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.