Saturday, October 29, 2011

It Was Only a Game

McLean halfback gains two yards
But I was expecting much more.

As we approached the ticket window, I could hear the band warming up, and the cheerleaders rehearsing a couple of “YEA HIGHLANDERS!” shouts. I plunked down the money for tickets for my son and his wife their two young sons and Linda and me.

The kid selling the tickets returned my money for two of them saying that “you and Grandma get in free.”

Never the one to miss an opportunity for a smart-alec remark, I commented that the reason for that is because “I'm so good looking, right?”

“No,” he said, “it's because you're so old.”

I went in anyway.

Frankly, I was all prepared to do more than just watch our local high school play football.

I was all primed to strap this old body into the magic time machine in my mind for a sweet journey.... back to some autumn Friday evening in.... 1953.

McLean High received the opening kickoff....and the game was underway. I was expecting to begin my personal blast off any moment. But, before I knew it, the first quarter had ended, and the cheerleaders outfits were still red and white.

I thought they should be Blue and White by now. Besides the team was already down by two touchdowns. It was obvious that Carson, Alton or Jack weren't in the lineup. But, just wait, I said to myself...until they finally shore up that line with Don and Max and give the ball to Johnny or Bobby!

The cheerleaders were OK, but.....well, let's just say they weren't up to the Jackie, Sarah Lynn, Maxine, or Judy standard. And the guys couldn't match the enthusiasm of Linsy, Dickie, Derek or Ernest!
Looking around the stands I failed to spot any regulars like Shirlene, Sylvia, Ann, Mitzi, Ellouise, Jerry, Obie, Wilson, Pat......or Peggy, Betsy, Barbara, Linda, Mary Sue, Maxcyne.......hey, where is everybody?

Darn!  I was still in Virginia. I looked at my watch and saw that it was still 2011!

And that was as far as I went that night. My time machine's fuel tank was empty.

Football Field circa 1953
The machine operates on several different types of rocket fuel and for this particular trip the engine required a fill up of HIGH OCTANE BLUE.....which used to be found at every stadium in the country, but is now almost non-existent. That once ubiquitous blue mist-like haze can now be seen only in old sports photographs.

As you probably know, the sense of smell is the brain's instant re-play button. And without the aid of a good whiff of early 1950 Stadium BLUE my rocket ship to the past just sputtered and died on the launch pad.

Mclean also lost the game, but any night out with a couple of our grand kids is a good night!

Evening in Paris
Besides I'm already planning another trip. This time I'm bringing my own fuel. I discovered a company that re-manufactures products of the past which are not made or sold any more. The company is the Vermont Country Store and my bottle of Evening In Paris rocket fuel should arrive sometime next week.  -Ed

Actual X Ray Photograph of Ed's Brain

A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.
The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. Despite the tight wiring, however, smells would not trigger memories if it weren't for conditioned responses.  -Wikipedia

Monday, October 24, 2011

We Aren't in Kansas Anymore, Toto

JFK Bust at Kennedy Center

I'm so grateful that my childhood dreams of becoming famous someday and having my statue in the town square or maybe even the nation's capitol didn't come true.

It would have been just my luck to wind up looking like poor old JFK for the tourists of the future to gaze upon. Every time I pass by that eight foot tall monstrosity that resides in the huge entertainment center that bears his name, I say a little prayer thanking the Lord for leading me on the path to Mr. Averagedom.

Albert Einstein on the Mall
Just look at what the bureaucracy did to Einstein!

and this jolly old fellow..on the right...

This is how Charlotte, NC honors the Queen the city was named after. She looks like she was hit in the stomach with a cannonball!

"Jackalope?" on the Mall

This lovely....whatever it is...on the proudly displayed on Washington's Mall.

Statue at Arlington Cemetery

This whatever adorns Arlington Cemetery.

Horses used to have names like, "Old Paint."  I guess this one is called "Old Quilt." (R)

This lovely thing  on the left  hasn't sunk in quite far enough.

Are there any efforts being made to rid our cities and once beautiful Capitol of some of these monstrosities?


The only “clean up” effort I know of is the one that the state of Maryland has made to defile (paint over) one of the cleverest bit of “people's art” I've ever seen. To them, it's  “graffitti.”


Here's the story:  Anyone traveling the Washington Beltway...Interstate 495 going west from say College Park, Md past Silver Spring toward Virginia will round a curve and suddenly be confronted with a spectacular view of the brightly lit Mormon Temple...built there in 1974. It's breath taking!

The truckers call it Disneyland. But, whatever it's called, you can't miss it.

Overpass just prior to the Temple exit

Now as far as the “people's art” that the humorless Maryland Department of Highways keeps trying to hide is the message that someone, no one knows who, keeps writing on the railroad overpass that appears just before the exit to the temple that has brought smiles to untold numbers of travelers.


I saw it once when it read, TURN BACK DOROTHY.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the Mormons haven't complained. The only objections  were from Maryland State Officials who seem determined to rid the state of anything that reeks of humor and replace it with "art" that average citizens laugh at.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Honey Bear Day 1960

Walter Cronkite and Julian Barber
One of my broadcast “heroes” in the 60 plus years I've been in that business was Julian Barber. I first heard him when he was spinning records and taking requests from teenagers (such as my older sister Kathryn) on WAYS.

After he returned from service in Korea, that station refused to give him his job back, so he applied at WGIV....and became “news director” for them. That's where I first met “Mr. Barber.”  (remember, I was at Central High then and we were taught to respect our elders; Julian was at least 23 at the time).

He went on to WSJS-TV in Winston Salem and later to WTOP-TV in Washington, where he became the number one local TV newscaster in the nation's capitol...for the next 10 years.

Julian also was one of the best friends I ever had.

I believe the saddest honor I ever received was being asked to give the eulogy at his funeral almost 10 years ago.

There's a video clip I came across on the Internet that is a good example of Julian's lighthearted wrap-ups of his local newscasts......which made that Charlotte boy, who began his career as a "go-fer" for the Briarhoppers, the king of local TV the news capitol of the country.  -Ed

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stork Report

Bob Ellis'Great grand daughter!

By Bob Ellis

I am pleased to announce that a great grand daughter has been added to the Ellis clan. Her name is Charlotte Eloise Swanson. She was 7 lbs 4 oz and 20 inches long. She was a little late as her due date was 10-8-11, but that is O.K. She was born today at 2:55 EST. Her parents are Stephen and Anna Swanson who live in Pennsicola Fla. This is their 3rd daughter. Stephen is a Youth Minister at a local church. Anna is the middle daughter of Jan Weaver who is my oldest daughter. All of our family are so very happy!
I just wanted to share my happiness with all my friends and family. GOD be with all of you......


(A space is being reserved HERE.....for a picture, Bob.  Hurry!  -Ed)

Rip, Run and Read

That's the way it was at local radio stations back when announcers and DJ's also did the newscasts, usually "on the hour, every hour." We would put a record on, go to the AP ticker machine, rip off the latest five minute summary. and run back to the studio in time to read the news.

"This just in....from the WGIV newsroom...."

I always got a smile out of that. The WGIV newsroom consisted of one AP wire machine (ticker) and the only place that it would fit in that station's small building was the men's room.

Those old news tickers became obsolete when computers came along but seeing one of those museum pieces again brought back a lot of memories. Not all of them good. No one who was near one on November 22, 1963 can forget the constant ringing of the “bulletin” bell alerting newsrooms of the tragedy in Dallas.

On a lighter note, we announcers and DJ's had to learn to read our newscasts from copy produced by those machines hourly. In addition to 5 minute newscasts, stock market reports, weather forecasts, farm news and sports scores all were sent via those news tickers.

Some announcers used to pride themselves on their ability to read copy “cold.” In other it like you knew what you were talking about.....without having read it over beforehand. Usually, you had time to pre-read the stories, but occasionally you didn't. However, some announcers got over confidant in their "cold reading" ability and never read the copy before they went on the air. (That was known as the "Real Men Never Read Copy but Once" syndrome.)

Most of the time they got away with it, but inevitably, it would come back to bite them.

Sending news from AP office
The flaw in the system was the fact that if the typist at the AP newsroom on the other end of the wire were to make a mistake...such as a typo or wrong word....the mistake would not be corrected in the copy until the very end of the story.

For example, the copy might say “obsolete”...instead of “absolute,” but any mistakes the typist made would keep repeating themselves throughout the story.... and corrections would only appear at the bottom of the copy..

The correction would say something like, “the word OBSOLETE in the above story should read ABSOLUTE.”

So unless the announcer was paying attention, (which we seldom were,) instead of thinking only of how he sounded.....the listener could be treated to some very strange and puzzling stories

For example a friend of mine was driving to work early one morning listening to the radio and the announcer was reading the farm report.

It was spring and the story was about planting time. He thought he heard the announcer say something about it being a good time to plant cats.

My friend thought that he must have misunderstood the announcer, so he turned up the radio and sure enough, he heard it again several times, “.......many experts say this is the best time of the year to plant your cats.......etc., etc....."

When the report ended.......there was a noticable pause....followed by the announcer saying,

“the word CATS in the above story should read OATS.”


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goings On...

 According to the CITIZEN TIMES of Ashville, Holly Jones (daughter of our own Neil Jones) just got an important new position!

ASHEVILLE — Holly Jones, executive director of the YWCA of Asheville, announced Friday that she’s leaving the organization to go to work as regional manager of the YWCA’s Southeastern region.
Jones will be working with 23 local YWCAs in seven southeastern states in her new role.

Holly Jones
“Transition of a long-time executive director is never easy,” Jones said in a written news release. “Yet I believe the organization is poised well for the future and ready for new leadership.”
Nancy Ackermann Cole, the nonprofit’s board chairman, thanked Jones for her years of service.
“Her accomplishments will be vital to the success of the YWCA as we moved forward,” Cole said.

Those accomplishments include improving the agency’s financies, its facilities and its administration, according to the written release. Under Jones’ leadership, the organization completed a $3.9 million capital campaign to pay for the renovation and expansion of the YWCA building on South French Broad Avenue. The organization has seen its annual budget grow from $750,000 to $2.9 million and its staff went from 45 people to more than 100.

Jones, a Buncombe County commissioner and former Asheville City Council member, plans to remain in Asheville.

(Congratulations also to Holly's proud papa!)  -Ed

Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Oldie, but Goodie

An otherwise sane friend of mine, who was also a “teen age DJ” invited me over to his house last week to show me the project he just completed.

That's where the otherwise.......part of that sentence comes in.

He built an almost exact replica of the radio station where he once spun Patti Page and Eddie Arnold records...

complete with a working his basement!

This story borders on the unbelievable, especially when you realize that the original station went on the air in 1947 or '48 and almost all of the electronic equipment, which he personally restored,  is from that era.
Photo from 1940's newspaper

But, he did it.

I know. I saw it.

The original station was in the midwest, and it's still there,

but my friend's brand new version is at the end of a cul de sac a few blocks from my house in a quiet Virginia neighborhood.

2011 Restored version

Restored Radio  Station Clock of the '40's and 50's
Vintage 1940's telephone
Studio B complete with organ

Fully restored AP news ticker

A lot of my retired friends play golf.....

.......but only one, as far as I know,  plays "radio station."

I think I'll give Robert Ripley a call.


(Note to the FCC.  The transmitter works perfectly, but is attached to a "dummy load" preventing it from going out over the airwaves.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Neither Snow Nor Rain

 By Jerry Gaudet

CHS'54, "LDL" #36, 10/11/11 Report.

…Well, we did cancel “LDL” back in January because of snow, or at least threat of it getting worse. Mike Andrews sent an inquiry…”What is snow?” But, he now lives in Merritt Island, FL. Anyway, today we didn’t let a little rain stop us.

Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett prepared a warm (and dry) welcome for us as we arrived…

The warm Fall colors were indeed welcoming…

…and the promise of a chocolate dessert was a big bonus…

Johnny Culp was the center of attention, and he wasn’t even there. John is laid up at home recovering from yet another knee replacement procedure done about two three weeks ago. He had already tried this a few years back and “swore” he would never go through that again. Now he says, “thank goodness this was my last knee”. Give him a boost, or at least send sympathy to his wife, Pat:

John Culp
10501 South Hall Dr.,
Charlotte, NC 28270-0283

Harold Cullingford’s wife, Carolyn, brought some of her gorgeous handiwork to show us.

Told you it was gorgeous. Carolyn’s work is available for purchase. Contact her at:

Carolyn Cullingford
1008 Zephyr Cir.
Monroe, NC 28110-8803

And, here we go after a good time together. L to R, Harold Cullingford, Pat Gaudet, Sylvia and Vic Brawley, Ronnie (Rallis) Pourlos, Carolyn Cullingford and Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett.

Come join us sometime, won’t you?.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Let's Do It Again

 By Jerry Gaudet

Perhaps you've been meaning to attend an LDL lunch for quite some time now, but for some reason or other something keeps getting in the way....and you've never (or seldom) made it.

Well, tomorrow is another opportunity for you to finally take the lovely drive through the beautiful countryside and join your old friends for lunch!

All prior absences will be excused without a note from your parents........there will be no pop quizzes.....only exceptional good food, good companionship and plenty of unsupervised goof off time!

CHS'54, "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011, 11:30 AM

at Jimmies Restaurant

off Hwy. 51 (in Mint Hill)

7024 Brighton Park Dr.

Mint Hill, NC


You never know who will show up!

Get the word out to others! Invite other classmates to come!

Even better, bring someone with you!

                                           This link may help you find your way: 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Leah's Journey off to a Great Start!

Our talented 92 year old CHS teacher, Mr. Gil Ballance's first book signing was a huge success.  Reports from the scene indicate that the entire meeting room at Wilora Lake Lodge was packed....and the overflow crowd extended out into the hall!

Quite an achievment for a first time author.  A lot of ex CHS students of Mr. Ballance were present, but there were others who were simply admirers of the author who wrote so movingly of the young unwed mother's struggles in the rural backwoods of North Carolina in the early 1900's.

Copies are still available at Amazon dot $10 for the paperback.


The Home Front

Around this time of the year in 1944 we were just getting used to being in the 4th grade. Although life was pretty good,  there was always the realization that either the Germans or the Japanese could take it all away if we didn't win the war.

Ed guarding Fort 5th Street
We did what we could.....collecting and flattening tin cans, saving “silver paper,” and any metal scraps we could find.......helping turn off all the lights in the house during air raid warnings. (I swear I remember during one of the airplane dropped small sandbags which landed nearby our house....although that makes absolutely no sense....and everyone I've ever mentioned that to says I'm crazy. But then, I also remember hiding under my bed when a Nazi airplane “landed in my backyard.”

Although by today's standards, we would probably be considered poverty stricken, we had it good in those days. The only thing I can ever remember being “deprived” of was Hershey bars and bubble gum. (Once I found out the bubble gum was needed by the war Department for making tires, I lost my appetite for it and never chewed it again.).  Most of us were just average kids who didn't have much to begin with, so I guess we were unaware of what we “didn't have.”

Without a doubt, ours was a “blessed” generation, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our parents' generation.....known as the “Greatest Generation.”

Albert Macuch  first row, second from left
I was reminded of those days a few years ago when an old broadcaster friend of mine was asked to make a copy of a tape recording that a friend's family discovered in their father's belongings after his death. He brought it over to my studio here in the house and once we listened to it.....we both decided that we had to do something with the tape besides “copying” it.

The result was a radio drama in the form that we grew up listening to..........but the difference is ......the narrator is Albert Macuch....the soldier who made the tape shortly before his death.

The Macuch B-17's final resting place

Basically, all we did was add some authentic sound efx (the sounds of B-17s taking off are actual B-17s, etc.) and a few audio clips made at the time by the BBC... and let Albert Macuch tell his own story.

If you have 30 minutes to spare sometime......take a listen. It starts a little slow.....but stick with it. It will be worth it.

The Albert Macuch Story


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wisdom from a Giant

The death of Steve Jobs is all over the news today....and no doubt this great speech will be mentioned many times but in case your grandchildren are too busy to read it......print it and send it to them.  -Ed

(This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.)

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


I'm getting worried about myself.

In my 75th year on this planet, which is teetering on the verge of total insanity, a tiny little bit of my corner of the looney bin is ever so dimly making a certain amount of sense.

Take for example the most successful chain of coffee restaurants in the world; Starbucks.

If a fair “taste test” were taken of all the world's coffees.........Starbuck's coffee would come in dead last. It probably wouldn't even be allowed in the contest because it's burnt! Scorched! Horribly over cooked.

In addition, it's way overpriced.

I'm reminded of the football coach who said of his losing team's half back: “He may be small, but.......he's slow!”

Last time I checked, a cup of Starbuck's coffee was $5.00

Five dollars for a cup of burnt coffee!

And last time I looked, Starbucks was opening a new restaurant somewhere in the world every 5 minutes or so.

Now that's not what is making sense to me. I'm still totally perplexed.

But I read today that a company has just started selling T shirts......with coffee stains on them for $85 each!

Now, who in the world would think of doing such a stupid thing as that.

Suddenly, one of those curly mercury light bulbs went off in my head...........of course.....STARBUCKS!

Who else!  Makes perfect sense to me.  -Ed

Monday, October 03, 2011


I hear that Linda Huggins looked great at a reunion type event at her church last week, greeting old friends with her usual verve and bouncy spirit......

Johnny Culp is recovering from his recent knee replacement....but not "bouncing around" yet.  Still uncomfortable....but....well, knee replacements aren't for sissies!....

Mr. Ballance's book signing Friday was a big success!  Room was FULL ....lots of ex students attending. I hear he's shaved off that beard too!  Good riddance!....

WBT radio comes in strong here in Northern Virginia late at night and early in the morning.  I tune in often to get my dose of Charlotte  news.  This morning, they led off with a story about both our old Central (Garringer) AND Harding high schools. Seems that there were SHOOTINGS at both over the weekend!

It's rumored that our honorary classmate and best selling author Jan Karon is starting work on a new book. That is going to make her millions of fans very happy. This will be her 23rd novel!  I wrote Coach Edelman about my recent visit with Jan....and he responded that once his housekeeper and a few other friends of his learned that Jan was once a student of his.....he is enjoying a minor celebrity status of his own!

He spoiled his nice letter by thanking me for the picture of Jan and me that I published on the website.....and added that I had gotten much too fat.

He's right.......but........never mind.


The Sky is Falling Again

Don't put your tin foil hats away just yet.

Another satellite is going to be falling to earth this month. This time it's a German made telescope named ROSAT whose useful life is over and expected to crash to earth sometime this month.

The BBC has offered it listeners some advice concerning how to avoid being hit:

"Potentially, you could get out of the way," says Richard Crowther of the UK Space Agency, which is a member of a global network of agencies that monitors space debris.

"But if you're going to spend all the time looking up then you're at greater risk of an accident bumping into something than something coming down on you."

You could dodge a fragment if it's daytime, you get a clear view and you see it in time
But some pieces will travel at high speeds
And experts will only know where the debris will land minutes beforehand

Equally, if you want to avoid the risk of being hit completely, he says, then you need to go beyond 57 degrees latitude north (Scotland or Quebec) or south (further south than the southern tip of Argentina).

"But travelling there will involve a greater risk than the risk of being hit by this."

Some advice!  Hurumphhh!

My advice?

Put on your tin foil hat again and just wait for the danger to pass.  It worked last time, didn't it!