Saturday, April 20, 2019

College Life

In all my four years in college I only lived in a dorm for one semester. Other than those first 3 months or so, I made other arrangements.

The only thing I really liked about my first semester of living in a dorm…….was the Loud music.

Say what?  The loud music?   That must be a typo.

Nope, it's true. the loud music blaring from the room across the hall never failed to  entertain and inspire me. (The reason, he told me, that he turned it up so loud, was so he could
enjoy it while he was in the shower down the hall.

It wasn't "rock and roll"...….because that hadn't been "created" back in 1955. It wasn't "race music" (which was what "rock" was called when it was first invented.) It wasn't even "Pop."

My hallmate was a classical music fan!  And the music was beautiful!

Aa far as I one on our floor ever complained.


Friday, April 19, 2019

Clark Gable Never Wore a Beanie

I spent the first semester of my freshman year in college at Furman University in Greenvile South Carolina.

Why Furman?  Because my boss at WGIV, Francis Fitzgerald , a man I greatly admired went there. And I was given a small scholarship.

As a freshman I had to wear a ridiculous little beanie cap with an F on the front, so the upper classmen would know who they could "Haze."

This was college?

After about 3 weeks, my girlfriend from high school came to visit. I tried to play the role and look the part of a sophisticated college man, but it was hard as Hell to do.  How sophisticated can one be...wearing a beanie?

She did her best not to laugh...and she didn't. but I could see in her eyes that she was thinking ......this "romance" thing is not exactly what she thought it would be. After all, there were not any Hollywood movie scenes showing the leading man wearing a beanie.

The only way I could have looked less like a leading man is if the beanie had a propeller on it.
I don't believe I was able to overcome her image of me wearing that beanie. Our romance never flourished after that.


My Latest...

...favorite Hillbilly song title:

"If Your Phone Don't Ring,
It's Me"

Weakly Reader By Warren Sparrow

The Weakly Reader
Volume V, No. 1
Forest City, North Carolina
18 April 2019
From the Town of Forest City, North Carolina, I welcome you on this bright April
morning to the latest edition of The Weakly Reader. What a month this April has been. In the
aftermath of the Notre Dame fire, many folks are having a hard time saying “Happy Easter.” To
make matters more unsettling came the strange behavior of a woman obsessed with the
Columbine massacre of 20 years ago. We still have 13 days to go!
Amidst all this angst let us not forget “that famous day and year.” Yes, it was “the
Eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five,” according to Longfellow who wrote about it 85 years later
(April 19, 1860). We all know the story of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. How long has it been
since you read Longfellow’s account? I am not sure I ever read “the whole thing”… until
The Weakly Reader humbly presents the following abridged version of “The Midnight
Ride of Paul Revere:”
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the Eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
(Paul tells his pal to hang a lantern or two, etc.)
Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her mooring lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
(Paul’s pal wanders through town, looking for clues.)
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
(Meanwhile, Paul is antsy, waiting for the signal from his pal.)
And lo! As he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And, yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
(Paul is on his way. In Bedford he hears the crowing of a cock, the barking of a farmer’s dog.)
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,--
How the farmer’s gave them ball for ball….
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
There you have it. Big April: Easter and The Midnight Ride, together By the way,
both events needed someone to spread the word. Who? Naturally, two guys with the same
name: Paul.
Thanks for listening. Happy Easter and God bless America!
The Weakly Reader
Warren Sparrow, Editor and Publisher
165 Fox Run Road, Forest City, NC 28043

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I Remember

...the coach telling us, in the locker room, before the game....that
" will remember this for the rest of our life..."

And that was true. those games...the practices...the windsprints….in 90 degree summer weather…"cotton mouth".....

Yes, I remember.

And the games....I remember some of those too.

But, the "real" action.....or so I was led to believe. began after the game.

Now, donl't get me wrong, I/m talking about the victory parties, etc.

all riight, maybe a kiss or two from my girlfriend...but that's it.

However, truth be known, that's why I, and just about every other high school male, put up with such physical torture.

The mental picture in my mind...was of an after the game photo of the girlfriend of the her gridiron  hero looking longingly  into his eyes.....just before the  kiss.

But the truth was:

"Don't spend so much time in the locker room talking with your buddies...….we've got to be at the after the game party in 30 minutes."

"Yes Dear."


Monday, April 15, 2019

Oh, say. can you see......

Somewhere,and don't ask me where, I came across the lyrics of  what was called "The Central High School Anthem."   The only thing I remember about it were the first few lines.....which were…..  "On the banks of Sugar Creek...…"

Well, that's what killed it for sure.  Otherwise, we probably would have sung it at our graduation.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

College Days

I still have my  "beanie" that freshmen at Furman were required to wear.

It's a little blue cap with a big F on the front.

The purpose was to let the upper classmen know who they could harass without consequences...for at least a semester.

It was not a fun time for me.  After all, this was college, for crying out loud ...not junior high school.

But it was "tradition"....held over from the 1930's or so.

I chose to go to Furman because my boss at WGIV, Francis Fitzgerald, a man I greatly respected, went there.

During the 3 months or so I was there, I never felt real comfortable.  Too many things just didn''t match my idea of what I thought college should be like.
For one thing, boys and girls were housed...not only in different dorms....but dorms 15 miles apart....on the other side of town.

The girls dorm was called "The Zoo."  That was the OFFICIAL name...not a nickname, but the official name!   (A great injustice however....because some of those South Carolina girls were absolutely  beautiful!)

Our dorm had a "Den Mother."  We were required to be in our rooms by `10pm each night......

This wasn't my idea of "college life."

I transferred the very next semester to UNC.

It wasn't perfect, but it was where I should have been from the very beginning.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Violin Lesson

I was in the fourth grade at Elizabeth School when a music teacher came in our classroom with his violin...with the purpose of getting kids interested in learning a musical instrument.
He gave his talk about the "joy" and benefits of learning to play an instrument....mainly to deaf ears.
Then, he put the violin to his chin....and began to play a few bars of "The William Tell Overture"....also known as "The Lone Ranger's theme song!"

It was an epiphany moment for me!  I was hooked.  I didn't put the violin down very long for the next 12 years.

I took private lesions from a wonderful man, Michael Wise as well as a very nice lady, Mrs Evelyn Spratt.  Both terrific teachers!

But the lesion I remember most happened one hot summer day when I was practicing a particular  difficult passage of music  I was preparing for an upcoming  concert with the very professional Charlotte Symphony. I was honored to be selected to perform with them for one concert.

But that one particular passage....had me completely baffled. I tried playing it several different ways...but none seemed right.  And there was no one I knew of that I could call to find out.
Then I heard a voice from my open window…...
"Pardon me," he said.
It was the yard man....the man my Mom had hired to cut our lawn.
"I couldn't help but listen to you practicing....and I must say you sure do a fine job with that fiddle.
but, you're misreading that particular passage you're working on. "
Then, he went on to describe how it should be played.

At my next lesson with my teacher, Mr. Wise, I played the passage as the yard man had told me....and Mr. Wise was amazed... and impressed.  He said I was the only student of his who had ever interpreted it correctly.

I just smiled.


Monday, April 08, 2019

"Pow, Pow, Splat..."

"Look, look.
See Dick.  See Jane...….go up the hill."

Now which one of those "stories" do you think 5 year old Eddie Myers couldn't wait to read?

You got that right. "Pow, Pow , Splat" comic books won every time.

What happened after Dick and Jane went up that hill....would have to wait a few years before Eddie and his buddies would give a hoot about that.

As good as our teachers were....they could only lead us in the right direction. To really learn anything, bottom line is......YOU have to teach yourself!

And to do that have to WANT to learn....whatever the particular subject is.

I think if one of our teachers had told me WHY...........I wanted to learn algebra...I would have done much better.


Sunday, April 07, 2019

Buying Time to Think

"Well, well, well...….said the three Artisions…..."

Now that makes no sense whatsoever.  But I've been saying that for years....

I think it's something I say when my mind is in a "holding patterrn."

That is, when I'm confronted with something that is totally unexpected.....and I really don't know what to say......but I know that I'm expected to say something.

Uttering that meaningless phrase....allows me to borrow a little time while I try to think of something

President Nixon used a similar technique.....he used to say, "About that....let me say this....."  which gave him a few seconds to organize his thoughts.

That's my opinion anyway....


(to be continued...)

Friday, April 05, 2019

Nancy Robinson Passes

By Jerry Gaudet

I was saddened to receive the following email:

"I am Jack Heintzleman, husband or your classmate, Nancy Robinson.  I am sad to report that Nancy died last Thursday, March 28th.  She was buried in the Bridgewater, Virginia town cemetery.

Nancy has enjoyed reading emails concerning the activities of  her Central High School friends.  Thanks for your many notices.

Go well, Jack "

We have the following contact information:
Mr. Jack Heintzelman
Sunnyside Eiland Assisted Living Center
3935 Sonnyside Dr, Suite B, room 366
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Everybody Has at Least..... great true story to tell!

I believe that.

My son David and I were sitting at a restaurant in Falls Church, VA a few years ago when I departed this great wisdom to him.

"For example," I said, "I'll bet our waitress, who just served us...has experienced at least one unique and fascinating event in her life."

So, to  prove my point, I asked her, as she was serving our coffee, to tell us of her most exciting  event in her adult life.

"Easy," she said. "I'll never forget  it. It was the day...not long ago, if fact,
right here at this very table....

that I served Buck Owens' bus driver..."

"How's your schoolwork coming ,Son...….…."



Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Next LDL Tuesday April 9

Our usual disclaimer (and vision test)...This message is being sent to all CHS'54 classmates for whom we have an E-mail address. We recognize that many of you live great distances away and may not elect to "do lunch", but we want you to know what we are doing and hope you'll come when you can.

You've waited long enough to hear! The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on...
Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please tell other classmates!  Invite them to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
Hope you get the idea that we'd really like to see you and sure hope you'll come!