Monday, February 26, 2018

Hanging Up Her Skis

      By Obie Oakley      

Lindsey Vonn, medalist in three Olympics, has acknowledged that this was her last run down the hills as a participant on TEAM USA.  She will be missed.
            In other news from the slopes, Maxcyne Motte (Yawarsky) , member of Central High School Class of 1954 has also announced her retirement.  At the end of this season, she will no longer purchase her annual pass to ski  the slopes around her home town of Ogden, Utah!

            Maxcyne has skied every season for forty-eight years!  Wow, what an accomplishment. 
            She watched the Winter Olympics with great interest since she was a volunteer at the 1992 Games in Salt Lake City and knows what goes on “behind the scenes”.

            Called Mad Max by her kids, she is to be
congratulated for this achievement of longevity and staying healthy.  Must be pretty darn good.  Way to go Max!
            We're proud of you.


Out of the Past

Just wondering......How many of this class......are still with us? 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Jimmy Weller Passes

One of my oldest friends, Jimmy Weller died a few nights ago  of cancer.
I should have more details soon, but I know that Jimmy was battling the Big C for quite some time,
See the source image Personally, I still remember the 3 or 4 year old Jimmy peddling his tricycle down East 5th street from his home on Greenway Ave. and
"introducing himself".....however kids that age did it....

we remained friends from that day on.
Jimmy was the bravest of my friends back then.  He was the first to try to smoke a cigarette....
Correction!   It was not a real cigarette......we didn't have any cigarettes....but Jimmy and I (being "brain surgeon smart" ) made some.
We found some cigarette paper...somewhere....and figured that coffee grounds looked almost exactly like made our own cigarettes.  Looked just like the real thing.

For you scientifically grounds burn faster than cigarette paper.  Or maybe it's the other way around.
At any rate...our experiment gave new meaning to the term, "Hot Lips."

Jimmy and I cooled things off with a swig of two from a bottle from  his dad's medicine cabinet  that Jimmy called "VO DAK."
He was right about it being great "medicine."
It made me feel real good......and I wasn't even sick!

By this time .....THE LONE RANGER was on the air...and after he gave the widow lady he had just saved from the bad guys...a silver bullet, it was time for me to go home.

Correction....stagger home.

Rest in Peace, Jimmy.


A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held Saturday, March 3, 2018, at 11:00 am in the Chapel of First Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg. Memorials may be made to Winter Warmth, First Presbyterian Church, 393 E. Maine St., Spartanburg, SC 29302 or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 3

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Night Thoughts

Here it is Sunday night.

That's when we began to get back into our "school tomorrow" mode.  When the voice on the radio announced "....and now Drew Pearson's PREDICTIONS OF THINGS TO COME........."
bedtime...and another week of school was imminent.

Damm it!

Although school, Elizabeth, Piedmont, and Central, were all exceedingly good to me (Thank you fellow students) Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings were  usually distasteful. By about 10  am each body had adjusted itself to the fact that it was destined to dance at least one more day on this mortal coil.

Because of work schedules, Sunday Dinners were the only time my family and I sat down and dined together.  I ate all my other meals at restaurants. George's Grill, across from Mercy Hospital, was my favorite. They didn't advertise the fact of course, but anyone could dine there.....even if you were destitute and had no money to pay.  I saw it happen many times.

I ate several meals at a boarding house on Hawthorne Lane...down a little ways from Saint John's Baptist Church, but on the other side of the street.  The food was great.  You had to be there at exactly 6 o'clock when they began serving. Everyone was seated at a long table...and ate "family style."  A lot of teachers, several of whom taught at Piedmont and Central ate there; in fact they lived there.

I only ate there a few times, because I felt that being a "student," I was inhibiting their conversations, and....well, I just didn't fit in at that dinner table.

So, back to George's Grill.

That night There happened to be a couple in the booth next to me....sharing one plate.
A few minutes later, the cook brought them another .no charge.
I decided then and there....that's where I'm spending my dinner money for the rest of the year.

I doubt if Georges Grill is still there...on East 5th Street across from Mercy Hospital.....but if it's the first place I'm going to look for next time I'm in Charlotte.
See the source image
I began this story talking about Drew Pearson.  I got to be personal friends with Pearson soon after I came to Washington.  He appeared several times on my local TV show....and was always an excellent guest!

Pearson lived on a "working farm" outside Washington.  He even bagged and sold fertilizer from his farm. He labeled it "Drew Pearson's Fertilier....All COW....No BULL

Getting to know and  "rub elbows" with well known people was a wonderful benefit to my chosen profession.

I never mentioned this,, but every time I talked with mind would wonder back to Sunday Charlotte....and........thoughts of having to go to school tomorrow!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Catch Up

By Diana White

Hello, dear people!  I owe you a catch-up email, after Warren's very welcome Weakly Reader and Elloise's email and all.  So, let's see.

I had, if not the flu, a bad bronchitis.  My dear friend Claudia had the flu.  Our symptoms were similar - except I had no fever, only a bad cough that whistled when I breathed out, no energy, and no will to get up and get on with it.  Not common for me.  And she had body aches, headaches, some nausea, the cough, and the same lack of zip.  Uncommon for her.  We both are finding that it takes awhile to get back to what passes for normal - my usually-encouraging son Reid, family physician, told us to give it four to six weeks before we really were all the way back.  I think he was adding a week or two, for my advanced age.  

At least I had plenty of books.  I had been to the library just before I woke up sick, and - embarrassment of riches - also to Barnes and Noble, so I was well supplied.  The scary thing was not feeling like reading anything challenging.  So I put aside some of my concerned citizen books (in view of #45, I have found myself wanting to read some other viewpoints - like The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump).  And I picked up Newgrange and Stonehenge books; son Reid gave me a wonderful book on Newgrange, which set me off on a book-trek.  I re-read some of last year's Inklings; daughter Kay gave me a wonderful book about The Inklings - CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams, which started me off on almost a year-long trek to find all their writings; Barfield is the hardest to locate - he was a practicing attorney, and wrote only a few other kinds of things; who wants to read briefs!  And (blush) I read Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb and Debbie Macomber and mysteries and romances and easy stuff. Mysteries are my go-to quick reads.   And I have yet to dig into some of the English lit/history/see-the-big-picture stuff I'm gathering...of course, Newgrange added archaeology to the list.  

I cleaned out my sewing room last year, and set aside about three UFOs (a quilter's Unfinished Objects - we all have 'em) to finish.  There's one now, not quite finished, that I had almost decided to give Mary Sue Banks Burnett - but it wasn't ready to take to her in time.  I was blessed to get to the Hospice in Monroe, near Charlotte, to which Clyde took her, the last few weeks of her life.  We had four remarkable days, to visit and catch up and - just be together.  Not sure when I'll get that quilt finished now.  It'll tell me.  I think I'll know where it's supposed to go, too, all in good time.  And then I'll scrounge around in my sewing room and get going on the next thing.  If I live to be 100 I won't get all my fabric used up...

And as always, I am planning some quilty things to have done by Christmas, a perpetual Work in Progress.  This year, it's table runners.  I got a couple made last year, and they were greeted with glad sounds, so I'm encouraged.  And, o happiness, they don't take as long as a full-sized quilt, even hand-quilted.  Yes, I prefer hand-quilting.  I had two teachers when I started, in 1990 - they were sisters, and Libby was a machine quilter and Debbie was a hand quilter.  So I enjoy both.  But the handwork - that has always been my joy, even before quilts.  

Couple of art projects I have in mind, and lots of writing projects.  Still working on My Story.  It's about 200 pages now; I've told some of you, it's my Uncle Bob's fault.  He lived to be 104.  At 90, some of us received his collected writings, essays and memories and musings.  Like all the Cappses (my mama's people), he was a good storyteller.  At 100, he gave us the party he'd promised at his 90th.  We all got a present.  For at least a year before the 100th, he and his dear daughter Sue collected all his writing (yes, all the old yellow legal pad notes and jottings on cards and Christmas letters), she transcribed them all, gathered photographs, and put together for him what turned out to be about 100-125 pages with B/W photos and much family data, a BOOK!  It instantly became a family treasure, and went into extra printings - everyone wanted one for someone else.  Reid and Kay each got one - and immediately I heard, "Mama, this is wonderful!  If you start now, just think what you could pass on!"  So I started.  I'll write like fury for a few weeks, and get busy on something else and put it aside.  Then I'll go back and edit and get caught up again, and write some more.  Time to get to it again.  I won't even try to set an end date.  But I do keep a couple of back-up zip drives with what I have so far, so the children can have that at least, if I don't get the thing finished and printed and bound...

We don't travel much anymore.  We used to get in the truck, hitch up the camper, and take off, for a week at spring break when I was teaching, and for several weeks in the summer every year.  State parks are great places to camp; we could stay out much longer than if we'd traveled by air or train and stayed in motels.  Good memories!  Now, it's mostly traveling to family - Reid and his wife Alex are in Kingsport TN, Kay is in Knoxville, Ivan's son Don and his wife JoAnn are in Greenville, and many of my cousins are in Charlotte or near there.  Family is important - I'm trying to work out now, how to get together with Ivan's nephew Scott and his Tami, to give Jackson (almost 11) and Ava (just turned 8) their birthday and un-birthday presents; we had a conflict on Ava's birthday, so we're re-planning.  

My Agnes Scott Class of '58 has our (gulp!) 60th reunion this year.  How'd that happen?  I need to make reservations.  

And this evening Ivan and I are going to Mad Italian, for the fun of eating out on Valentine's Day; like some other older folks, we'll go early!  Hope you have special plans too.  I put one Valentine into Ivan's swim bag this morning before he headed out to the pool where he works out three days a week (started when he had Physical Therapy after some scary stuff).  He brought home red roses and baby's breath.  And now we're going out, and I'm not cooking.  Really, Life is pretty terrific.    

And that's the news from Diana Kay Carpenter Blackwelder White!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Ghosts of Past, Present and Future

By Warren Sparrow

Most folks think of the “past” as some distant memory. For me it could mean my days and nights at The Charlotte Observer or my first glimpse of the Mighty Wasp, my oceanic home
for three years. Today it means something different. It means yesterday, literally yesterday.

Yesterday was, like Stevie Wonder sings, “an ordinary day.” It was a day filled with the usual, mundane things. It began with making the bed here at Huntington, a neighborhood within
Forest City, NC 28043, a town of 8,000 souls. After making the bed, I enjoyed breakfast with Mary Sandra. We had our “usual” Cheerios sprinkled with walnuts and blueberries. In order to
“better ourselves,” we read not one but two newspapers, The Charlotte Observer and The (Not) Daily Courier which is published in Forest City four days each week.

The balance of the morning was consumed by attention to personal grooming, etc. Next came lunch. Because it was Friday, we did what we do every Friday: Meet with the Lunch Bunch which is a gaggle of Mary Sandra’s longtime pals, usually four to six of them. Yesterday there were four. We met them at El Michoacan in the center of Forest City. A good time was had by all.

After lunch I undertook a major project, one which required great patience. I “decalcified” our Kuerig 2.0 coffee-maker. It took two hours! Believe it or not, our coffee tastes better. Once this time-killing job was done, it was time again to get serious about bettering myself. Instead of sticking my head into the internet sand, I returned to a book I had been reading for a month: Grant by Ron Chernow. I was about 100 pages from the end (Page 959),
vowing to finish it before bedtime.

After supper I watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy before returning to Grant. A little after 9 p.m. I finished the book. I learned that Grant died of throat cancer, having been a heavy smoker of cigars. He weighed 80 pounds at the time of his death. I cried while reading the last few pages.

My melancholy passed quickly thanks to NBC’s broadcast of the Olympic opening ceremony. Did you see the drones? Wow.
Let us now turn to the “present.” It is Saturday morning, a tad gloomy and wet. I am enjoying my new surroundings although they are not so “new.” I have been living in Forest City
for about 16 months. Our home is one where Mary Sandra has lived for about 30 years. It has two bedrooms, 1.5 baths and a good-size living area equipped with a big, flat-screen Visio TV.
We truly “have it made.” We have two air-conditioned cars, an air-conditioned condo, a dishwasher, a refrigerator, a washing machine and a dryer.

For “outside” entertainment we go to baseball games at the local ballpark where college players spend their summers learning to hit
with wooden bats. The beer is cold and the barbecue is hot. We have season tickets.

We go to high-school football games. But, we do not have season tickets. We go to concerts played by the Rutherford County Symphony at the local community college which is
named Isothermal and has a large and well-appointed auditorium. We go to the movies, driving to Shelby (25 miles) or to Spartanburg (35 miles). By the way, we liked Darkest Hour better
than Dunkirk.

Finally, let us turn to the future. I am going to sell the West End home. Though I have gone back and forth on this notion for many months, today I am firmly committed to selling the
“old family home place.” My future is not tied to that unheatable barn in any way. The house and its contents are part of a life well lived. They are the “past.” They are not the “present” and
they are most assuredly not the “future.”
So I say goodbye to my old friend. I will miss you. Let us go forward on separate paths.
I will be pulling for you. Please pull for me.

Gratefully yours,
s/ Warren Sparrow

12 February 2018
Forest City, NC

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

LDL February 13th

Here we go again as "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 11:30 AM at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please help spread the word!  Invite other classmates to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
We sure hope you'll come!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


It takes time, but when a loved one, or close friend passes, inevitably your sadness and grief lessons and  slowly, but surely turns to pleasant and even humorous memories.

I do my darndest to jump start that process. Life is short.

And at my age, getting even shorter.

The first time I heard him on WBT in 1952, I believe, I was


His intelllegence and professionalism came barreling

through the radio like nothing I had ever heard before
Image result for bob raiford
from any local DJ.

As a fledgeling announcer/DJ myself, I was mesmerized.

I decided there and then that I had to meet this man.

My excuse was to invite him to speak to my high school

"radio club" under the leadership of Mr. Gil Balance,

a long time CHS English teacher and radio enthusiast.

Bob Raiford accepted my invitation and made

a memorable presentation to our class.  I remember his

opening line to this day. He quoted Tenneyson,

"I'm a part of all that I have met."

and went on to advise the class to "learn from those

they admire," but never imitate.

I did my darndest to stay in touch and learn about the radio

business from this man as possible.

Good fortune has often been my friend, this was

no different. My fledgeling career landed me in two radio

stations (WSOC and WTOP) at which Bob was working...

giving me the opportunity to observe and learn as much as

I could from one of the best in the business. 

Having known me in "Ed Myers,"   and in "Lee Shephard'....he called me "Eddielee."

Those were memorable days indeed!

Bob and I stayed in touch after he moved back to Charlotte

and became  a staple on the popular "John Boy and Billy" show.

He retired from that show about 2 years ago, after a stroke

disabled his speaking ability.  A voice, that entertained

audiences for more than 60 years!

Rest in Peace, Bob.