Friday, December 28, 2012


It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Shirlene McGill Yeargins.

 Her funeral will be Monday, December 31, 2012, 11:00 AM at: Philadelphia Presbyterian Church 11501 Bain School Road Mint Hill, NC 28227

 Sympathies may be expressed to her family: Mr. Ellis Yeargins 5546 Birchhill Rd. Charlotte, NC 28227

Obituary Published in Charlotte Observer on December 30, 2012

 Shirlene McGill Yeargins, 76, passed away Thursday, December 27, 2012, and went straight into the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ. She was born in Mecklenburg County, NC, on April 14, 1936, daughter of the late John McNeill and Shirley Morse McGill. Mrs. Yeargins loved her Lord, living a life of service to Him. She was especially proud of her family and had the deepest love for each of them.

 A memorial service will be Monday, December 31, 2012, at 11:00 AM in Philadelphia Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service. Mrs. Yeargins is survived by her husband, Henry Ellis Yeargins; son, James Richard Regehr, Jr. of Matthews; daughters Katherine Lynn Regehr Denhart (John) of Charlotte and Virginia Dale Regehr Pope of Columbia, SC; stepsons Michael Yeargins of Albany, GA and Douglas Yeargins (Teresa) of Fort Worth, TX; grandchildren Kyle (Christy), Kendall, Laura, Haley and Victoria; step-grandchildren Lilly and Claire; great-grandson Bennett; and brothers John McGill, Jr. (Kathy) of Watkinsville, GA, Ralph McGill (Mari Anne) of Farragut, TN, and Bill McGill (Jeanne)of Yorktown, VA. Memorials may be made to Philadelphia Presbyterian Church,. 11501 Bain School Road, Charlotte, NC 28227.

 Online condolences may be made at Gordon Funeral Service & Crematory is caring for the Yeargins family.


Top 10 Songs of 1954

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

He did WHAT?

(As you know, your kindly old webmaster has been begging for stories from our fellow classmates since this site began...but it's been like pulling teeth.
I'm sure there are a lot of stories out there that the class would love to read about, that, for one reason or other you just haven't bothered to "pass along."

For example, R.L. Clark, our highly decorated  jet fighter pilot extraordinaire, told me that most of his "stories" are about military flights and probably wouldn't be very interesting to the average reader.


Take a look at this...)

By R.L.Clark

 This occurred in June of 1963 when our squadron, VMF(AW)323, was relocating to the Far East. The plan was for 3 flights of 6 planes each to leave El Toro at 45min. intervals. We planned to meet tankers twice en route to Hawaii and repeat this schedule to Wake Island and eventually Atsugi in Japan. I was in the first flight and things went according to plans for us.

 We met the tankers, plugged in, received a full load, backed off, and flew to our next tanker rendezvous, and repeated the process, then flew to Kaneohe Bay. The skipper told us about Jud and Tookers’ situation. Since they did not know what caused them to explode, they cancelled the flight and had us fly our planes to Ford Island. We flew to Japan on C-130s and they barged our planes to Japan. They arrived about 3 weeks later.

 Cliff Judkins and I are still best friends. Each November 10th he visits us from Marietta, Ga. to attend our Marine Corp Birthday luncheon. The significant element of Cliffs’ story is that he was the only pilot in our squadron who could have survived the fall because he was the only one without a spleen. Anyone else would have bled to death internally.

Regards and Merry Christmas, R.L.

 For all you pilots out there,  You can read Cliff's version  I FELL 15,000 FEET AND LIVED.... CLIFF JUDKINS  by going HERE.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Love Story

Jerry Gaudet sent me this Charlotte Observer article about two of our favorite classmates that we all know recently wedded, but it's nice to see such a warm story in the newspaper.  -Ed

Carol and Norman Kinzie
Carole and Norman, both 76, went steady for five years as teenagers before deciding to see others in college. Nearly 55 years later, they were put in contact by an old classmate. What started as meeting for lunch every two weeks turned into daily dinner dates.

 The couple married Dec. 2, 2012, and lives in Fort Mill.

 Norman tells their story.

 Separate ways:

After we went to college, Carole married her best friend’s brother, Larry. They had two children and settled in Rock Hill. I married Marianne; we also had two children and moved from Charlotte to Lake Norman.

 Getting together: Carole lost Larry to cancer about five years ago, and I lost Marianne to stroke and dementia more than a year ago. A classmate passed Carole’s contact information on to me, and she and I met at Olive Garden one day for lunch. It was as if no time had passed. We laughed, talked about our families and how lonely it is to lose your lifetime mate.

 Waste no time: Our preacher encouraged us not to wait to get married if Carole and I knew we wanted to be together. Our children were on board with our plans – Carole taught my kids to play bridge at our Sunday suppers – so we both are selling our homes and have moved into the Four Seasons senior community. We were married in our new home with our family and a few close friends attending. Young at heart: At our age, there are no dance recitals, T-ball or soccer games. The house and cars are paid for, so Carole and I are going on her first cruise and plan to travel America in our RV. Life is wonderful for young lovers; life can go on at any age if you think positive and find the right person.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Let's Dance!

 By R.L. Clark

R.L. and Holly Clark
Our NEW GENERATIONS Dance Club had our Christmas Dance last week and it was the best attended dance we have had this year. Instead of holding it at the Club where we have always been, Holly was asked to have it at the Convention Center.

 The dance floor is three times larger than the Clubs and everyone enjoyed having the additional space. Probably all of our future dances will be at the Center.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my CHS friends. R.L.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yes, Virginia, there is...

...a place called Charlotte and it's FULL of good story tellers!

Like Ellouise Schoettler and Gil Ballance!

Now, not everybody in Virginia watches the modest TV effort that my friend Chuck Langdon and I do that's broadcast out of Fairfax County, Virginia, but  those that do now know that there's more going on down there than just banking.

If you can spare about 30 minutes in your busy day, I think you'll enjoy seeing two old friends, Ellouise  (Diggle) and Gil Ballance!


Ellouise Schoettler & Gil Ballance - Out of the Past - 2012 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Early Christmas Present

Message from Bob Ellis:

"Several months ago i asked for prayers because my youngest daughter was having problems with her pregnancy. God must have been listening . I present you with my 9th grandchild:"

 Caleb Daniel Hines

Monday, December 17, 2012

Behind the Headline

By Jerry Gaudet 

 In early December, a tragic accident was reported by the Charlotte Observer and TV stations... In a followup report...

"The mother of the man who was seriously injured Saturday night in a fall at Bank of America Stadium says her son slipped after he took a photo. Sean Michael Powers, 22, of New Port Richey, Fla., fell about 40 feet from a fourth-level ramp at the stadium, a few minutes after the kickoff of the ACC championship football game between Florida State and Georgia Tech...As of Monday, he was still in critical condition. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Powers suffered a fractured skull, a crushed kidney that had to be removed, and a broken arm.

 Kristen Evers, the injured man’s mother, told Time-Warner Bay 9 News in Tampa that her son was on his way to his seat and stopped to take a picture. After snapping the photo, she said, he slipped over a railing and fell... Evers told Bay 9 News that Powell’s brothers are having a tough time dealing with the injury. “They just lost their dad this past February, and the brothers are having a very difficult time,” said Evers, a nurse at a Tampa hospital. “Sean is deeply loved, he’s fun-loving, and his friends truly love him.”

 Most of us hearing of this incident surely felt concern for the young man, but probably soon moved on to other things. At the December's "LDL" some of us heard that Betty Palomba didn't just move on the other things as she felt great emphathy for the injured man and his mother.

 This received from Betty...

I have been in contact with Kristin Evers, the mother of Sean Powers.  Sean is the 22 year old boy that fell at the stadium and has life threatening injuries.  He had an operation yesterday but they had to stop half way because of complications.  Kristin said this morning he is  on a respirator and they are keeping him asleep.  He is in very bad condition.  Kristin flew up here the day it happened and has been by his bedside 24-7.  She has two sons, l5 and 19.  The oldest one is in college in Florida.  The reason I am writing is to ask if you can, just send her a note (card) to let her know there are people in Charlotte that are thinking about her.  There is not much one can do at this point.  I have offered our guest bedroom and we will work that out next weekl.  She does not have a car here.  She is a nurse in Florida and wants to be there, of  course, all the time.   Hopefully she will come here when he is better and get some rest and a good nights sleep.  I was not going to share this with anyone but thought at this time some cards would help lift her spirit.  
thanks in advance.  Betty
the address is: Sean Power
                       Intensive Care Unit 
                       c/o Mrs. Kristin Evers
                       CMC Hospital
                       P. O box 32861
                       Charlotte, N.C 28232

"Today, December 15th, I had the pleasure of meeting Sean's mother, Kristin Evers, at CMC.  We had lunch together after I met Sean.  Yesterday Sean had surgery on his eye and his face.  This young man has had several surgeries and may still have more in his future.  He is doing quite well at this stage of recovery.  He is still in a special unit at CMC.  He has been able to eat a soft menu, has been in a wheel chair for a short stroll.  His prognosis is very good and his mother is very positive about his recovery.  There are still a lot of questions to be answered because the doctors are taking one step at a time. There has been no discussion as to when he will be able to go home.  A lot of things still have to take place.  Kristin has been overwhelmed with the love and warmth of people here in Charlotte and I especially want to thank my friends who have sent him cards.  This means alot to both of them. Kristin's father has been there for several days and they are using the facilities the hospital has for family members.  She said it is amazing and very comfortable.  I know that she has not slept there, but she does have a shower to use and a washing machine and dryer to use.  Please keep them in your prayers of healing. This is a tough time to be away from her other two sons but they are doing well.  Maybe they will have a way to be together on Christmas.  She is just taking one day at the time.
Betty Rose Templeton Palomba       P.S. If I have left anyone out who might want to be included, please feel free to send them this email

Join Betty's lead.  Send a encouraging card.  Perhaps we can add Kristin Evers to our Christmas card list.   -JG
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Sunday, December 16, 2012


By  R.L. Clark

From 1966 to 1972, I lived in San Antonio, Texas. I became acquainted with the Station Manager of WOAI Radio. He was in his 60s and had been in radio and early TV for many years. He had some very interesting stories to tell. He also had a collection of Out-Takes from a number of Personalities which he let me copy.

John Gary

 One morning we met and discussed that John Gary, the singer, was going to be in town for an Archery Shoot and to have a program in the evening at the convention center. (Gary was also an amateur archer) Guy said he had an interesting story connected with Gary. After he told the story, I went to my car and did my best to remember how it went. The following is as best I can remember.

 The scene is a hospital room. An old man is in bed and has been going in and out of delirium for several days. The doctor is not exactly sure of the cause, but he suspects it is from an injury from WW1. The old man was in the 6th Marines and still had a piece of German Shrapnel somewhere close to his heart. His wife of many years had been with him most of the time since admission. This last evening he was unconscious and was lying peacefully in bed. She was so tired from events of the past days that she pulled her chair up to the bed and laid her torso on the bed at his feet.

Evidently at some time in the night he awoke and sensed that his time was near. Seeing the love of his life lying at his feet he picked up a pad and pencil and wrote to her his last Love Letter. Some time later he expired. When his wife awoke and saw that he was gone, she noticed the pad and read his last note to her. She tore it off and kept it.

 Within a year of his death as so often happens, she became ill and sensed that she would not be around very long. Her only son was there with her, and she showed him the last letter his father had written on his death bed. She asked him to keep it and to treasure it as had she. Not long afterward she too was gone.

 The son had an acquaintance who was in the music business so he showed the letter to his friend and asked him if he thought it had possibilities for a song. The acquaintance said that he thought something could be done.

 Well you wonder how this is related to John Gary. The letter begins “Softly, I must leave you. Softly, for my heart would break if you should wake and see me go.” I have no idea how much truth is in the story which Guy told me, but if it is true, it’s very moving. If only some elements are true it is still a beautiful story.

- R.L. Clark

 Softly, I will leave you softly
For my heart would break
If you should leave
And see me go

 So I leave you softly
Long before you miss me
Long before your arms beg me to stay
For one more hour
For one more day

 After all the years
I can't bear the tears
To fall, so softly
As I leave you there

Softly, long before you kiss me
 Long before your arms can beg me stay
For one more hour
For one more day

 After all the years
I can't bear the tears
To fall, so softly
As I leave you there

Friday, December 14, 2012

Together Again

 By Jerry Gaudet

As you may remember, Martin Hill suffered a stroke in early July and has been in a nursing & rehab center ever since.  His wife, Patsy, was also in the same room recovering from pelvic reconstruction surgery until her healing allowed her to go home, about a month ago.
Well, drat!  Patsy recently suffered a couple of hip dislocations, had more surgery and is now back in the same room with Martin as she, yet again, is on the mend.
So...send them some encouragement in your prayers, a card or give them a call.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hill, Room 202
C/O The Oaks at Town Center
6300 Roberta Rd.
Harrisburg, NC  28075 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas LDL 2012

By Jerry Gaudet

The Central High School Class of 1954 met for its Christmas luncheon, "LDL", on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, with seasonal decorations place by our wonderful Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett.

 We were pleased to have newlyweds in our midst. Gene Moore brought his new bride, Shirley Burns. We were acquainted with Shirley as she has been to several "LDL"s as Gene's friend, Shirley. While still friends, they are now Mr. and Mrs. and doing well together. Our congratulations to them. They will share their time between Charlotte and Melbourne, FL ...

And, On December 2, 2012, Carole Bennett Gilland and Norman Kinzie became man and wife. Our congratulations to them as well. The Kinzies are living in Fort Mill...

 In addition to celebrating the Christmas Season, the focus was on our project through which we gathered quite a bit of cleaning supplies for the benefit of "Moore Place"... And, If any who could not attend the December "LDL" wish to join us in our Christmas Project, please make out your check to "CHS'54 Reunion Committee". Any amount will help and be appreciated by the Moore Place. Send to: CHS'54 Reunion Committee 2611 Springway Dr. Charlotte, NC 28205-2249

 Thanks again to Betty and Lou Palomba, who spearheaded the project and delivered our treasures to the Urban Ministry Center. We promptly received this acknowledging email from them...

 Subject: Thank you for your donation to Urban Ministry Center! Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 11:49:22 +0000 From: Katie Church 

Good Morning, Thank you very much for your thoughtful donations to our Housing Works program! Many of our tenants do not receive any form of income, and so we supply them with a modest amount of cleaning supplies every other month so that they can wash their laundry and dishes, and keep their apartments clean. Cleaning supplies are, therefore, an never-ending need. We so appreciate your support in this area!

 Our tenants take great pride in their apartments, and are grateful for supportive community members who want to see them flourish. Thank you for being a part of our Fresh Start drive. Merry Christmas to you all, Katie Church Tenant Services Coordinator, Housing Works Urban Ministry Center 2435 Lucena Street Charlotte, NC 28206 (980) 224-9256 Instead of a gift this holiday season, consider sending an Honor Card featuring the talent of ArtWorks945 artist William Dukes. The Urban Ministry Center is an interfaith organization dedicated to bringing the community together to end homelessness--one life at a time. We look forward to your joining us in the new year. Come give it a try.

 "LDL" is always on the second Tuesday of each and every month...the next "LDL" being Tuesday, January 8, 11:30 at JIMMIES. Wow, that's in 2013. My, how time flies when you're having fun.   -JG

Saturday, December 08, 2012


Bob Ellis sent this photo of two beautiful children, who just happen to be his grand kids, enjoying what has become a traditional rite of Christmas... having their picture taken with Santa Claus!

That wasn't done when we were kids, was it?

Perhaps nobody thought of doing it, or our folks just didn't have the money to pay for it.

So, to get you in a happy, happy, Christmas frame of mind, here are some photos to get you into the Christmas spirit!!

And Finally, I knew it was bound to happen......Santa himself....gets into the spirit:


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

True Christmas Spirit

By Jerry Gaudet

 At our December "LDL" Tuesday the 11th, we will have the opportunity to participate in a Christmas project. We're thinking "PRACTICAL".

  Thanks to Betty Palomba who is taking the lead. At our luncheon in November we decided as a group to pick out a "cause" to donate to this Christmas. After looking at several things, we think the "Moore Place" will be the one this Christmas. You can find out more about the Moore Place by watching the short video below,

Betty says,

" Among the suggestions they gave me were cleaning supplies.We decided that will be our main focus for this effort.

Right now, there are about 30 people that have apartments (one per apartment) that need supplies. mops, /pails, dish soap (no dishwashers) Ajax type cleane,r laundry soap, Clorox, Lysol etc...

 Lou and I will deliver the gifts.

 Please do not wrap anything...."

- Betty Rose Templeton Palomba

(Please keep in mind that our next "LDL" is coming up on Tuesday, December 11, 11:30 AM at Jimmies and we have a Christmas project to benefit Urban Ministry's "Moore Place". -JG)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

One Day...

Father Martin's Gazpacho
I was looking for something else when I found it at the very bottom of one of the kitchen drawers. It was a hand written recipe for Gazpacho that was given to me in 1981 by a friend of mine who passed away about a year ago

 Joe Martin was his name and the film company I was working for at the time had sent me on a mission to Aberdeen, Maryland, where he lived,  to find out who he was and what all it was that he was doing up there.... and discover if there was any way our little company could help him do MORE of it......since he was spending so much money with us.

 Now Aberdeen, being home of the military "proving grounds" is known for "surprises"...usually in the form of "Big Booms" throughout day. That afternoon the "Free State boomtown had its share of surprises for me as well, although of a different kind. 

First of all, I discovered that Joe Martin was a Catholic Priest.

 Secondly, he was an alcoholic. Probably the most famous alcoholic in the world.

 He made a film in 1972 that broke all the rules of film making.....for example the only visuals were of Father Martin at a blackboard talking! In a classic case of "content rules" it connected with people struggling with alcohol addiction like nothing had before and made Father Martin famous. The series is called "Chalk Talk." He attributes his success to, "they recognize that I'm one of them."

 Father Martin was one of the best speakers that I ever heard, and am very honored that I was able to help in a very small way to produce several of his later films. We did add just a little in the way of "relief" shots, different angles and a shot or two of audience reaction (a few of which are close ups of me...since using my face assured that there would be no legal problems, etc)

 147-acre Father Martin's Ashley addiction treatment center campus on the Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace, Maryland 

In the late 70's, Father Martin bought the old Millard Tydings mansion in Havre de Grace, Md very near Aberdeen and turned it into an 85 bed treatment center, named "Ashley" which many have nicknamed the "Betty Ford Center, East."

 He was a warm and humorous man. One of his obituary writers used a line from a talk of his where he told of a police officer who saw a drunk with a penguin and told the drunk to take the penguin to the zoo, where it belonged. The next day, the officer saw the same drunk with the same penguin and demanded to know why the drunk had not taken the bird to the zoo. “I did,” the drunk replied. “He loved it. Today, we’re going to the library.”

 But Father Martin’s best-remembered words were probably his customary welcome to each troubled patient at his treatment center: “The nightmare is over.”

(Note: In AA, alcoholics consider themselves "always alcoholics," although hopefully "recovering alcoholics.")

Here's a short sample (5 minutes) of the dynamic Father Martin, may he rest in Peace.  -Ed

Friday, November 09, 2012

Thanksgiving LDL

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 11:30 AM at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill. You are invited to join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come!

Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

Enjoy good FOOD!


See old FRIENDS!

(MOST people will have a GREAT TIME!)


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Update

Wow, what a nice surprise!

Right there in the light bulb section of my grocery store was the familiar 100w signature logo on a package of light bulbs! I snatched them up like a man lost in the desert dying of thirst lunges for a drink of cool water.
Not until I got home and reunited with my bifocals did I realize I had been "foiled again."

The 100w label was there, but the word "replacement" was printed underneath. It was nothing but a sissy 72 watt bulb pretending to be Charles Atlas!

I've known for sometime the government and the politicians think that Americans are stupid.  And they may be right.

I'll let you know next week.

Meanwhile it's only a matter of time until we see car dealers selling VOLTS labeled CADILLAC replacements.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Proud Words

 Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go,
It is not easy to call them back.
They wear long boots, Hard boots, they walk off proud;
They can’t hear you calling—
 Look out how you use Proud words.

- Carl Sandburg

That's darn good advice!

However, if Websites and Blogs like this one had been around when Carl wrote that he might have included more than just Proud words. In fact in this age of the internet and the iPad his poem can apply to ALL words. since in this digital age just about everything you say and write can travel around the world in seconds.

Take for example an article I wrote several months ago for this website. The one about my son David and me joining the Laural and Hardy fan club and meeting the famous pilot and author, Walter J. Boyne.

In this instance I was very happy that my words had their big boots on, because Lo and Behold about 2 days after that story appeared here on I got an email guessed it....Walter Boyne saying that his daughter had discovered the article and told him about it. He thanked me for the kind words, etc and before he knew it, I had booked him for an appearance on the local TV show I do here in Virginia, called OUT OF THE PAST.

I thought you would enjoy it.....because it's a very good show!

Uh O, there I go using those proud words again!

Sorry Carl.


Walter J. Boyne - Out of the Past - 2012 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sick Bay

By Jerry Gaudet 

Thanks to Bee Garmon who shared information that Gayle (Barrier) Austin fell in her kitchen on September 16 and has spent 9 days in the hospital and 23 days in rehab, arriving back home just last Wednesday.

 Gayle says she's doing well and still getting home rehab. We have this contact information for her, Gayle Austin, her husband is Don

115 Pine Lake Dr. Monroe, NC 28110



 Please keep Patsy and Martin Hill in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to share a room at the rehabilitation center.

 Martin suffered a stroke on July 3, and Patsy is healing following pelvic reconstruction. They remain upbeat in spite of "fix" they're in.

 The rehab center was able to arrange travel so that they could attend the Oct. 6 showing of the film "Martin Hill: Camera Man", featured at the fourth-annual Modern Film Fest at the historic Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, NC. Charlotte-based director Joanne Hock spent six years filming Midland, NC resident Martin Hill and his collection of the artistic tools of master filmmakers for “Martin Hill: Camera Man.” Martin had been skeptical about the film, but liked it after all. It is now in the final stages of production. Sending them an encouraging card or giving them a call would be a big lift...

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hill, Room 207 C/O The Oaks at Town Center 6300 Roberta Rd. Harrisburg, NC 28075


On a Happier note,  Robert Clark, (who prefers being called "R.L."now)
was telling me of a very interesting bunch of his friends in the sunny climes of the Flower State. It seems that
there are two dance clubs near his home in Fairfield Glade called the SOCIABLES and the NEW GENERATIONS.
He goes on to say, "Holly and I belong to both of them. Holly is President of NEW GENERATIONS this year.. We usually have 120-150 people in attendance at each event. Each has a theme. This dance was HOMECOMING and the dress individuals’ choice. Expecting people to wear something that was relative to their homecoming. Holly is in the blue dress and I am beside her with coat and tie.

 Regards, R.L."

(R.L. included a picture of the event, but as luck would have it your loveable, almost competent webmaster couldn't open it.  The CHS54 corporation, being on the leading edge of the technological revolution purchashed new computers for the staff........without realizing that no one here would know how to use them..

But eventually we'll figure it, until then..........)

Friday, October 19, 2012

uh O, WW3?

By Warren Sparrow

Five-O, Spaghetti-O We are in the midst of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

 Where were you? I was in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a month into my first year as a Wake Forest Law School student. My wife Becky and I had moved from our Beacon Hill Apartment in Boston and had landed in the Wake Forest Student Apartments. Our daughter Cathy was born October 9, 1962. She weighed over 9 pounds.

Cathy had not been home from the hospital but a few days when the earth started to move. Lord, were we frightened when President Kennedy gave the speech about missiles in Cuba. I was working at the paper in the evenings and going to law-school classes in the mornings. To prepare for the battle which I knew was coming, I bought four cans of Spaghetti-O’s.

As luck would have it, we survived. One of my professors said at the height of the crisis that there would be no war, that we should stick to our studies. He was right, saying he knew there would be no war because the Soviets knew they could not win. He was a visiting professor, 83, and internationally acclaimed. I believed him. He was most reassuring, a wise man. Despite his assurances, we remained a little cautious.

Warren and his Spaghetti-O's
We did not eat those Spaghetti-O’s right away. However, we did eat them. When? I know not. Last week to commemorate the Cuban Missile Crisis I bought four cans of Spaghetti-O’s. We have eaten two of them already. Obviously, our unit survived.

Cathy and Chrarlotte Peele
 As proof of this, I have attached a photo of our daughter Cathy Peele and her daughter Charlotte Peele who is a sophomore at Kansas State. The photo was taken recently in the parking lot of the Kansas State football stadium in Manhattan, KS. Charlotte is a member of the Classy Cats, the KSU Band’s dance line.

Her two older sisters, Melanie and Lydia Peele, are KSU graduates. They are the future. I am not sure they eat Spaghetti-O’s. We are saving two cans to celebrate the end of the crisis.


JFK's scribbled notes during Missile Crisis

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prayer List

Please add Bob Ellis' daughter to your list.  -Ed

My youngest daughter is 7 months pregnant with her due date 12-17-12. She has had some problems this past few weeks. She went to her doctor today and he conducted a test which she will know tomorrow if he will send her home for complete bed rest. Kelli works full time for an insurance firm and has 2 children 9 and 3 years old . Going to bed for complete bed rest would be a hardship on her family and her extended family. Please have her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Love, Bob

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gil's Journey Home

Central High School's legendary English and Radio Production teacher, Gil Ballance has suddenly found himself one of the most talked about new North Carolina authors in recent memory.  Ballance's book, LEAH'S JOURNEY HOME is selling like hotcakes all over the state, but especially in Charlotte, where thousands of his former students reside and in and around Elizabeth City where his novel takes place.

Ballance was recently honored by the residents of that community where LEAH'S JOURNEY began.

The following is from the DAILY ADVANCE, Elizabeth City's largest newspaper:


Journey Home’ brings author back to Newland 

By Robert Kelly - Goss The Daily Advance Thursday, July 26, 2012

 Gil Balance is 93 years old, a former educator, Pasquotank County native and now an author. The man that grew up in Newland has penned a novel based on the life of his family, and life in the rural region of Pasquotank County in the early part of the 20th century.

Gil Ballance
 Leah’s Journey Home,” is a story about a pregnant woman from Currituck’s Outer Banks who marries a man from Newland. It’s a story about the hardship of those early days and the joy Leah finds in life here in Pasquotank County. Ballance will be at the Newland United Methodist Church Sunday to sign and talk about his book from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. “The book is about a young, unmarried pregnant woman on the Outer Banks of Currituck going to marry soon, but her boyfriend is accidentally killed in a hunting accident,” explained Ballance form his home in Charlotte. “She marries an older man in name only.” Leah, the woman is based upon Ballance’s mother, however the author does take some creative license with her character and experience. The people in the story, however, reflect his memories of growing up in Newland, a story that involved several years of research with the help of folks such as former Museum of the Albemarle design chief Don Pendergraft, and the late Fred Fearing, Elizabeth City’s unofficial historian.

 Ballance’s mother married his father with two children in tow. His father brought 10 children to the marriage, and the couple would go on to have three more children of their own. Ballance’s father was 73 years old when he was born. “My father and mother’s background were so unusual I thought hey, why not write about my family which is most unusual because when I tell people my father was 73 when I was born, they say ‘He Was?’. Of course my mother was 30 years younger.”

 Ballance’s father was born somewhere around 1846 in Virginia, he said. The man was a teenager when the Civil War broke out, but he would stay home with the family farm while his own father went off to fight the war with a slave that had been with the Ballance family for some time. “It’s nothing to proud of,” Ballance said of his family owning a slave.” Ballance says he’s not certain when his family settled in the Newland region of Pasquotank County, but it would have been some time ago. He says he wanted to set the story in Newland and around the Great Dismal Swamp because these are places near and dear to his heart. He drew his characters not only from his family, but also from his neighbors. The story line reflects life in the region during the early 20th century, detailing what Elizabeth City native and head of the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says is “uplifting.” “Gil Ballance’s social drama modeled in part on his own family history is precise, good hearted and uplifting,” Simpson wrote of the book. “A welcome addition to the literature of eastern North Carolina.”

 For his part, Ballance had always dreamed of writing a novel, but there was a lot living to do. He would join the Army Air Corps before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and subsequently fight in World War II. He would go on to earn a degree from UNC Chapel Hill and work in the broadcast industry for a while before becoming a broadcast teacher at Charlotte’s Central High School. He and his brother, who is now 100, are the only surviving children from the 14 raised in Newland.

LEAH"S JOURNEY HOME can be purchased from

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall LDL

By Jerry Gaudet

Our Fall this year started out like Winter with cold, rainy days until the Central High School Class of 1954 met for its monthly luncheon, "LDL", on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, with a warm and cheerful Greeting Sign at Jimmies front door...

And then, the harvest decorations placed by Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett (and,as always, toted there by her husband, Clyde)... 

Judy and Chuck

 We enjoyed some travelers for this month's gathering as Judy Walker Cooley and her husband Chuck came to be with us from Austin, TX. Turns out that Chuck was a summer camp counselor when Charlie Willis attend a church camp as a kid...

Carol, Norman, Marlene and Tom

 Carol Bennett Gilland brought her friend, and now fiance, Norman Kinzie (CHS'55) and they have a wedding date, December 2, 2012. The newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Kinzie, will be living in Fort Mill, SC. Carole and Norman will be sharing the town with Marlene Ritch Beaty and her husband Tom. We call him Tom...Marlene calls him Thomas...

 There is always fun to be had, even with good behavior. We look forward to additional classmates and guests joining us. Come give it a try. "LDL" is always on the second Tuesday of each and every month...the next "LDL" being Tuesday, November 13, 11:30 at JIMMIES.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Martin Hill

Martin Hill

Bob Ellis alerted me to the great story in today's Charlotte Observer about our own Martin Hill and his incredible collection of Hollywood memorabilia.
A film has been made called Martin Hill: Camera Man  and will be shown at 5pm Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Modern Film Festival in Kannapolis at the Gem Theater.

Read the Observer article


Unfortunately, the article mentions something that I was totally unaware of. It mentions that Martin is resting in a Harrisburg rehab center after a stroke on July 3. 

I'll try and get more information about Martin's condition.  -Ed

Read more here:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Bitthday Elizabethans

Elizabeth School
As you may have heard, Elizabeth School is celebrating its 100th birthday on Friday, October 26th.  Frank Clontz has been in touch with Lisa Rubenson (whom I assume is the current "Miss Hattie" of our old school and she says they are in the process of putting together a list of folks who want to attend......and she told Frank that an email OR a phone call to the school advising  them of your name and address (and the year you graduated) would be most welcome.  They are compiling a list to send out invitations and zero in on how many people to expect, etc.

The email address is

The Phone number is  980-343-5475

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Gault

By Jerry Gaudet

For those of us who came through Piedmont JHS know Mr. Dickson Gault, who was principal there.
His 98th birthday is on Monday, September 17, 2011. Sorry for this late notice but it's not too late to celebrate his birthday. What's a few days in 98 years?

 Dick is in a connected care facility. Ruth is "legally blind", suffering vision loss because of macular degeneration, but is still able to live in their apartment. Both Ruth and Dick keep plugging away and say they are "trying to do the best they can, under their circumstances". Amen to that! We should all do as much.

 A birthday card and/or an encouraging note would mean a lot to them...

Mr. and Mrs. Dick Gault
6053 Wilora Lake Rd., Apt# 136
Charlotte, NC 28212 By

Saturday, September 15, 2012


 As far as I'm concerned, the 75 year old mystery of "What Happened to Amelia Earhart has been solved by  a small, private organization known as TIGHAR (The International Group for Restoration and Recovery.)

 Over the summer, the national press got interested in the story and I believe that it won't be long before you begin to hear a lot more about TIGHAR and Amelia Earhart.

 No, they haven't found the "smoking gun" yet, but as Dr. Thomas King the chief archaeologist for TIGHAR says, most mysteries are solved by a "preponderance of evidence," not a "smoking gun."

Recently, Dr. King, was kind enough to appear with Chuck Langdon and me on our modest OUT OF THE PAST show on Virginia Cable TV. If you've got a half hour to kill......I think you'll enjoy the show. (This is the THIRD SHOW we've done with Dr. King) -Ed

"Search For Amelia"- Tom King(Pt 3) - Out of the Past - 2012 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Elizabeth School
So, it’s Elizabeth School’s 100th year anniversary.

I wish I could be there to celebrate, but it’s far too dangerous.

It’s likely they’re still looking for me.

Moving to Washington and changing my name has helped greatly in keeping the law off my back all these years, but it’s impossible to hide forever and I know that day will come when I get a knock on the door and standing there is the head of the Enforcement Division of the Charlotte Teachers Union , the President of “No Crime Left Behind,” and the Armored Division Chief of Political Correctness  who announces, as he puts the cuffs on me, “…the Jig is up.”

 It’s even possible that the Elizabeth School Reunion is itself just a clever ruse to lure me out of hiding.

Obama Care Bill
In a sane world, you’d think that the Statute of Limitations would have kicked in by now, but in today’s world you can never be sure. I’ve heard that on page 7,043 of the Obama Health Care Bill there’s a clause that establishes a new government agency called “Fairness for Useless Old Men” that addresses the fact that Americans over the age of 60 had it too good during their younger years so in the interest of fairness and payback,  all their past transgressions will be re-opened and dealt with using today’s enlightened standards. It may just be a rumor, since no one has actually read the bill, but, I’m not going to take a chance.

My crime happened in either 1941 or 42. I was absolutely fascinated by what I found one day while playing in my friend Earl Pope’s attic. It was a box of .22 caliber bullets, 5 or 6 of which Earl said I could have to show some of my friends in school. I don’t remember who squealed on me, but the word got around pretty quickly that Ed was “carrying.” I didn’t know what the big deal was, but whatever it was, I was feeling kind of know, pretty special. Never before had so many of my classmates, especially the older boys, paid any attention to me. Now my name was circulating all over the school!

It was a good feeling..for a while.

If the same thing had happened today, I shudder to think how "special" I would have felt;

Swat team

First, the Principal would have called 911, the police then would have arrived and locked  the school down, a swat team would have moved in and demanded my surrender over a bullhorn, handcuffed me, and taken me to jail. After two weeks of psychiatric evaluation I would have been (hopefully) released to my parents to await trial.
After that, probably probation, unless of course they also happened to find an aspirin in my pocket.
Then, no less than 3 to 5 years.

But, lucky for me it happened in 1942, not 2012. My punishment?

I was sent to the principal’s office, where Miss Hattie confiscated the bullets, told me how dangerous they were...and to never do it again.

Then she told me to go back to class..

Being sent to Miss Hattie’s office scared me so bad, I never even went near my friend Earl Pope’s Attic again.

Thank God nothing tragic happened because of my stupidity in bringing those bullets to school.

Everything in this story is true, with only a couple of very slight exaggerations. The scariest one regards the arrival of the "Swat Team." which more and more is NOT an overreaction by the public school system, but in some instances is actually needed. 

What, in my opinion, are also needed are more teachers with common sense...and the permission to use it!

-Ed  (somewhere in Virginia)