Thursday, March 28, 2013


By Maxcyne Mott Yaworsky

Maxcyne's Pysanky Tree
     Each Easter my family gathers at my house to feast after Easter services at church. After an early dinner, everyone creates new pysanky to add to my collection, and I choose a few to hang on the tree for the following year.

 My house is filled to overflowing with my four offspring, their spouses, and ten grand-children, but you could hear a pin drop while they are working on pysanky. 

 It takes hours to go through the process of heating wax, creating a design, dipping it in one color, then drying the egg.  You keep drawing with wax, dying the egg another color, drying it again. 

 When you are all finished you melt off the wax, and there emerges beautifully colored Easter eggs.

 As a young bride in Canada,  I was fascinated by this art, which was taught to me by my mother-in-law,Julia Kazamira Martyniuk Yaworsky.  She was a native of Ukraine, and very skilled in this art.   I spent many Easter holidays in her home during the 16 years that I made my home in Canada, and always enjoyed sharing this time with her. 

Each year she would make a gift to me from her own collection of pysanky, by allowing me to choose one of my favorites. It was a wonderful treat, and many of those pysanky have survived to this day.  Two of them (on the right) are over 50 years old. 

     You might say that my collection of pysanky are like a small family record.  Some are initialed and dated. Others contain objects that are special to the children that made them.  Others I can recognize by the style of their creator.  All are precious to me.
Some of Maxcyne's masterpieces

     I hope you enjoy seeing them,


( From WIKIPEDIA....A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word comes from the verb pysaty, "to write", as the designs are not painted on, but written withbeeswax. Pysanky are typically made to be given to family members and respected outsiders. To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life, which is why the egg must remain whole. Furthermore, each of the designs and colors on the pysanka is likely to have a deep, symbolic meaning. Traditionally, the designs are chosen to match the character of the person to whom the pysanka is to be given )

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Memories of Anna Shirlene McGill

By Betsy Villas White

Running through the sprinkler on a hot summer afternoon trying to win the “most graceful” contest

Sitting on the other side of Jackie Holden at the Plaza Movie Theater – Both of us holding one of his hands.

Sitting on the bottom bunk bed reading a bedtime story to Johndy and Ralph.

Watching the sunrise from her bedroom window.

The Dolly Sisters’ Act:  “We Have Been to Gay Paree”

Dancing on the table in her bedroom wearing our lavender flowered recital dresses and pantaloons.

Swinging from the rope in her Grandmother’s barn in Winnsboro.

Gathering moss and making bug houses.

Playing the Sabre Dance on her piano while I sat in the glider on the porch.

Friday shows for the neighborhood in my garage.

Movie star hopscotch.

Picnics at Suttle’s Pool

Discovering a dead man in the woods off Eastway Drive

Spending the night at my house or hers every Friday night.

Making leaf furniture in Sylvia Arnold’s yard.

Making two story frog houses in her sand box.

Seeing who could make the longest jump from her swings in the back yard.

Making houses out of newspapers in my attic on a rainy afternoon.

The Christmas we both got gold stretchy bracelets.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Backup Flying

By R.L. Clark

I cannot remember who stated the following but it is true; Flying a Fighter Plane is best described as “Hours of boring activity frequently interrupted by minutes of stark terror.”

Cubi Point, Navel Air Station
Our squadron was deployed to Cubi Point in the Philippines for several reasons. We were to practice strafing at Camp O’Donnell. This was the site where the Bataan Death March survivors were kept.  It was converted to a strafing range later on.  Also, there was a U-2 element across the field which flew sorties westward and needed cover when they were on the return flight.

Bataan Death March
Definition:    PC-1  Primary hydraulic system for controlling      the plane.
                     PC-2 Backup system if number 1 fails.

 All US Military planes operate under a Redundancy system. If primary fails, you have an independent back-up.

I was launched from Cubi at 0:400 in the AM with a flight of 4 heading due West.  Your guess why we were heading that way.  We reached 35,000’ and were proceeding.  Some 180 miles into our flight, I noticed my PC-1 gage flickering.  A few minutes later it started to slowly go down.  No sweat, I still had PC-2. I turned the flight over to my section leader and told him I was returning to Cubi with my wing man. He should continue the mission. Shortly after I was heading back to Cubi, PC-2 started to flicker.  This cannot happen! 
F8 Crusader

Two independent systems?

 I declared an emergency and asked the tower at Cubi if there was a Safety Officer in the tower with F-8 experience.  Soon I received a call from the tower. “this  is Dale Mitchell.  I have over 1000 hours in the Crusader. What is your problem? I asked “ is this Commander Dale Mitchell from VF-124?” He said yes and I replied that I knew him and that he was one of my instructors when I was at Miramar.

F8 Control Panel
 I said that PC-1 was almost gone and that PC-2 was impossibly going down and that I needed some advice! He said that the first thing I should do was DON’T TOUCH THE STICK AGAIN! PLAN TO FLY THE PLANE WITH THROTTLE AND MINIMUM TRIM AND RUDDER. I rogered and asked him to stay with me to touchdown. He told me that I was cleared for a straight-in approach to Cubi and that the Crash Crew was standing by. 

Manila Bay
 I requested that the Mobile Arresting Gear be set up because when I landed I was going to HOT.  Meanwhile, PC-2 was continuing to drop. I mentioned this to Cmdr. Mitchell and he said I should be prepared to eject if it hit Zero.  My response was NO WAY, MANILA BAY IS LIKE A HOTEL FOR SHARKS. WHERE EVER THIS PLANE LANDS, I WILL BE IN IT!  

As I approached the field,some other moron keyed the phone and said I should be prepared to eject. I won’t tell you what my response was to that. It was tough but I landed HOT and somewhere down the runway I grabbed the Morest  Cable.

I bought Dale Mitchell a double martini at the club that night.

Later on they found that when the plane was last in check, some unthinking person decided that if a "TEE" unit was inserted only one Hydraulic system would be necessary to serve the plane. This incident destroyed the Redundancy factor which we relied upon. As you may imagine,every F-8 was quickly examined to see if others had this problem.  Thankfully I was the only person who encountered this problem.


(The Morest cables were held about 6 inches above the runway by fixed polystyrene supports. They are used to  "grab" the plane and bring it to a stop, similar to the way a plane lands on a carrier.  -R.L.)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Beverly Smith Garmon's Sister

By Jerry Gaudet
With sadness we learn, belatedly, of the passing of Beverly (Smith) Garmon's SISTER , Carolyn Smith Williamson (CHS53).
We have this contact information to reach our classmate... Beverly (Bee) Garmon
1107 Dresden Dr. West
Charlotte, NC 28205-6313


Carolyn Smith Williamson CHARLOTTE - Carolyn S. Williamson, age 78, of Charlotte passed away March 18, 2013, at CMC Main Hospital. She was born March 21, 1934 in Charlotte, North Carolina the daughter of the late John G. Smith, Sr. and Mary Spiller Smith. She became married to Richard H. Williamson, Sr. on October 14, 1953. Proceeded in death by her husband, parents and sisters, Birdie Rowe, Mary McCannon, Peggy Williams; and brothers, John George Smith, Jr., Bobby Smith and William Neely Smith. Survived by daughter Bonnie Holden and husband Jeffrey Holden, Son, Richard H Williamson, Jr and wife Lisa Teague Williamson and 20-year companion Bobby Johnston. Her pride and joy were her two grandsons, Hunter Steven Holden and Richard H Williamson, III. Also survived by her is sister, Beverly Garmon and Sister-in-law Pauline Smith. The family will receive friends from 10:00 am until 11:00 am Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at McEwen Funeral Service at Sharon Memorial Park, 5716 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28212. A graveside service will be held at 11:30 am Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery with John Edward Fowler officiating. Light lunch Reception to follow at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road, immediately following the service. Condolences at

Published in Charlotte Observer on March 19, 2013 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Here they come again...

Bug Eyed Homoptera critter
I think.

According to the leading bugologists we will be seeing (and listening to the lovely music) of the 17 year cicadas again this spring and summer.

In case you've forgotten,  Cicadas are members of the order Homoptera and are bugs with stout bodies, broad heads, clear-membrane wings, and large compound eyes.

On second thought, I don't believe anyone has ever forgotten how annoying those swarms of  LOUD obnoxious critters truly are.

The Smithsonian magazine reports:

"It’s been 17 years since the cicadas of Brood II swarmed the northeastern United States. A mass of winged creatures, red eyes glowing, the cicadas “are expected to emerge and overwhelm a large swath of land from Virginia to Connecticut — climbing up trees, flying in swarms and blanketing grassy areas so they crunch underfoot,”  Across the United States, different broods of cicadas emerge after long withdrawls underground, some on 13-year cycles, some, like Brood II, on 17-year cycles. Cicadas live in the ground, near trees. They feed off the roots of trees. And they only come out for a few weeks, during which time they will molt and then mate."

So, the good news is those of you who live in North Carolina (and further South) may not get them this year. Or, you may get some of both kind. (Ain't exact science wonderful!)

However, eventually they'll find you.

Many people around the world have decided that if you can't "beat 'em, eat 'em."
They were considered a delicacy in ancient Greece as well as China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo.  Their shells are employed in the traditinal medicines of China.

Bon appetite!

Soft Shelled Cicadas

1 cup Worcestershire sauce
30 freshly emerged 17-year cicadas
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
Salt and pepper to season the flour,
1/2 cup corn oil or slightly salted butter.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Something in the air this morning..

..made me feel like FLYING!     ― Eileen Granfors,

Spring, March 20, 2013

This year marks the 98th birthday of Old Blue Eyes, an icon of our generation who always had a spring in his step, and spring in his voice!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Re Run

(I wrote this story in 2010. I'm repeating it now, which is almost exactly 48 years after the events.  -Ed)

For those of you who have been eagerly anticipating the great “race up the hill” at the old Central High practice field..between Don Nance and me…….the “many times postponed” event is now scheduled for August 15th 2010.

The seeds of this great competition were sown back when both of us were in Piedmont Junior High…and were hoping to someday be on the Central High football team. We spent our summers “working out”…..mainly consisting of racing up the practice field hill….trying to build up strength and stamina. Winning those short sprints was also part of the equation.

Piedmont "Panthers" 1949

Don made the Varsity squad first. I went to the lowly “B Team.”

After that, the competition heated up…….who would be the first to get accepted into college, who would be first to get a car….get married….get a job……etc. We each won our share of bets. No money was exchanged of course, because we didn’t have any.

 But ONE big bet did involve a steak dinner. Loser paying, of course. The bet was, “whose baby will be born first?”

This is the 45th anniversary of that last bet. (See my “Daytimer” page from 1965)  -Ed

In case you can't read my hand writing, I noted in my "Day Timer" that Thursday the 18th, at 6:30 pm, Don called and informed me that his first son Don C. Nance Junior had been born earlier that day.

Later that  evening Linda went into labor and our first born, John Shephard Myers was born at 3:40 am the following day, March 19, 1965

Don won that bet, but Linda and I  got to brag about our son being born on the day the world celebrates the return of the Swallows to Capistrano from their winter vacation spot 6,000 miles south in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina.   -Ed

Swallows Returning to Capistrano
(The famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano that leave town (Goya) every year in a swirling mass near the Day of San Juan (October 23), are returning from their winter vacation spot 6,000 miles south in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina.
They land at the mission in San Juan, California, on or around St. Joseph's Day, March 19, to the ringing bells of the old church and a crowd of visitors from all over the world who are in town awaiting their arrival and celebrating with a huge fiesta as well as a parade.
Legend has it that the swallows took refuge in the Mission San Juan Capistrano from an irate innkeeper who destroyed their muddy nests. The swallows return to the old ruined church each spring knowing they will be protected within the mission's walls. In fact, the city has taken their safety seriously passing an ordinance against destroying their nests.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
(The oldest building in California)

So-called "scout swallows" precede the main flock each year by a few days but the majority of the small birds usually arrive on the 19th and begin rebuilding the mud nests that cling to the ruins of the old stone church and throughout the Capistrano Valley. -Wikipedia)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Consumer Reports

Good Morning Consumers.  I promised you a report on the yellow glasses I purchased  shortly after reading RL's fascinating story of target practice from 30,000 feet.

The frames of the glasses I ordered don't fit over my glasses very well, either my regular driving glasses are too big or the brand of yellow lens I bought weren't big enough...but, why be picky.

That's the ONLY thing I didn't like about them.  The lens themselves turned a very grey day (no haze, but dark and dreary) into almost a sunny day at Myrtle Beach.

Ben "the recession is over"

Our consumer protection division here at CHS54 dot net headquarters took these pictures, and even though the camera (before photo shop ) never lies, the "in person" test of the yellow lens is even more dramatic and pleasant on the eyes than the photos show.

Personally, I can't imagine a better lens to have on dark days like today, unless they are the rose colored kind that Ben Bernake wears.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Secret Weapon

By R.L. Clark

In the fall of 1962 our squadron deployed to MCAS YUMA for 3 weeks of 30,000 feet gunnery, 40,000 feet gunnery and Tactics (Dogfighting).

The first day we were scheduled for a 30,000' flight.  A Tow Plane would drag an 8’x40’ target at 20,000’.  4 planes would climb to 30,000', level off, and begin to drop down to fire at the target at 400kts. (460 mph) This was called a squirrel cage.

We would make runs until all ammo was expended. The Ground Crew painted a different color paint on the 20mm so that when the target was dropped back on the field, hits could be counted.

Captain R.L. Clark
The haze was so thick at 30,000 that it was very hard to pick up the target until you were so close that a good run was difficult.  You only had enough time to fire a 2-3 sec. burst. We usually landed with few hits.

 I thought about things and took a vehicle into downtown Yuma and looked for an Optometry Shop. Finding one, I explained my problem and asked if he had anything that would cut through the haze at altitude. He brought out a pair of HAZEMASTERS. 

 He told me that all of the hunters and shooters locally used them.  He said that some fishermen swore that they could even see the fish under water. I bought a pair and was anxious for the next days’ operation.

 Next day I was assigned leader of a flight of 4 for a run at the target, but one man had trouble with his plane and had to abort, leaving us with a flight of 3. When we leveled off at 30,000 feet I pulled out my new glasses, put them on, and was astounded that I could see down to 20,000, where the target was as if there was no haze at all.

This is  really important because the longer you have to track the target, the better the chance of hitting it. After all ammo was expended, we broke off and flew back to the field.  Subsequently the tow plane dropped the target.

Cockpit View
We 3 were back in the hangar Ready Room drinking coffee when an officer from Base Operations burst in with a strange look on his face.  He asked the Duty Officer who was leader of the flight that had last landed.  I  heard him say that it was Capt. Clarks’ flight. I thought to myself  "Oh Brother,what have I done now?"

He said that we had to come outside and look at the target.  When we got outside, they had the target stretched out .  It was full of holes. He said that it was the most holes he had seen in a target since he had been there.

 He called the Base P.R. Unit and had a photographer sent out to us. We posed for a picture behind the target. Dutch Van Kampen is on the left; Wendy Grubbs is in the middle and Yours truly is on the right pointing at a cluster of holes.

 That was the last I thought of it except that I used my Hazemasters routinely after that and continually got good scores.   About 3-4 years later, I received a postcard from one of my squadron mates who had been assigned to MCAS YUMA.  Low and Behold, they had used that picture of us as one of the postcards sold throughout Yuma.

 I still have those glasses and use them routinely when driving at night or under reduced visibility.  Sometimes I wear them playing golf.  It doesn’t help my game much but at least I can see the ball when it goes into the water or the woods.

(In order to save our Dear Readers who still drive at night, valuable time, I've already looked up HAZEMASTER Glasses, and apparently they are no longer in business. However, there are companies who manufacture "yellow lens" glasses. I'm expecting my pair to arrive in the next couple of days, and will let you know if they work as well for me as the genuine HAZEMASTERS did for RL!    -Ed)

Monday, March 11, 2013

By Jerry Gaudet

Nancy Donave Ross Stegall
It was with shock and sadness that we learn of the passing of Donave Stegall. She was a recent attender at "LDL".

Obituary Published in the Charlotte Observer Marcy 10, 2013

 Donave Ross Stegall CHARLOTTE -

 Nancy Donave Ross Stegall, age 77, of Charlotte, passed away March 6, 2013, at her residence. She was born January 27, 1936, in Charlotte, North Carolina, the daughter of the late Robert Henry and Augusta Walden Ross. She was a long-time member of Shamrock Drive Baptist Church, and grew up in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood.

 Surviving are her children, Charles Stegall Jr., Lisa Stegall Gardon, Melanie Stegall, and Deanna Hankins; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and two sisters. A funeral service will be held 1:00 PM Monday, March 11, 2013, at McEwen Funeral Home, 5716 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28212. Interment will follow in Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery. Published in Charlotte Observer on March 10, 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Beware The Ides of March

Julius Caesar
Nothing to "Beware of..."  nothing to see...Just move along....

Of all the things Shakespeare wrote....that's the phrase everyone remembers best, even if they don't know what it means.

What the heck are IDES anyway?

Glad you asked, because I just looked it up.

According to the old Roman Calendar, they mean nothing more than "the middle of the month." There were "ides" in all the months....usually coinciding with the full moon. (Having spent many years in radio and TV newsrooms listening to police and fire radios....during times of full moons...well, that's another story. But I digress.)

Shakespeare's soothsayer who first warned Julius Caesar about those March Ides (March 15th and the seven days preceeding it) turned out to be right about Caesar's demise, but any self respecting soothsayer today would be advising Americans to "Beware the ides of APRIL!"  That's the 15th of April, when our income taxes are due!

Meanwhile let's enjoy one of the ides of March, on the 12th, at Jimmies of Mint Hill!

Jerry Gaudet Reports:

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill.
Plan to join us. Spread the word far and wide! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

Hope you'll join us. You'll be glad you did!


(In the midst of the assassination of Julius Caesar, according to Suetonius, the famous Roman historian, Caesar resigned himself to die when he saw Brutus wielding a knife. Based on Suetonius' report, Shakespeare says Caesar turned to Brutus and said "Et tu, Brute," but this is not exactly what Suetonius wrote. Suetonius had written καὶ σὺ τέκνον;, which can be translated "And you too, (my) child?" Since it is widely thought that Brutus could conceivably have been the son of Caesar, Shakespeare's interpretation is well-reasoned.  -Wikipedia)

Monday, March 04, 2013


By Jerry Gaudet

Ah, the agony of defeat...or in this case the agony of "de leg".as Sylvia (Arnold) Regehr has just returned home from a trip to the hospital following a fall which resulted in a broken leg.

 We're told it's the femur (pl. femurs or femora), or thigh bone, which now has a metal rod repair. Sylvia is reportedly doing well (under the circumstances) and we wish her well in getting back to normal.

 Give a lift by contacting her at:

 Sylvia Regehr 306 Greenbay Rd.
 Mooresville, NC 28117

Congratulations to Al Selby

 who is featured in a nice article in the Charlotte Observer By Reid Creager.  Excerpts here... 

...A Scout lifer...Al Selby, Mint Hill resident, 76, has 68 years’ Scouting experience, including twice as a scoutmaster. He spent 32 years with Troop 158 at Third Presbyterian Church in Charlotte and has served the Scouts in numerous capacities.
“I got my Eagle Award when I was 16,” he said. “I stayed with the program and its troop until I graduated at Central in 1954. Then I went to college at Chapel Hill and joined the troop over there, became assistant scoutmaster. That’s pretty unusual. Most people go to college and forget about Scouting.”
Selby said the only person he knows of with more Scouting experience locally is Bill Nichols (70 years), who is on the executive committee of the Mecklenburg County Council Boy Scouts of America.
“It’s a very close fraternity that gets passed down through generations. I can’t think of anything that would substitute for it,” said Selby.
A longtime member of the Eagle Scout committee, Selby said 277 Eagles were honored last year and they spent more than 27,000 hours on projects.
He said this level of service will be a focus when the council celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015. More than 12,000 youths ages 7-18 are served each year through the council.
“It goes back to the core values established in 1910,” Selby said. “Citizenship, service to the community, the Scout oath, the Scout Law – these things haven’t changed. We stress a duty to the community, a duty to yourself, to your family, to your religion, whatever it is.” 


Friday, March 01, 2013

Mr. Gault Passes

By Jerry Gaudet

Mr. Dickson Gault

For those who came to Central through Piedmont JHS, or otherwise knew Mr. Dickson Gault who was principal there, we are saddened to report his passing this week.

 He was 99 years old. His family can be reached at:

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

Mr. Gault's Obituary published in the Charlotte Observer:

James Dickson Gault "Dick" CHARLOTTE Mr. Gault died February 24, 2013. Born September 17, 1914 in New Concord, Ohio to Wilbur and Emma Gault, he was a graduate of Muskingum College and held a Master's degree in Education from Western Reserve University. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving as a Pharmacist's Mate during WWII.

 In 1940, Dick moved to Charlotte and started a long career with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School system. During his time at CMS, he was a teacher at old Central High, principal of Piedmont Junior High and, in 1955, the first principal of the new Eastway Junior High School. He later became Director of Social Studies, serving in that position until his retirement in 1978. In his time at CMS, 

Dick was a tireless innovator and champion of the Junior High concept; he is still remembered by many of his students for his tremendous dedication to their best interests. Dick married Ruth Ranson on June 15, 1940, a loving and complimentary relationship of more than 72 years that amazed and delighted all who knew them. The pair was an inseparable fixture of the community for decades: strong supporters of Mecklenburg Ministries, pioneers of the Bridge Builders program, volunteers with Friendship Trays, active with the Shepherd Center of Charlotte and Senior Scholars, and crusaders for civil rights who helped integrate Charlotte schools and housing in the 60s and 70s and worked on behalf of gay rights with PFLAG. 

Dick was a caring and humorous family man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life and continually displayed an active and often self-deprecating wit. Together with Ruth he raised four children, by whom he is much missed.

 Late in life, Dick developed considerable skill as an artist and craftsman, producing beautiful stained glass creations by the hundreds for friends and family. These works still show signs of the mind that made them: tireless attention to detail, unique and experimental combinations of colors, and an unassuming, unforced beauty.

 Dick is survived by his wife, Ruth; by his sons and their wives: James D. and Ellen Gault of Superior, CO, Robert R. and Susan Gault of Bakersville, NC, and Lee and Teresa Gault of Bozeman MT; and by his daughter, Beth Wells of Charlotte. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were sister Addalyn Zawacky and her husband, Ralph, and son-in-law Don Wells. The family wishes to give thanks to the nurses and CNA's at Wilora Lake Healthcare Center for their loving care of Dick, and to the faithful dedication of Bill Anderson and Paul Leonard.

 A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 7 at 11:00 AM at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. The family will receive friends after the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations to Friendship Trays (2401-A Distribution St. Charlotte, NC 28203), Mecklenburg Ministries (3900-A Park Rd. Charlotte, NC 28209) and PFLAG (P.O. Box 472532 Charlotte, NC 28247) would be greatly appreciated.
Published in Charlotte Observer on March 3, 2013