Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bureaucracy 101

If a picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe it often is, then this one needs to be shown to all of your liberal friends and relatives to help them understand why Obama Care will be just as screwed up as the Veterans Hospitals and medical care are.

It's from a January 2014 article in by Daniel J. Mitchell called "Are Government Bureaucrats Corrupt and Dishonest?

Important Announcement from the California Bureaucracy!

Sacramento (May 7) — This financial crisis is forcing California State and local agencies to make some tough decisions. If things continue for much longer, there’s a real risk that we may have to lay off Jose.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I Keep Forgetting I Forgot About You

Country Songs have a way of getting right to the point.

What more powerful  way of expressing a broken heart than saying, "You Done Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat.

How could you tell someone goodbye more succinctly than, "If your phone don't ring, it's me."
or, "I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling."


Honky Tonk Angel

 I'm So Miserable Without You; It's Like Having You Here.

 My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I Sure Do Miss Him.

 You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly.

 How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away.

 I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well.

 My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love You.
Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure.

Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life

 I'd Rather Have A Bottle In Front Of Me Than A Frontal Lobotomy

I'm Just A Bug On The Windshield Of Life

 If You Don't Leave Me Alone, I'll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will

 If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

Thank God And Greyhound She's Gone

 You Were Only A Splinter As I Slid Down The Bannister Of Life

The Next Time You Throw That Fryin' Pan, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There

Sorry about that. I got carried away.

What I wanted to write about is the "bad rap" that people our age are often accused of .........being senile...a slightly nicer way of saying "demented."

I found some comforting information on the Internet under the title

"The brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age, so significant memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging. But just as it is with muscle strength, you have to use it or lose it. Your lifestyle, health habits, and daily activities have a huge impact on the health of your brain. Whatever your age, there are many ways you can improve your cognitive skills, prevent memory loss, and protect your grey matter.
Furthermore, many mental abilities are largely unaffected by normal aging, such as:
  • Your ability to do the things you’ve always done and continue to do often
  • The wisdom and knowledge you’ve acquired from life experience
  • Your innate common sense
  • Your ability to form reasonable arguments and judgments

Normal forgetfulness vs. dementia

For most people, occasional lapses in memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of dementia.

Normal age-related forgetfulness

The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:
  • Forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.
  • Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name.
  • Occasionally forgetting an appointment.
  • Having trouble remembering what you’ve just read, or the details of a conversation.
  • Walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.
  • Becoming easily distracted.
  • Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”

Does your memory loss affect your ability to function?

The primary difference between age-related memory loss and dementia is that the former isn’t disabling. The memory lapses have little impact on your daily performance and ability to do what you want to do.
When memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it disrupts your work, hobbies, social activities, and family relationships, you may be experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, or another disorder that causes dementia, or a condition that mimics dementia."

For the Complete article go to:

David Alan Coe
...and finally, here is David Alan Coe singing the "Perfect Country and Western

Be sure to stay with it til the end.....


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Growing up Under a (Mushroom) Cloud

1950's School room defense tactics
 I don't believe there was a better time nor place to grow up when we did than in America; and yes, Charlotte, North Carolina.

It would have been almost perfect, if it hadn't been for that black cloud...that was always in the back of our minds; the  thought that we could all be nuked at any moment.

World War Three was never totally out of our thoughts because from 1947 until the 1990's there was always the real possibility that sooner or later it would begin.

Our leaders and our Military war planners had a code word for it. It was a word very few of us had ever heard and indeed still have no idea what or where it is.

The word was FULDA.

Fulda is a small town in West Germany and just on the outskirts is the Fulda Gap, which was  the most heavily armed place on earth. More than a million U.S.and Soviet soldiers were lined up not 400 yards apart.That's where intelligence sources said World War Three would most likely start.

U2 Pilot Powers
It almost did on May 1, 1960 when Francis Gary Power's U2 spy plane was shot out of the sky over Soviet Russia.

 "Don't you fly into the Soviet Union! Don't you fly into the socialist countries!" Khrushchev demanded. "Respect sovereignty and know your limits! If you don't know your limits, we will strike!" 

American defenses went on alert.
Fulda Tunnel

An Army special weapons officer from the 23rd Engineer Battalion  (Armored Division) and his platoon were immediately sent to the nearby Fulda tunnel.....which separated the opposing armies...with a fully armed Atomic Bomb and the "Target Folder," taken from the super secure"safe,"which contained the activation codes needed for detonation and  orders to destroy the tunnel.

Had cooler heads not prevailed, A 1954 graduate of
Central High School would have set off America's first Atomic
bomb of World War Three.

His name: Obie Oakley.
Fascinating stuff, indeed!


Obie in Fulda

 Obie writes about this and much more in his latest book, MAKING OF A SOLDIER, which is both a personal journey and a close up look at the men of our military in potentially the most dangerous place and era of our lifetime.

Those who know Obie best often describe him as a "born" soldier.

But as far as I could discover, that aspect of his personality didn't begin until 1941, when he was 5 years old...and continues to this day.
Obie in 1941 

He wrote the book as a fund raising effort for the Freedom Foundation which honors veterans.

If you would like to view a free online version, contact him at for that link.

A printed copy is available for a $50 donation.  Go to  Click Donate

Editor's note: As far as experts can determine, this was the only such deployment in U.S. Military history. Obie's commander at Fulda was  Colonel
Harry Mumma who has been quoted in recent years regarding  Obie's Atomic bomb deployment:

"As an afterthought, it is hard to imagine that a 23
year old 1LT and his platoon were being entrusted with the responsibility of setting off a nuclear device!"

Obie Oakley

Reminder: Twenty years ago, Obie and two friends
raised the money to build the Vietnam War
Veterans Memorial in uptown’s Thompson
Park. He’s chaired boards and he’s been a
prime force behind the Carolinas Freedom
Foundation, which puts on the yearly
Veterans Day parade  


Friday, May 23, 2014

We've Come a Long Way...Baby


What would happen today if the President of the United States handed this out to all of our members of the military?

The stories our veterans of WW2 told about those Bibles are legion. "There are no atheists in foxholes" is not much more than a cliche these days, but to those who fought for our survival and freedom, the foxholes were real. To have some comfort in you pocket was not a small thing.

 In some cases it saved their physical lives. Worried parents even sent extra protection in the form of metal covers for the bibles.

The government Bibles were one of the two most popular items carried into combat by our WW2 heroes.  The other was

the Zippo cigarette lighter.

Oh, and what would happen if an American President did this today?

He would probably be impeached.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Little Things Mean a Lot

"Blow me a kiss from across the room...Touch my hair as you pass my chair, little things mean a lot." -Kitty Kallen

That was one of OUR songs back in 1954 and I've been humming it all day thinking of all you lucky Wildcats who attended our 60th Reunion last week.

I'll bet the farm that 99.9% of the conversations that night were about those "Little Things"...that memories of are made of.

I know mine are:
Bo Madden

Second Grade teacher was asking us to stand and say our names:

MISS TERRY:  "And what is YOUR name young man?"
MISS TERRY:  "Well, you must have a last name; besides BO is just a nickname...for, oh, probably Boregaurde. So, again, what is your name?"


(firmly)  "BO!  BEE OH, BO!"

From then on, he was always "B.O. BO" to me.

The Elizabeth School janitor and all around fix it guy was a very large man named Mr. Williams. I never saw him without a huge wad of tobacco in his jaw.

But I never saw him spit.  Amazing.'

My favorite bus driver (6 ELIZABETH) was Mr McKeever.

My greatest ambition at Elizabeth School was to someday be a patrol boy. You were chosen by your 5th grade teacher, who, in my case was Miss Willis. I forget what month it was, but I know what DATE it was.  It was the 8th of something.  That was the day I had convinced my Mom that I was too sick to go to school.  But, amazingly, later that day, I felt good enough to go out and play with my friends who, poor souls, had spent the day in school.

As luck would have it, who would come driving down East 5th Street, just as I was catching a long pass ..on the vacant lot next to the street but Miss Willis.

That night, I marked every 8th day of every month on the family calendar....BAD DAY! I could see my Patrol Boy Career going down the drain.

Miss Willis was driving one of those new fangled Kaiser/Fraser automobiles.  Wearing a Blue dress.

Some things you never forget.

She had a bit of a mean streak, although she DID recommend me for Patrol Boy; I've never forgiven her for punishing a boy named Charlie Stone who acted up a little in class one day....and she refused to allow him to participate later that day in our orchestra concert that he had worked so hard on all year.

Seeing him cry at his desk that day still haunts me.

I loved comic books, in fact, that's how I learned to read. My first attempt at being creative was to draw a primitive comic story of my own one day and got up enough nerve to show it to one of my 4th grade classmates, Richard Stowe.  To my amazement he said he liked it!

That's all the encouragement I needed! I've never stopped telling stories.

Things I learned from other's mistakes in class:

South Carolina is NOT the Pimento State.

If you are ever tempted to forge your Mom's signature on your report card, DON'T spell her first name, MISS.

Clorox 1940's bottle
And don't believe everything your friends tell you.

For example, "CLOROX  will erase INK"

Changing a D to a C burned a damm hole right through my report card.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Mama's Bible

I went into a home one day just to see some friends of mine
Of all their books and magazines, not a Bible could I find
I asked them for the Bible when they brought it, what a shame
For the dust was covered o'er it, not a fingerprint was plain

                          Dust on the Bible    - Popular Country Western song 1959

Her name was Nora Kate Cartee but my sister and I knew her as "Mama," because that's what our Mother called her.

The Cartee home in Anderson, SC
 Kate was 16 years old when she married John Andrew Jolly on March 30, 1904. He died July 30, 1910, leaving her and their four small children penniless.  They moved into her childhood home with her widower father in Anderson, South Carolina where she single handedly raised the two girls and two boys. Their small farm and garden supplied their food, and "Mama" made all their clothes on a Singer sewing machine....operated by "foot power."

The children all grew up to become fine citizens with families
Singer machine 1910
of their own. My Mom didn't dwell on her childhood poverty but brought it up a few times, usually around Christmas to let my sister and me know how fortunate we were and how grateful we should be for all the presents we had under our tree compared to her typical gift each December 25th orange.

The reason I know the exact dates of those events of over 100 years ago is that Mama's "Family Bible," which I so carefully brought up to Virginia and stored away when we cleaned out my Mother's home in Charlotte, had a few pages in the middle designed for the owner's Family Records.

A hundred years of Births, Marriages, and deaths are all there...but as I was looking through that old tattered book for perhaps an underlined verse or two or maybe a personal notation in the margin...I could find nothing that might give me some insight as to how she and millions of other Americans coped in those harsh days before modern medicine and miracle drugs.

The family records were the only handwritten notes there.. I found no hint of a message or clue that might suggest the secret of her strength.

Only an orange at Christmas for the kids makes me sad enough, but just imagine what parents like Mama went through when their children got sick.  It was worrisome enough for us, even though we knew the antibiotics would almost certainly pull them through if necessary. Something as simple as strep throat, which was called scarlet fever back then, was a major cause of death.

In 1900, nearly 165 of every 1,000 children born in America died before their first birthday (in some cities this number was as high as 300). If they survived infancy, children still had to fight to survive: at the turn of the century, 20 percent of the nation's children died before the age of ten.   -Wikipedia

It a shame the book is in such terrible shape. It was like that when my Mom brought it up from South Carolina after Mama died.

As I contemplated the effort it would take to have the book rebound into "presentable shape," it
Mama's Bible
suddenly occurred to me that Mama's "secret" had been staring me in the face all along.

It was that tattered book itself!  

There were no magic pills for her sick children during those long dark nights....but there was one thing she could reach for...

and she literally wore it out.


(It also dawned on me that I may have inspired a new Country and Western hit song...if it doesn't already exist   -Ed)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Shark and Me

 It's been suggested by some of the thousands of loyal fans of the CHS54 website that in his efforts to "keep the website fresh" your webmaster may have finally  "Jumped the Shark."

Now, I'm "hip" enough to realize that ain't exactly a compliment.  (Does anybody use that term "hip"...anymore?)

At any rate, the JTS reference was a result of the exciting and spellbinding account of Knute violin maker.

(I can hear your laughter now, all the way up here in Virginia!)

OK, OK......I get it. Those emails I got ...."Hey Ed, tell us MORE about your violin maker...what kind of polish did he use.....what was the name of the horse whose tail he got the horse hair to make the bow?  etc.etc..."   I know sarcasm when I see it.

I also know what "Jumped the Shark" means.

It's a reference to the TV sitcom Happy Days when in one of the later episodes Fonzie shown water sking and suddenly out of the blue, for absolutely no reason, a shark appears and the Fonz totally unfazed, simply jumps over it and the scene continues without any mention of the bizarre happening.

After that episode....the series continued on a downward path....and was soon cancelled.

The expression "Jump the Shark" has come to mean... something or someone, in this case the writers and producers, are totally out of ideas...and the "end has come."

In all seriousness, I got a couple of nice notes regarding Knute, although I know not everyone is interested in old fiddles.


However, I know what EVERYBODY IS interested in:

Seeing some snapshots of Friday night's 60th PLEASE, you folks who had cameras there
start sending some in!!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

In Our Thoughts

Last night's joyous 60th anniversary was not without its serious side.  The most moving exhibit was, without a doubt the Memory Boards with pictures of our classmates who have passed on.
Obie created the Boards and probably didn't realize until he had finished,  how moving, sad... and, yes, stunning they would be.

To see all these young and vibrant faces of our friends that we'll never see again, gathered together in one display was....

(supply your own emotion....)

...mine is "humbling."

My guess is they were all there last night, in Spirit.

Thanks, Obie!



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Waiting for 60th Pictures

While we wait for pictures of our 60th Reunion last night to arrive here at the CHS54 complex, a reminder from Jerry Gaudet:

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
You are urged to join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

Reunion Remarks

Obie Oakley has a way of condensing the essence of our amazing no one else!

Here are a few of his remarks from last evening's 60th reunion:

Photo by Jerry Gaudet
As I said in my opening remarks, I think the evening would be rather incomplete to end it with the conclusion of the meal. Granted, we can’t even come close to matching five years ago and that incredible video Ed put together. That was and is spectacular. We can, however spend a little time together, have some serious moments and maybe even have some fun!

You know, if you were to go back in time to that evening in June 60 years ago and asked what were the expectations for achievement of the 350 graduates of Charlotte Central High School, I am convinced the response would have been, “Oh, they will do OK, but don’t expect too much”.

Think about it, we were from mostly middle-class, working, blue collar families. Our neighborhoods were Midwood and Dilworth, Elizabeth and Plaza and our Junior High’s were A.G. and Piedmont.

And so after graduation we quietly went off to make our mark on the world. Some of us went off to college, some to the military and most of us to jobs we would find right here close to home.

And now, let me tell you how wrong those “experts” of 60 years ago would have been. The Class of ’54 has established itself as achievers in every field. And how do I know this, I went through the questionnaires we filled out for our 40th and 50th reunions! I am going to recommend that if you were at the 50th, go home and sometime over the weekend read each one of these mini-biographies. I assure you you will be very proud of this group of achievers you call “classmates”. You will laugh and you will cry, but most of all you will be impressed!

I want to spend some time in citing specifics later but for now, a brief serious moment if you please. I think you will join me in being impressed by what we have returned to our communities and our nation. We have served with distinction in the military, (One giving his life), in the professions as teachers, doctors and nurses, attorneys and in the world of business as shop owners, clerks and administrators. Not to bore you with numbers but here are some examples about which I’m speaking.

At least seven went in to the ministry
Ten became lawyers, one became a judge (Bill Robinson) and one (Warren Sparrow) the district attorney who successfully prosecuted the husband killer, BlancheTaylor Moore.
Two have served with distinction as State Senators, Jennie Margaret
Is Maryland’s longest serving legislator and Neil Jones in the NC Senate
I think you get my point for now and I want to come back to this later.

Just as important and maybe a little more so is the way we have given ourselves as volunteers in hundreds of activities that help others who are perhaps less fortunate than us. These include shelters, Meals on Wheels, mission trips, YMCA, Boy and Girl Scouts and countless hours through our churches.


Let’s shift gears a bit and move to a lighter side and start off with the standard recognitions. Who came the furthest to get here? Start off with you ladies. Who feels you came from the longest distance and this has to be farther away than Gastonia. Atlanta? Rockville? Well, for making the effort, here’s a gift card from Starbucks! Nothing cheap about the class of ’54,

How about the guys? Again, Atlanta? Maryland? RL, I think Herb’s got you on this one. Way to go Herb and here is your Starbucks gift card.

How about a little game of trivia?
      1. If you grandson were to ask you what was the purpose of that Pepsi bottle and the metal cap with holes punched in it, what would you tell him? (Water sprinklers) Some hi-octane caffeine for ________.
      1. Who did Casey Jones, Rocky Spadaccini and Nick Ognivich play for? (Charlotte Clippers) Out of curiosity, what were the team colors?
Going back to the numbers game, did you know that our class produced five pilots who served in combat? One of them is RL Clark, we knew him as Robert. Of course, Charles Mateer lost his life in the service to his country.
I’d like to share with you at this time a little true “war story”. Our classmate, Calix Reneau, was serving in Vietnam as a Marine infantryman. His unit was pinned down and they were getting pounded by a North Vietnamese regiment. They were in a desperate situation and were calling for close air support. In just the nick of time, a flight of A-6 Invaders appeared and saved the day. Good guys riding in wearing white hats. And now, as Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story, the flight leader that day was none other than our own Pat Faulkner! Great story.

Ready for some more give-aways? How about this one? Who has the most great-grandchildren? (In earlier times it would have been Grandchildren)? Charlie, help me with the counting. Here we go, another Starbucks caffeine injection!

The next winner is going to have to work for his/her prize. Do any of you remember the first time you saw television? For a prize, would you be willing to share that with the group? As you think about that, I saw TV for the first time standing outside a house on Chesterfield Avenue looking through the window at the tiny image and being in awe! Where were you?

Next, I want to talk about the incredibly wide range of activities you could involve yourself in offered at Central. There was drama, music, athletics and occupational clubs just to mention a few. Those of you involved in choir, band or orchestra to include letter girls, how about standing. Next, those of you who were on an athletic team stand up. As I was researching for this I was in shock at the absolute lack of mention of girl’s athletics, which I suppose was limited to basketball. Whereas the boys had individual pictures with names below, you girls got a long distance group shot with no names! Times have really changes haven’t them. I must say for the good! (8:31)

How about some more trivia?
1. What color was Smith Brothers Cough Drops? (Black)
2. What do Al Widenhouse and Richard Petty have in common?
Both wore #43.

At my fiftieth college reunion, an entertaining part of an evening was called “Open mike”. Classmates were encouraged to share with the group something they thought particular meaningful or amusing that occurred during their time at the school. I had an email sent out earlier putting you on notice that you would be encouraged to do the same about your time at Central. Do I have any takers? You’ll get a prize if you do.

Couple more trivia questions. These are going to really test your memory skills.
1. Who was our graduation speaker? (Judge William Bobbit)
2. Who delivered our baccalaureate sermon? (Dr. Warner Hall)
        1. And finally, who was the last person to walk across the stage and receive his/her diploma? (Charlie Willis)
A few classmates to highlight special achievements).

1. Diana Carpenter- DeKalb County teacher of the year!
2. Can you believe Vic Brawley, until last year, was playing
Competive soft ball?
3. Charlie Willis – Built one of the largest engineering firms
Of its kind on the East Coast.
4. Linsy Farris – Couple of things. Continued to practice in a
Hospital in Harlem when he could have gone to more
Lucrative areas. He’s also an accomplished musician,
Playing the bass in classical as well as country groups
Entertaining in nursing homes.

Finally, I’d like to close with something I think speaks to the true make-up of the members of the Class of 1954.

For Herb Jacobiwicz’s 70th birthday, his wife Barbara sent out a call for anyone who remembered anything about Herb to send it to her. She was planning a party and would include it it a book of memories for him. Well, here’s what I sent.

“I remember Herb Jacobowitz enrolling for the 12th grade. Here was this little guy, certainly not an athlete, coming on the scene and immersing himself into daily routines of school life. Herb had a certain air of confidence about him and didn’t see himself any different from the other 349 of our class. The flip side of that was the other 349 of us didn’t seem to take note that Herb was Jewish. In fact, if I’m not mistaken he was the only one of his faith in our class.

“I think this speaks to the heart and soul of our class. We were totally accepting of those coming in and joining our ranks, especially when they were willing to apply themselves and make the effort to becoming a good Wildcat. I will say there was some resentment over his playing hell with the grading curves in Karl Sawyer’s classes!

“Herb, we are proud you chose to become a member of the class of ’54. I’d like to tell those here that you went on the get your PhD at M.I.T. and retired as a physicist designing and developing weather satellites!”

To close, I’d like to relay a little conversation I had yesterday while picking up the sound system. The owner was also a disc jockey who played records at various functions such as ours. In fact, he is entertaining a group down in Chester tonight. Andy, my new best friend, remarked after learning that we are of the 50’s generation that he was envious of our times and experiences. He had been with many groups and decided that if he could go back and be a part of and spend time as a member of a particular class, ours would be the one he would choose!

Well Andy, it has been our privilege to have experienced three whole years as members of the Central High School Class of 1954!

That wraps up the evening. Does anyone wish to add anything?
-Obie Oakley 5/9/14

A Rousing SUCCESS!

2009 Reunion

How could it NOT have been!

I was unable to attend last night's festivities, but there's almost no way it could NOT  have been a joyous, memorable event!

I should be getting eyewitness reports and pictures any moment now, and will post them as they come in.

Meanwhile. I'll post  Part TWO of the tale which many of you have called my "Jump the Shark" moment...........about the man who made my violin.

"Jump the Shark."  Hurumph.....these young whippersnappers sure have strange terms for praising the efforts of authors such as myself.  But I'll take whatever compliments I can get.

Norweigian Wood (Part TWO)

   "The well-known Norwegian-American violin maker, Knute Rheindal, is back from a visit to Norway. Mr. Rheindal is known as Chicago's Norwegian Stradivarius, due to the wonderful tonal quality of his handmade violins. The purpose of his trip to Norway was not only to visit the home of his childhood,but to obtain materials for violin making. Doorposts, thresholds, planks; all hundreds of years old stripped from age old buildings and shipped here."

Luthier's (string instrument maker's) label inside Ed's violin

That short blurb in an ancient Chicago newspaper was the first thing I ever learned about the man whose name was pasted on the inside of the violin I carried daily through Junior and Senior High School. Until now, thanks to the Internet, I never knew anything at all about  Knute Reindahl.

I don't believe my schoolmates would have recognized me without my violin case. Inside that case was a $300 instrument Mr. Michael Wise found for me in 1948. Back then I had childhood dreams of becoming a world renowned concert violinist basking in the glow of wild audience applause and adoration (especially from women). However, reality struck about the time I entered Central High and discovered there were other kids as good, or better than I was.

So much for that concert violinist surrounded by adoring women fantasy.  I was going to have to go to plan B. Whatever that might be.

But I still enjoyed practicing and playing the fiddle, and didn't put it away for good until my senior year in college.

I packed it up around 1957, still knowing nothing about the history of that beautiful handmade work of art that had been my constant companion all those years.

Fast forward to the present. Since none of my children, nor grandchildren, exhibited any interest in learning a musical instrument I decided to give it away to some deserving student. But until then, I would see if there was anything on the Internet about the man who had carved the work of art that had been my close companion for all those years.

Knute Reindahl
I discovered that Knute Reindahl was born in Norway. He lost his father when  was only 3 years old. His widowed mother emigrated to America with her 7 children when Knute was 9 . They settled near Madison Wisconsin where Knute developed a friendship with the Indians in the Monona area. He later wrote of this experience,  

"In summertime I loved to visit the Indian camps. I even tasted the smoked muskrat and skunk meats which hung in the peak of their tents. And while I was showing the Indians what I could do with my knife, they gave me lessons in bow and arrow making. It was not long before I was peddling in the bow and two arrows for 25 cents."

He moved to Chicago and began making violins seriously in 1899 (he had made his first violin when he was 13 years old) and had a very successful shop in for 25 years.

In 1900 Reindahl exhibited his violins at the World's Fair in Paris and won a gold medal for their beauty of tone and artistic workmanship.  The Chicago Symphony moved into the spacious Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue in1905 and the director ordered 5 Reindahl violins to replace older European instruments which lacked sufficient power to be adequately heard in the new, larger hall.

Reindahl's 5 daughters outside their home near Madison
In 1911 Knute moved his family back to the area where he had spent much of his youth, near Madison Wisconsin. The area where his home was located is now an official landmark in the town of Monona.  

In 1922 the town of Madison presented  the world's famous violinist, Fritz Kreisler with one of Knute's violins on the occasion of Kreisler's becoming an American citizen. 

Later, Knute's  peers voted unanimously to elect him the first president of the newly formed American Academy of Violin Makers.

Knute died January 17th, 1936. 

According to the Internet,the going price for a Reindahl violin is now anywhere between 5 and 10 thousand dollars. 

Am I going to give it away, or sell it?

Nope. It's going back in the attic to wait for the right musically talented Shephard/Myers great (great?) grand kid to come along.

 I'm also going to include a note in the case advising him to make friends with the biggest kid in the school.   

Thanks for the memories, Knute.  Rest in Peace.


($300 in 1948 had the same buying power that $2,941.41 has today) 

Thursday, May 08, 2014


The big event we've all been waiting for is TODAY

Obie tells me that the committee is expecting about 85 of us, including spouses.

"...  In addition to the fellowship, meeting and greeting old friends, we plan to have a short time of remembering just how special those times and our classmates really were.  We will also have a "wall of remembrance" to pay honor to the memory of those of our class who are deceased.  There are 95 of the 350 who are no longer with us.
    We have built in a cushion to take care of any folks who decide at the last minute to join in the celebration.
    It will be a special evening, for sure."


And here are our friends who have "pre-registered:"

FirstName LastName MariedName Guest

Mike Andrews

Darrell Avery

Mary Sue Banks Burnett Clyde

Earl Beckham

Carole Bennett Kinzie Norman

Vic Brawley

Karol Broadwell Welch

Diana Carpenter White Ivan

R.L. Clark

Harold Cullingford

John Culp

Sylvia Dunn Cross Shane

Bob Ellis

Linsy Farris, MD

Jerry Gaudet

Mamie Goodwin Baucom Teresa & Keith

Bee Harkey Kearns Von

Jackie Hart Lookabill Gene

Herb Jacobowitz

Becky Lampley Leonard

Barney Lisk

Carolyn McCall McCall

Herb McKinnell

Jennie Meador Forehand Bill

Mitzi Minor Roper

Gene Moore
Shirley Burns

Becky Murray Chesney

Obie Oakley

Ronnie Rallis Pourlos Jimmie

Marlene Ritch Beaty Thomas

Bill Robinson

Al Selby

David Sherer

Anna Lynn Smith-Petersen Kearse

Jo Ann Stone King Joe

Richard Stowe
Janice Mcrorie

Betty Rose Templeton Palomba Louis

Al Widenhouse

Charlie Willis

Bob Yandle

Several others indicate the will come if circumstances permit.

William R. Davie Park
4635 Pineville-Matthews Road, (Hwy 51) West of the Arboretum.
Friday, May 9, 2014, 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM,  Some will begin setup about 4:30 PM.

Dress is CASUAL

Anyone receiving this who has not registered is still welcome to come, pay at the door to help defray expenses.

Thank you Jerry and Obie and everyone on the committee who have worked so hard to make this such a special evcnt!
One more thing.........bring your camera AND send your best pictures to I can share them with us Wildcats who aren't able to attend!  
(If you email more than one or two, ask one of your grand kids, or perhaps a 10 year old neighbor if you have one.  I'd tell you how to do it, but I don't know either.)


Monday, May 05, 2014

Getting Ready

Preparing for the CHS54 60th!
 The committee is working like crazy to complete preparations for our 60th Reunion!

What a blast it's going to be........

Now some of you have forgotten to send in your acceptance notice (and money!) but we realize that being forgetful is not unheard of at our age.  But show up anyway, and we'll work out the details later.

Lunch time

Jerry says:

"YES!  Any late comers are welcome.  It would help us to know who will be coming telephone or email   jerrygaudet@gmail. com is preferred rather than just show up, but even that will be OK."

Your handsome, loveable, and modest webmaster won't be able to attend, much to his regret.  He is having his 78 thousand mile tuneup at the Fairfax/Inova Transmission Repair and Tatoo Parlor up here in Virginia.

 But I'll be with you for the 65th and 70th!