”or Gyromatic or something like that. It actually was pretty smooth.

River House Arlington, VA
My apartment was right across the Potomac river in Virginia so that's the jurisdiction I called every week inquiring about my stolen TR3. The State police assured me that they were “hot on the case.” The officer told me that they had issued a five state alarm out for my car, so in his opinion, it was just a matter of time until they found my car.

Meanwhile, my job was going well, and I was beginning to learn the ways of the big city a little better but I had pretty much put my social life on hold.

I found that any positive impression that I would make with a potential “date,” quickly disappeared once I arrived at her house in that homely 12 year old character chariot. So I all but dropped out of that scene for a few months.

The only thing that brought me back in was a girl I had met briefly who was visiting a friend of hers who worked at the radio station. The desire to get to know this girl was so strong, I threw all caution to the wind and asked her out.

1950 Dodge be damned!

She either didn't notice or didn't care what kind of car I was driving her around in, because she never mentioned it and that date blossomed into many.

And, you guessed it.

Unbelievable as it may seem,  it was Doris sitting next to me....... in that old Dodge!

Imagine that!

But, the story didn't end there. A few months later, I got a call at the apartment and a voice said, “Mr. Shephard what are you going to do with this little blue car that's been parked in my apartment's lot for the last 6 months ?”

A resident of a building about a mile from my house had been seeing my TR3 parked in his lot since probably the day it was stolen and finally had looked inside and retrieved an envelope with my name on it. ..and called me.

It was a sight for sore eyes! It was dirty, but apparently in good shape....except for the tires (which were almost flat) and a dead battery.

I cranked it started and drove slowly toward a filling station about 4 blocks away. It was the same station at which I had planned to get gas before I left for work the morning I discovered it had been stolen. It only had a spoonful of gas in the tank, which is probably the reason that it had been abandoned only a mile from my apartment. Thieves don't usually stop and get gas before making their getaway.  Otherwise I probably would never have seen it again.

Half way there....a red light began blinking behind me. It was the Virginia State police. I got out , smiled and told the officer that I knew what he was thinking.....he thought I was driving a stolen car, right?

“I don't know anything about that, boy," he said, "but I know you're driving on expired North Carolina license plates and that's against the law.".

“Well,” officer,” I said, “my car was stolen six months ago and...........”

“Tell it to the judge.” he replied.

With that clever bit of banter, our discussion ended and he handed me a ticket.

I suppose it could be said that theoretically the Virginia Police Department's hard work finally paid off......they had found the stolen TR3.

The fact that I was driving it probably wasn't included in their statistical report.

A few weeks later, I took a day off from work, located the courthouse where my case was to be heard, and told the judge that I hadn't  "ignored the law, but felt that the law had ignored me."..........which he didn't think was as cute as I did...........but he didn't slap me with a fine.....only court costs. (I guess to prove to me that the law really wasn't ignoring me.)

I sold the Dodge for exactly what I paid for it; $150.

The young fellow who bought it would catch one of my broadcasts from time to time and for the next four or five months called just to let me know how great that Dodge was running and thank me for selling it to him.

And Doris, I mean Linda, mentioned from time to time how much she missed having roll down windows and inside door handles........

I did too.

Damn! I had sold the wrong car!


Sunday, June 05, 2011

From Lake Lure to Olathe, KS

(Here's another report from our international foreign correspondent, Warren Sparrow who, along with his faithful companion and wife Becky, travels all over the world reporting for CHS54.NET )

By Warren Sparrow

Here is a note about our May vacation which took us from Lake Lure to Olathe, KS.

Folks around here do not know much about Olathe. Neither did we until our oldest daughter, her husband and their three children moved there 15 years ago.

Olathe is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Kansas City. It is 140 miles from Joplin, MO. The tornado struck Joplin on Sunday at the time we were en route to our granddaughter Charlotte Peele’s graduation from Olathe Northwest High School. Charlotte has two older sisters who graduated from Kansas State University. Believe it or not, Charlotte is going to KSU, too.

Contrary to what happened in Joplin, things were fine where we were.
 I hope you have as much fun looking at these photos as we had in making them. The first one is of Becky and me at the waterfall near Chimney Rock. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS was filmed there. The fall is more than 400 feet.

(Left click on pictures to enlarge. -Ed)

The second photo is of the proud grandparents with the graduate at Olathe Northwest High.

The third picture is one of the gym where the graduation happened. There must have been 3,000 cheering for the 400 graduates. We were thrilled to see such a big bird painted on the wall, thinking it was a sparrow. Turns out it is a raven. That is what the Olathe Northwest teams call themselves. I was disappointed.

Hope all is well.


Saturday, June 04, 2011


I got this note from Bob Ellis:

"I am going to give you the facts and since you are the ONE who can tell the best stories,I will let you spin your magic.

Un-named suspect
My grandson who lives in Ohio was being babysat by a friend of my stepdaughter,
( while she was busy teaching 8th graders American Lit.. ) He is 21 months old. When the babysitter asked what would he like to drink, he responded "beer". She thought this was so funny that she posted it on Facebook, commenting that she didn't know if it was better to put it in his sippy cup or just hand him the bottle.

Some friend of hers replied that he wished he had her for a babysitter when he was a kid....

Since he is underage I will withhold his NAME !!!!!


That's FUNNY!  I can't tell it any better than that.  -Ed

Also got this note from Jerry Gaudet, our keeper of records, treasurer, chief bottle washer and all around good guy:

"It has been awhile since we went looking for lost classmates. If you have information about any of these 39 lost classmates, please let me know. -JG

Class of '54 Missing Classmates

James Morris Allen
Sarah Ellen Beck Yandle
Rebecca May Brogden
Nancy Elizabeth Brookes Lawing
Ruth Brown Braswell
Agnes Anne Caudell
Danny Carver Cole
Alton Broadway Craver
Charles Emory Cunningham
Lois Elinor Dempsey
Anne Gorden Finger
John Furr
Sue Elizabeth Griffin Price
Carl Guest
Frederick Earl Howard
Nancy Eunice Karnes
John Thomas Keller
Kathleen Virginia Kesler
Jeanne Holland King Kumm
Doy Kenneth Lim
Ronald Richard Little
Gary Lutteral
Sarah Lillian McWhirter Martin
Fred Arthur Merrill
George William Moore
Esther Lorraine Newell
David William Powell
Nelda Codelle Price
Elezabeth Ann Purvis
Helen Bryan Ray Therrell
Rosemary Sessoms
W. I. Micheal Thompson
Robert Lee Tribble
Wade Edward Turner
Bruce Lawrence Wallace
Yvonne Wentz
Shirley Ann Williams
Elizabeth Ann Wilson
Jerry Lee Wood 

But wait, there's MORE

The Class of 1955 has a bunch of  "Missing Classmates" too.  If you can help, contact Frank Clontz at

and/or Don Blackmon, jblackmon14@carolina.rr.com

Alexander, Lawrence Eric
Arant, John Edwin
Barnes, Charlene Anita
Bolch, Mary Patricia
Britton, Geraldine
Cahoon, Robert Leroy
Caldwell, Carolyn Ann
Campbell, William D.
Carpenter, Jackie W.
Cary, Shirley Ann
Christenbury, Joyce
Collins, Patrick Joseph
Cooke, Ruth Anne
Davis, William Pike
Edwards, Susan Miller
Goulding, Graydon R.
Griffin, Richard S.
Hinson, Mary Gayle
Holder, Ethel Joanne
Hopkins, Barbara Anne
Kelly, Franklin Eugene
Kinghorn, Wilson H.
Kirkpatrick, Harriet Jane
Laws, Maria Kay
Leu, Mary Ellen
Lindsay, Albert Wesley
Linker, Walker Steve
Martin, Betty Ann
Mayse, Lillian Query
McCracken, Lois Juanita
McCubbin, Judith Anne
McGinn, Jean Patricia
Miller, Clyde Wilford
Miller, Grace Deanne
Morgan, James Edward
Morris, Ray Vaughn
Moses, Patsy Elouise
Moss, William Arthur
Motley, Vance A.
Myers, Catherine
Newell, Joyce Jean
Odom, Joyce Ann
Overstreet, Mary Lou
Peralto, Hugo Efrain
Pittman, Patricia Ann
Plyler, Carolyn Virginia
Porter, William F.
Quay, Mary Barnes
Rogers, Phyllis Jean
Ross, Audrey Emmaline
Simerson, Mary Athlene
Simpson, Sylvia Cordella
Smith, Betty Jean
Smith, Janet Alicia
Smith, Martha Ann
Smith, Ruth Ann
Stalls, David
Strader, Elizabeth Jane
Swisher, Henrietta Ann
Taylor, Gladys Nell
Thomas, Margaret Anne
Thorpe, Bretta Mae
Ussery, Alice Marie
Wayne, Shirley Anne
Wells, Gail
Weyant, Cynthia Ann
Wilson, Robert Edwin
Winslow, Filmore Leigh
Wood, Marlene
Yemm, Barbara Ann
Yount, Mary Anita

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Doris and Me

 (This is another in the seemingly endless series of stories about a boy and his old, used cars.)

I've often thought that there was a glaring omission on our High School diplomas. I looked at it the other day just to make sure I was right and, no doubt about it, there was not one mention of the Carolina Theater.

That's a shame.

Carolina Theater Balcony
I venture to say that I learned about as much from the balcony of the Carolina Theater as I ever did from sitting in a classroom in school. That university on North Tryon Street was where I learned about LIFE!

Now, unfortunately, I had to unlearn just about all of it, but that's not the point. A diploma's only purpose, in my opinion, is to verify where you got your education. In that respect, my sheepskin fell woefully short of that goal.

By 1958, the Roy Rogers and Gene Autry phase of my life was far behind me and I was entering my Rock Hudson era.

Doris Day and Rock Hudson
School was over at last, I had a full time job, I was carefree and single and, … only two things were missing: .....(well, three actually, but there wasn't a damn thing I could do about NOT resembling Rock Hudson in the least) a sports car... and Doris Day!  (my OWN Doris Day, of course.)

Being the attentive student that I was, my lessons at the Carolina had taught me that, like dawn follows night, without the sports car, there would be no "Doris Day."

So began the TRIUMPH TR3 chapter of my life.

Again, it was a used car, but it was made in England (1955) so there was no question that it was an authentic, sports car; foreign, fast, all thrills, and no frills. (One of comedian Mort Sahl's jokes at the time was about an American sports car finishing a race in Europe.....”even though the radio and heater had gone out”) According to the ultra sophisticated Sports Car crowd at the time, only Europeans knew how to make real sports cars. According to them, the fewer conveniences the better.

(That was like saying, “only the French really know how to take proper baths.”)

1955 Triumph TR3
At any rate, my TR3 certainly qualified. It was manufactured in England, had no radio, no clock, no inside door handles, (you had to pull a “string” to open it), no roll up windows, so if you wanted more fresh air, you had to use a large screw driver-type tool and remove the entire side panel OR take the top down.)

It had an inside starter, but I think that was an afterthought, perhaps included only for Triumphs sold in this country, because there was a very prominent crank included with the car (which came in handy many times when the battery died, which seemed to occur about every two months).

Once you removed the leather top and side panels (it was a “rag top, as we sports car aficionados called it) and placed them in the trunk with the crank, there was not much room for anything else.

I also learned that the Brits never could get the English language quite right either.

They called the hood......a bonnet
The trunk.....a boot
and a wrench......a spanner,
just to name a few.

But, the TR3 and I persevered, because I knew in my heart that ....somehow.....somewhere.....my "Doris Day" was waiting!

My career got a big boost when the CBS radio and TV station in Washington hired me in 1961. I packed all my belongings, which luckily were few, and stuffed them in that little blue TR3.....cranked it started and headed for THE BIG TIME (in my mind, anyway).

I'm here to tell you that it doesn't get much better than being 25 years old, on a beautiful spring day driving a cute little sports car to a brand new job in the exciting city of Washington , DC!

I felt like I was sitting in the Carolina Theater watching myself starring in my own movie.

Perhaps my future Doris was waiting for me up there!

All was going well for me in the big city until one morning in September when I left my apartment to go to work.

I'll tell you about that in part two of my TR3 Saga entitled,



Wednesday, June 01, 2011


I wrote Mr Gil Ballance (our old English teacher) last week and sent him some of the posts from the website. It's amazing how, at his age (90 plus), he remembers so many of us!

He graded the papers I sent and mailed them back!

Just kidding, just kidding. However, he did correct my spelling of his name.  Ballance is spelled with TWO L's.

Anyway, he mentioned that Mr. and Mrs.Dick Gault, (Piedmont's principal when we were there) are also residents of Wilora Lake, where Mr. Ballance lives. He said Mr. Gault is in very grave condition.

He mentioned that if anyone would like to send Mrs.Gault  a card with some encouraging words he felt that it would really help cheer her up.

Her address is:

Mrs. Ruth Gault
Apt. 136
6053 Wilora Lake Road
Charlotte, NC  28212

It will be much appreciated!    -Ed

Gaither Blackwelder's Son, Wayne

By Jerry Gaudet

How sorry we were to learn that Linda and Gaither Blackwelder's son, Wayne, has passed away.

"... My son, Wayne, was in the hospital for almost two months and my daughter, Susie, had been writing email updates of his condition. I just realized yesterday that I hadn't been including you in those messages.

Wayne had bleeding in his brain which led to seizures. He was unconscious most of that two months either due to medicine or his injury.

The doctors tried several different treatments and there were days when things looked promising. But in the end he just couldn't recover and the doctors didn't have any other options.

Thank you for the sympathies.

Take care,


Linda and Gaither Blackwelder can be reached at:

118 Spanish Wells
Anderson, SC 29621-4286

Email gaitherblackwelder@yahoo.com