Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Gaither Blackwelder

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GAITHER'S OBITUARY

Anderson, SC
Gaither Gibson Blackwelder, 84, passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the Rainey Hospice House.
Born in Charlotte, NC, he was the son of the late Frank M. Blackwelder, Sr. and Frances Morton Blackwelder. He was a graduate of Lenoir Rhyne College and received his master’s degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
He is survived by his wife, Linda B. Blackwelder; daughter, Susan Frances Blackwelder of Anderson; brother, F. Millard Blackwelder, Jr. of Charlotte, NC; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Donald Wayne Blackwelder of Toccoa, GA.
A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Sunday, March 1 at 4 pm conducted by the Rev. J. Chris Fischer. The family will receive friends at the church following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Anderson Area YMCA, 201 East Reed R

Saturday, February 15, 2020

My cousin, Charles Mateer,  who died in 1961, was a class mate of ours.
You may not remember him because he was very soft spoken and quiet.

But smart as a whip!

He chose to make the Army a career...and became an excellent helicopter pilot.

Our mothers were as close as two sisters can be.  I remember once Charles" mother talking to my mother about "having trouble sleeping....because of nightmares."  She said they always "involved a man coming to her door with horrible news...."

My mother advised her to eat a large lunch and "go light" on supper.

Charles and I  grew up, of course, during WW2 and our games as children were almost always "soldiers."

Charles actually became one after college and I continued working in broadcasting.

Although he went to State and I attended Carolina, we remained in almost constant touch.
He chose a military career and, of course, I chose broadcasting.
In the early 60's we both found ourselves in Washington, DC.

We got together a few times up here, and each time found ourselves reminiscing about our days as children during WW2...and our constant games of playing soldier.

He asked me once if I remembered WHY we ever stopped "playing" soldier.
"Because," I said..."it suddenly dawned on me that soldiers can get killed.

That ruined the game for me."

We both laughed...…...and went our separate ways.

That's the last time I saw Charles.

Shortly afterwards, there was a knock on Charles' mother's door.......







Monday, February 10, 2020

Gaither Blackwelder

By Jerry Gaudet

Gaither's brother, Millard, shares with us that Gather suffer a bad stroke and was taken to the hospital in Anderson, SC where he suffered yet another stroke.  He is not expected to survive these medical events.

Contact Millard at 980/200-4567.

Supportive cards and letters can be sent to:
Mrs. Linda Blackwelder
118 Spanish Wells
Anderson SC 29621-4286

Sunday, February 09, 2020

The Coach told us that....

...we would remember these games for the rest of our lives!"

...and he was right!

Kind of.

 I remember throwing the ball...and Jack Campbell, or Cason McLean or somebody would catch it...etc....

And  that's about it.

But, after the game.......

...well, that's what I remember!

I can still smell her sweet shampooed hair and  hint of perfume as she told me how great I played...and how those "fumbles" and "interceptions" were not my fault....etc....

...and she was right.

Those  mean guys on the other team kept getting in my way and keeping me from being "the hero"  that I knew I could be...

Years passed and  she became somebody else's "old lady."

But those old memories are MINE alone!

Correction..........I'll bet she thinks about them too....once in while.

-Ed





Saturday, February 08, 2020

They Say....

…"a man is getting old when he feels like he needs to wear a hat."


I found that to be exactly right...as far as I was concerned.

But, sitting here in inside my "office...which my wife calls the basement....I feel the need to put on a hat, or at least a cap.  I suppose that means simply that I'm getting even older....which, of course, is true.
When we were growing up, men almost always wore hats outside....even in the summertime....they wore "straw" ones then.

I think our generation was the first to shun the wearing of hats....perhaps led by JFK....who almost never wore one. (JFK's driver told me once
that the President would ask to borrow his hat when he occasionally would  drop into a church..)
I'm not sure if the old style "hat" will ever come back into style...and I hope it doesn't.
Caps work just fine for me.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Next LDL

By Jerry Gsudet
The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on
Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Sure hope you'll share the word!  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!
 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

"It's A Big Mistake...

if you leave."

That's what they said back in 1955 in my college freshman year, when I decided to  leave Furman University and transfer to the University of North Carolina.
How the Hell did I ever get to Furman, a small Baptist college in Greenville, South Carolina, anyway?

Well, my old boss at WGIV, Francis Fitzgerald, for whom I had enormous respect, graduated from there and he recommended it very highly.


The first few days went fairly smoothly...I loved my history class...the professor taught with the same ironic sense of humor that one of my favorite Central teachers, Ed Saunders, had. Ed had graduated from Furman and was probably influenced by that same teacher.

Frankly, most of the kids there were from small schools in South Carolina, and I was spoiled by the comparative sophistication of the Charlotte Central high kids.
Furman and I were definitely a mismatch.
I transferred to UNC the next semester, where I was much happier.

What made me think about those old days was the fact that I found my old Furman "Beanie" that freshmen were required to wear. That way upper classmen could identify a "freshie" easily and torment him...make him carry his books, etc.....

Furman was still in the 1930s as far as I was concerned, so I transferred as soon as I could.

I have no regrets about that!

Well.....maybe one...…..

memories of some those South Carolina girls at Furman....still today make me want to stand up and
give out with a good old "Rebel Yell!"

Ed

Thursday, January 23, 2020

"I've Forgotten More....

...than you will ever know"

Or something like that.

Hillbillies...and I use that term with all respect...have a way of getting right to the point.  No beating around the bush.

Here are some of the latest:
  1. “Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog” – Johnny Cash
  2. “Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart” – Johnny Cash
  3. “The Frozen Four-Hundred-Pound Fair-to-Middlin’ Cotton Picker” – Johnny Cash
  4. “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)” – Bobby Bare
  5. “Do You Want Fries with That” – Tim McGraw
  6. “Refried Dreams” – Tim McGraw
  7. “Sic ‘Em On A Chicken” – Zac Brown Band
  8. “(You Dun Stomped) My Heart” – John Denver
  9. “Devil in a Sleepin’ Bag” – Willie Nelson
  10. “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It” – Hank Williams
  11. “If I Don’t Love You (Grits Ain’t Groceries)” – George Jones
  12. “I Want My Mullet Back” – Billy Ray Cyrus
  13. “Burn Down the Trailer Park” – Billy Ray Cyrus
  14. “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” – Kenny Chesney
  15. “All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan” – Kenny Chesney
  16. “You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd” – Roger Miller
  17. “My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died” – Roger Miller
  18. “Where Have All The Average People Gone” – Roger Miller
  19. “Lou’s Got the Flu” – Roger Miller
  20. “I Know Who It Is (And I’m Gonna Tell On Him)” – Roger Miller
  21. “Fuzzy Wuzzy Ego” – Tammy Wynette
  22. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” – Kitty Wells
  23. “I Hope My Divorce Is Never Granted”– Kitty Wells
  24. “Only Me And My Hairdresser Know” – Kitty Wells
  25. “Redneck Woman” – Gretchen Wilson
  26. “One Bud Wiser” – Gretchen Wilson
  27. “Peanut Butter Conspiracy” – Jimmy Buffett
  28. “Pencil Thin Moustache” – Jimmy Buffett
  29. “My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don’t Love Jesus” – Jimmy Buffett
  30. “She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs” – Alan Jackson
  31. “Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Uptempo Love Song” – Alan Jackson
  32. “If French Fries Were Fat Free” – Alan Jackson
  33. “I Still Like Bologna” – Alan Jackson
  34. “Beer for my Horses” – Toby Keith and Willie Nelson
  35. “Wacky Tobaccy” – Toby Keith
  36. “I Don’t Understand My Girlfriend” – Toby Keith
 -Ed


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Speaking of Names...

….Like all of us, I believe, whenever our name is mentioned in conversation, we hope that it's talked about  in a positive way.
I certainly hope that is the case whenever my name is brought up.
But because of the profession I chose, radio and TV, I acquired a "showbiz name"...because another broadcaster already was using the name Ed Myers.  (Actually Ed Myer....but that was close enough_

So, to advance my career and get the job in Washington, I had to use another name....hence "Lee Shephard."  A totally made up name.  It's caused a lot of problems, none major, just much confusion that I had to spend time addressing.

I finally addressed the problem by simply changing my legal name to Lee Shephard.
That didn't solve it completely,  but it helped.

I've always had this fantasy  of old friends sitting around talking about me in a positive way...."Whatever happened to old Ed Myers...…..etc., etc."

Some will know about my name change, due to another "Ed Myer"...on the air here in Washington.
but others will simply conclude that I disappeared.

I never became a "big success" but I had my moments.

And, like Kilroy.....I'm still here!

-Ed

Friday, January 17, 2020

Bo

One of the most popular kids I went tp school with was Bo Madden.

I have lots of memories of Bo, but the one I remember best is one year...maybe 4th or 5th grade..the first day of class she asked up to stand and tell her our nanes.
When it was Bo's turn, he told her his name was Bo.
She said, "Fine, but I don't want to know your nickname, " I want you to tell me your your full name.

Again, he answered "Bo."

She said, "No"...that's your nickname. I want our full name.
This dialogue went on for several more minutes and finally….she asked one more time.
"Please, not your nickname.....your full name'"

He replied, "BO.........Bee Oh......BO!

...and sat down.

   And to this day.....to me....and probably the rest of the kids in that class.......

He was "Bee Oh....Bo.

=Ed




Dick and Jane

"Look, .....look....see Jane....see Dick...run up the hill...."

That was the  the first book I ever read....."Dick and Jane."

After that, I was hooked.

School did their damndest to ruin it for me....which, I realize was not their intention...but nevertheless, their idea of "good reading".....was not mine.

Besides, little Eddie Myers knew that "being told" to do something....was something he didn't want to do."

 My 83 year old eyes have seen better days, but with the aid of glasses...they're still fairly good.

No doubt "Talking books" or something like it is in my future.

What made me think of all this was the recent passing of our friend, Betsy Villas.

I remember her telling the teacher once how many books she had read over the summer....and it was enormous.

Perhaps that helps to explain her "smartness."

Her kindness and caring and sweetness .....well, she was just born with those!

Rest in Peace. Betsy!

-Ed









Thursday, January 16, 2020

Meanwhile...

...here at the "ranch".....looking.....and feeling....just like Howard Hughes
!
Who needs money....when you can think about yourself like that?

Now, if I can stay away from mirrors, and avoid the mailbox (which , as always is full of bills, for awhile longer)

Yep, just like Howard, I'm sitting here in my robe, looking "cool" as all get out...with all those young "chippipoos" surrounding me (in my mind)...LIFE IS GOOD!

Whoops,  I just noticed that I accidentally put on one black slipper and one brown slipper.

No poroblem, if any of my kids, who are coming over later, happen to notice, I will  tell them I did it on purpose...like the wealthy man I once read about who always wore one black shoe and one brown shoe....to remind himself, and others, of his childhood poverty.

You've got to be wealthy to do something like that.  Otherwise people will just think you're nuts.

=Ed


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

I'm not a deep thinker.

I tried it once, and it gave me an awful headache.

Heaven wired me to be AVERAGE.

Which I think is pretty damm good. I'm very happy with it.

As I look back, I was a lucky man indeed.

I never had a job I didn't like!

(Check that, I had a couple, but I never stayed long._)

I've got A GREAT wife , 3 wonderful kids....5 grandkids....(talk about "blessed"...my picture should be beside that word in the dictionary!)

Like all of us, I'd like to be remembered fondly.

That's why we did such things as scratch our initials on the school desks…..and things like that.

Once when they were paving the street in front of my house, I formed my initials with some rocks...which stayed there for years.

But, I know my expiration date, as will yours,  will arrive in a few short years no matter what we do.

However, the good news is.....that only applies to THIS world.

=Ed











Monday, January 13, 2020

Remember...

...the poor guy who was speaking to the entire school assembly....I've forgotten what his subject was...but I'll never forget the beginning.

He started out by talking about a man who went "Squirrel hunting."

No one remembers what the rest of his speech was about, because the entire assembly, including the teachers,  laughed and giggled throughout the whole thing.

I don't know if he ever learned why.

So,  if you are ever asked to speak before a group of high schoolers......be careful.
Kids that age have their own language.

Ed

Life Expectancy

According to some artivcles I''ve read,
The life expectancy of the average male is 81.   he figure for females is 83.

However, that doesn't apply to us.
None of us are "average."

That's a fact!

Ed

LDL TOMORROW! January 14th


The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on...
Tomorrow!
But I bet you knew that.  Sorry to be late with the call.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please share the word!  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!
 

Friday, January 10, 2020

My Last Boxing Match

I was there the night of the big fight.

In spirit.  Physically, I was in my bcd...under the covers with the radio.  (It was past my bedtime.)

Like many, if not most American boys growing up in the 40's, I was a big Joe Lewis fan...Joe was the "undefeated heavyweight boxing champion of the world!"
His closest rival was a boxer named Billy Conn. I believe Billy had defeated Lewis  in a previous match, before Lewis had won the championship….that's why Lewis could be billed as "the Undefeated Champion of the World."  He was undefeated as champion.

Lewis won by a KO in the  first round, I believe.

For about a year, I was at every local boxing event I could convince my Dad to take me to.

Until......

the

 night I watched a young man die....in the ring.

A doctor from the audience rushed up ...to try to help the fallen fighter....but there was obviously nothing he could do.

The boy was dead.

Heart attack, probably.

That poor boy's last boxing match was also mine.

I never attended, nor watched on TV another  boxing match.

...a sport whose time passed a long, long time ago.

-Ed




o

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Fruit Cake

This story goes back to ...oh...when I was 8 or 9 years old...it was before people  realized that if you received a fruit cake for Christmas....you weren't supposed to eat it...you were supposed to send it on to someone else.
One other thing I was unaware of was....you weren't supposed to consume the whole damm thing    as soon as it arrived.

Yep...but....that's what I did.

Today, 70 or so years later...I can't even stand to look at a picture of a fruit cake...
Showing one in front of me is like flashing a cross in Dracula's face.

So much for "Time heals all wounds."

(Incidentally, that's  one of my favorite
 quotes because you can change the words around a little...and it's still great quote:  "Time wounds all Heels."

-Ed


Sunday, January 05, 2020

Still Waiting



For my Tom Mix decoder ring.

My friend Wilson and I spent the better part of a whole day trying to figure out ...WHAT....and "how to produce a
"reasonable facsimile"....of a Ralston Cereal box top.

THAT was required....plus a dollar or so....to order your  very own Tom Mix decoder ring.
We finally sent off for the ring.....and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

It never arrived.

Years later, I happened to mention this..thinking that it had been a scam.,"
However, my sister, Kak, said no.   She admitted that she had gotten the mail early the day the ring arrived....saw what it was.....decided that I...her younger brother...might choke on it...and threw it away.

Oh....the heartbreak!

However, just by sheer luck, I never got attacked by hostile Indians and never really needed Tom to come to my rescue.

Whew!

-Ed


Friday, January 03, 2020

She Had One..

...but didn't really need it.

at least, not with those of us who knew her.
When we spoke of "Betsy"...there was never any confusion.... No one ever said, "Betsy who?
She didn't need a last name.
I had a few classes with her...and I can verify that you never wanted to be in a class with her in which the professor graded on the "curve."
However, she never flaunted her brilliance.  Not in the least.
She wanted to hear about YOU...and your accomplishments...however small they might have been.
No doubt there are many of you who want to tell your own "Betsy Story"
You are welcome to do so.....simply drop me a note at "shephard@gmail.com
Thanks,

Ed

Betsy

By
Obie Oakley

I opened my computer  this morning hoping that  Ellouise's email about Betsy was a dream.  Again, sadly it was true.
      Since Christmas, Betsy has been very much on my mind and made it to my "To Do" list to give her a New Year's call.  It has been cathartic for me telling Frances how special Betsy was.  I keep a copy of her "Christmas of 1947" here above my desk. We were together from Midwood to Piedmont and of course Central.  It was at the end of our 55th or 60th reunion when just the two of us were cleaning up the room where some folks had gathered for a farewell coffee that we connected again.  I simply looked at her and told her that I loved her.  She responded likewise.  No hugs or embraces, but a deep heartfelt understanding was experienced.  Since then, whenever she came to town to visit her family, we would meet, usually for coffee somewhere in the Cotswold Shopping Center.

     I'm going to miss her and although I didn't get to make that call, I think she always knew that I thought of her quite often

-Obie



Thursday, January 02, 2020

Betsy Villas Passes

4:40 PM (1 hour ago)
By Jerry Gaudet
We were so sad to learn of the passing of Betsy Villas White who died on December 31, 2019.
Condolences can be made to her husband, Hank, at the following:
Rev. Hank White
408 Valley Ave.
Atglen, PA 19310-1402
Telephone  610-593-5430


Jacqueline "Betsy" White Mar 15, 1936 - Dec 31, 2019



Click on the image to see all








Jacqueline V. “Betsy” White, age 83, died peacefully on December 31, 2019 at Chester County Hospital, West Chester. Betsy, as she was affectionately known, was raised and educated in Charlotte, NC.  She graduated from Central High School in 1954. Betsy moved to Swarthmore in 1966 where she raised her family and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Widener University. She also lived in Media, Atglen, and most recently Glen Mills. Betsy worked for the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital and the Council for Relationships.
Betsy was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who always put her family ahead of herself.  Betsy loved her children and grandchildren fiercely and joyously. The legacy of Betsy’s kind spirit, sense of humor, thirst for learning, love of reading, pottery and poetry, and zest for life will live on through them. She enjoyed traveling throughout Europe, particularly London, Paris, Wales and Florence. Betsy loved the beach, gardening, vacationing in Maine, and visiting her family homes in Sweden and Greece. Betsy was a Youth Leader for the Episcopal Youth Community, a Girl Scout Leader, and loved her poetry and writing groups. She was a member of the Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, former member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Parkesburg, and Trinity Episcopal Church, Swarthmore.
Betsy was the daughter of the late Spiros and Lib Villas, and sister of the late Milton and Thomas Villas.
Betsy is survived by her beloved husband of 35 years the Rev. Hank White; her devoted children Edward (Janet), Michael (Elyse), Timothy, and Laurie Riggs; her stepchildren Andrea and Nathan White; her loving grandchildren Brian Riggs (Anne), Rachel Henriques (Bjorn), Tommy, Jake, and Kyle Riggs and Mason and Wyatt Maxwell; and her great-granddaughter Lily Riggs. Betsy is also survived by her sister-in-law Lynda Villas, one nephew, four nieces and their families.
VISITATION: Monday evening, January 6th from 7-9:00 pm at the Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home, 5980 Chichester Ave., Aston and Tuesday morning from 10-10:45 am at Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 814 North 41st St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.
CELEBRATION of LIFE: Tuesday morning, January 7th at 11:00 am at the church.
BURIAL: Forest Lawn West Cemetery, Charlotte, NC on Saturday, January 11.  Time yet to be determined.  Call Hankins Whittington at 704/209-4080.
MEMORIAL DONATIONS: in Betsy’s name may be made to the church at the above address or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.cff.org.
CONDOLENCES: www.nolanfidale.co