Blog 151 A Bit of History and Another Obit

Blog 151 A Bit of History and Another Obit

Jefferson is closing in on its first century—1932—2032. Very few of us will be around for that centennial celebration in ten years. So today, here is a bit of history gleaned from archives found on the Internet.

First, though, is an obituary for Ruth Hernandez Stewart.
I chatted with Ruth a number of times in recent years. She has an amazing story that she wrote for our class history. If you still have that book, I urge you to look it up and enjoy her life since graduation. Ruth was imbued with a good, strong work ethic and the fortitude to take her through some trying times.

Ruth Esther Stewart

JUNE 9, 1937 – JULY 28, 2022



The Stewart family is greatly saddened by the loss of their Matriarch, Ruth Stewart on July 28, 2022. While we mourn the loss of our mother/grandmother we rejoice in her life and her much deserved rest with our Heavenly Father Jesus Christ.

Ruth was born in San Antonio, Texas; graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School; married; built a thriving family business, and raised five children. She was predeceased by her husband Gerren Stewart, her sister Dolly Marroquin, and her parents Dora and Gilbert Hernandez. She leaves behind her loving sons Jay Stewart (Lisa Stewart), and Daryl Stewart, her daughters; Lyndee DeMeo (Mike McShane), Suzette Stewart, and Simi Diskin. She was blessed with three beautiful granddaughters; Stacie Stewart, Bailey Stewart (Josh Vickers), and Ryley Stewart, and one beloved grandson, Oliver Diskin.

There will be no public memorial or ceremony at her request. Please honor her life by loving and spending time with your families.

The Girls Cadet Corps

Kay Matteson Gregory
send me a couple of articles that appeared in the local newspaper in 2017 and 2018. One was about the Lassos and movies made at Jeff in 1938. Kay added question marks by a sentence that read: “the writer took home images of the opulent, Spanish/Moorish-style school building, the Junior ROTC cadets and their female-student ‘sponsors’ and of course, the Lassos.”

From an obscure segment of my brain, I recalled that those early sponsors morphed into the Girls Cadet Corps. I googled “Girls Cadet Corps at Jefferson High School” and got a handful of hits. The most interesting is a reprint of the feature article from Life Magazine in the March 7, 1938 issue.

You should be able to click on the next line and link to the Life spread. It worked for me.

LIFE – Mar 7, 1938 – Page 23 – Google Books Result

https://books.google.com › books

Vol. 4, No. 10 · Magazine

Colonel Harry Andrew Watson of the Thomas Jefferson High School unit, Reserve Officers Training Corps, reviews cadets with his “Sponsor,” Dorothy Murray .

If that does not work for you, copy and paste the below link in a browser.

https://books.google.com/books?id=vkoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=girls+cadet+corps+at+Jefferson+high+school&source=bl&ots=x6gIukDYbY&sig=ACfU3U0mYOwfZqwuw7fqkFCjig-nBo5z1w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwizyomOjMT5AhWeHjQIHXAID7QQ6AF6BAgSEAM#v=onepage&q=girls%20cadet%20corps%20at%20Jefferson%20high%20school&f=false

Another hit on the page refers to The Junior ROTC Cadet Creed, found at:

https://sites.google.com/view/tjhsarmyjrotc/cadet-info/snc

In addition to the creed, the words to our alma mater, fight song, a few cheers, and a Girls Cadet Corps mantra are also included.

Finally, there is a three-minute video found at this site. It honors cadets and girl cadets over the years.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=365080724777119

I hope you have enjoyed wading through this bit of trivia. Till next time.

Blog 150A Addendum

Blog 150A This Stands Alone Addendum

For the blog just posted, this intro was not published. So here it is, just to confuse you.

Most of the blogs I write are original thinking (or lack of thinking), but now and then there is something nostalgic that is worth sharing. What I just posted as Blog 150 came across the computer tonight. I think you will enjoy it and one again realize that we grew up in the best of times. I want to shed a tear when I see so many with their eyes glued to the cell phone and social media to find out what they should think. Switch now to Blog 150 This Stands Alone

BLOG 150 THIS STANDS ALONE

Blog 150 This Stands Alone

All of us fit into the 1% The 1% Age Group

This special group was born between 1930 & 1946 = 16 years.

In 2022, the age range is between 76 & 92.

You are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900’s.

You are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can

   remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war that rattled   

   the structure of our daily lives for years.

You are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar

   to shoes to stoves.

You saved tin foil and poured fried meat fat into tin cans.

You can remember milk being delivered to your house early in the morning

   and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

You are the last generation who spent childhood without television;

  instead, you “imagined” what you heard on the radio.

With no TV until the 1950s, you spent your childhood “playing outside.”

There was no Little League.

There was no city playground for kids.

The lack of television in your early years meant that you had little real

    understanding of what the world was like.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party lines), and hung on

   The wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy).

Computers were called calculators; they were hand-cranked.

Typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and

   changing the ribbon.

‘INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was

    broadcast on your radio in the evening.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.

Your parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and

   the war, and they threw themselves into working hard to make a living  

   for Their families.

You weren’t neglected, but you weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.

They were glad you played by yourselves.

They were busy discovering the postwar world.

You entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where

   you were welcomed and felt secure in your future although the

   depression poverty was deeply remembered.

Polio was still a crippler.

You came of age in the ’50s and ’60.

You are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no

   threats to our homeland.

The second world war was over and the cold war, terrorism, global

   warming, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with   

   unease.

Only your generation can remember both a time of great war and a time

   When our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty.

You grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting

   better.

You are “The Last Ones.”

More than 99% of you are retired, and you feel privileged to have “lived in

   the best of times!”

                                           Amen!

 


 
 

Blog 149 A Few More Notables

Blog 149 A Few More Notables

For the past several weeks, my brain has been telling me to write a blog, but my procrastination mechanism has kicked in and suggested “tomorrow.” Whether you are optimistic like Annie, who sang “Tomorrow” in the musical Annie or pessimistic, as in “Tomorrow never comes,” here is a start on another one.

Noted classmates.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about Roy McBride and his accomplishments in wildlife preservation, notably tracking endangered panthers in Florida. Blog 144 told you about Jim Warrant, who had a major impact in the personal computing field in its infant days in the mid-80s. (If you have forgotten that one, I hope you will go back and read it. I am presently attempting to get some recognition of Jim by the school, adding him to the showcase od notable grads.)

The Titlists:
Our class had many beautiful people, male and female, though only the female group looked to contests to showcase themselves. Looking way back, Aleen Smith Freeman was the 1952 Miss Fiesta. I always thought she was the second Miss Fiesta, but a little investigation places her as number the four in line. After graduation, Aleen became a flight attendant for a few years until she married and was forced to quit. In those days, rules for attendants were severely strict, compared to nowadays, when I recently who learned of a flight attendant who is in her 80’s. When last heard from, Aleen was living in New Mexico but dropped her email after being widowed. Connie Mays Dyer used to visit with Aleen when in New Mexico and said she will try to find her. Anyone else who has heard from Aleen recently, give a shout.

Texas Nowotny Myers was Miss Fiesta 1953, following Aleen. I don’t know why, but the history book lists two Miss Fiestas in 1953—Texas and Cisi Jary, whom some of you know. Texas put San Antonio on the map as she rode San Antonio’s first ever float in the Rose Bowl parade on New Year’s Day, 1954. All of San Antonio thrilled when she moved across our twelve-inch TV screens. Texas was offered a screen test for one of the film companies. If my memory is correct, as it so often is not these days, she famously declined the screen test, saying she would rather get married and have babies. Is that an urban myth? One bit about Texas’ name. She was born in Texas centennial year, 1936. Her parents commemorated the event by christening her Texas.

Sara Belcia Yates was selected Miss San Antonio soon after we graduated. I posted information about that in a blog several years ago. A newspaper reporter was researching for an article on the Miss San Antonio pageant and sent me a greatly reduced newspaper page crowning Sarah. Unfortunately, I cannot find that article in my files of useless information.

Sarah was also Miss Wool 1954. Searching the web for more info about her reign, she was pictured in an A&M Batallion newspaper with a lamb. The Baylor Lariat listed t Miss Wool qualifications for Sarah’s successor. “Eleven contestants compete in San Angelo. They must be between 18-25, be a Texan, wear a size 12 dress, and never been married.” From what I understand about women’s fashions, a size 12 in 1954 would be about a size 4 today. Prizes included a $4,00 wool wardrobe (1954 dollars) and trips to fashion centers around the country. Sarah once told me that Miss Wool was a much better gig than Miss San Antonio.

I found a picture for sale on eBay titled 1954 Press Photo Sarah Belcia, Miss Wool, and Jeanette Van De Walle with cabbages. The photo caption does not explain why they are holding cabbages. I will check in with Sarah to see if she remembers.

After thirty minutes trying to copy the picture, I  finally succeeded, but the picture is not clear when enlarged. On eBay, whoever owns the photo is asking $13.69 for it plus postage. I offered $2.00 plus $4.00 postage, but the offer was rejected.

Count Your Points
The Jeff admiration structured a point system to preclude a small handful of students from copping all the honors. Maybe this was general knowledge, but I did not learn of this until many years later. Various leadership positions were assigned points for the office. I think the highest positions were student council president, class president, colonel of the Girls Cadet Corps and of the ROTC, Lasso Major, and Drum Major. Probably cheer leaders and majorettes were not far behind, while other class officers, social and other club officers collected fewer still. The reason I did not know this is because I was never barred from any office for having too many points. Thinking back, I may have had a half-point for some obscure office or as a Student Council rep.

The curious case of Shirley Smith Lebman
Joyce Skolnick Meyer
advised that Shirley Smith died on June 22. I checked for an obituary, but the funeral home only gave her name, date of birth, and date of death. I just looked again and even that is no longer posted. Prior to our last reunion in 2014, I spent some time searching for lost classmates. Shirley lived in Coppel, Texas.  I discovered that she had volunteered with her local Chamber of Commerce. I contacted that organization and wheedled her phone number and called Shirley. Though I did not disclose my source for obtaining her number, Shirley was furious that I had tracked her down, and she let me know about it. She did tell me that she and her family were the owners of Lebman’s Western Wear. Shirley asked for my address and requested to be placed on the inactive list, with no more phone calls or email. Imagine my huge surprise when a check for $1,000.00 arrived a few days later to subsidize our reunion..

A Stupid Thing I Did.
As some of us find creep into senility we do dumb things. I confess that I managed to delete all of my emails recently as I was getting an old laptop ready to sell. I failed to think that it would also erase them from my new laptop. The erasures included some notes on phone calls from classmates. I do recall having a good chat with Connie Mays Dyer
and Warner Fassnidge. There were a few more, but memory is eluding me of those names at the moment. Connie
is still plugging along in Houston, still active with the Methodist Hospital Board after 35 years, the Opera Guild, and The University of Texas advisory board to the School of Geology. Way to go, Connie. Warner has fully retired (something that lawyers rarely do). He said his claim to fame includes five years of rehab for one reason or another for each of the past five years but is otherwise okay.

Sorry, but no pictures this time. If anyone cares to send some along, I will publish them. Otherwise, I maystart recycling from the archives.

BLOG 148 NOTED CLASSMATES

Blog 148 Noted Classmates

Jeff class of ’54 grads have lived a variety of lives–some mundane, some fascinating, some surprising, some too short, and some noted. All too often, we learn of accomplishments through luck, hearsay, or from an obituary. Today, lets’ start to salute those who have come to recent attention, a few from way back, and others who have plugged along and are still gainfully employed sixty-eight years after graduation.

Poking around on the Internet, I came across a very long article, “Florida Panthers: Where Are They Now?” A significant part of the article features Roy McBride
and his work in Florida to track the panthers. The complete article is fairly long and is found at

https://www.flamingomag.com/2016/05/27/florida-panthers-back-from-the-brink/

The portion about Roy below is excerpted below, although he is mentioned later in the article as well.

Hiring a Hero (Our Roy McBride)

Roy McBride was born in 1936 in the mountains of West Texas. The place was so rural that when he talked about driving into town, he meant going 100 miles to the small community of Alpine, passing only one other house along the way.

By the 1950s, McBride had begun working for local sheep ranchers. His specialty would have made Florida’s settlers happy: He was an expert at tracking and killing the mountain lions that preyed on the sheep. One writer said that McBride was so good that he “had more to do with bringing the mountain lion to the verge of extinction in Texas than any other single person.”

The first time I met McBride was at a 2007 panther conference in St. Petersburg. I did a long interview with him early on and have had a couple follow up conversations with him. He looked like he was dreamed up by a Hollywood casting director: tall and lanky,

with a chiseled chin, eyes the color of washed denim, a lock of hair he has to keep pushing back from his forehead, only to have it fall back down again. McBride tends to wear his battered white Stetson everywhere, even indoors. When he talks, he’s terse and to the point, his tenor voice sounds a bit raspy, with a strong Western twang—”things” becomes “thangs.” He so dislikes talking about himself that one biologist claims he spent two years working with McBride before finding out he had a master’s degree in biology.

In addition to mountain lions, McBride took on other predators—wolves, for instance. His account of spending nearly a year in Mexico tracking an elusive wolf named Las Margaritas became the basis for Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing. But after a while, McBride once told me, he lost his sympathy for the sheep. He began to feel more of a kinship with the predators—particularly the mountain lions. Then came the call from the World Wildlife Fund: Would he travel to Florida and look for panthers, not to kill them, but to prove that they still existed?

Searching for Signs

As he began his investigation in 1972, McBride talked to one state biologist who said that “he never had seen any tracks or any indications there were any [panthers] left. So there really was not any kind of scientific information about if they still existed, where they were or how many were left.”


The lanky Texan brought his pack of dogs—specially trained Walker fox-hunting hounds—to South Florida and turned them loose. They sniffed around for four to six weeks, starting near the Lykes Brothers ranch in Highlands County and gradually working their way south to the Big Cypress Swamp between Naples and the Everglades.

The terrain was as different as could be from what McBride and his dogs were used to. Instead of mountains, the land was as flat as a billiard table. Instead of crossing desert, they were splashing through swamps. Instead of being far from civilization, they were just down the road from rampant suburban sprawl.

“I thought of Florida as big cities, lots of people,” McBride told me. “I was getting used to the idea that probably there weren’t any [panthers].” He’d hunted for them in other states east of the Mississippi River—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama—but hadn’t found any. Yet this time, in this most unlikely place, the big cats were there.

“I found evidence of some panthers,” McBride recalled years later. “Not many, but a few.” He didn’t actually see one of the felines, mind you, but his dogs uncovered panther tracks, some scat full of bones and scrape marks that the cats typically leave behind with their huge rear paws after they urinate.

A year later, McBride was hired to go back and look again. This time, near Fisheating Creek, which flows southwest of Lake Okeechobee, his dogs treed a spindly female panther, its hide full of ticks. He also found more signs of panthers than he’d found the year before. “I was amazed to find them,” McBride said. “I got down here in this thickly settled area, and I was really surprised there were any left.”

McBride’s success led him to teach his methods to state biologists, who wanted to track down more Florida panthers, put radio collars on them, follow them around and learn their ways. McBride was hired to help, and eventually his two sons and his grandson joined him.

The terrain made the work extraordinarily difficult. “Back in those days we did not have swamp buggies,” McBride recalled later. “We did not have ATVs. We just walked.” When McBride’s hounds would tree an animal, one of the state biologists would shoot the panther with a tranquilizer dart and it would fall into a net. Once it was safely on the ground they could examine it closely, then strap a radio transmitter around its neck, allowing the biologists to track the panther’s signals.

Then tragedy struck—an accident that became a turning point for saving the species. (Note: read the full article to find out about the tragedy, which was not about Roy, though Roy is mentioned.)

Brief update on Roy today:
I spoke with Roy. He is back in Alpine, rounding up cattle that have grown wild on acreage he owns. Roy has two sons, one with a ranch in Paraguay and one in Florida, where he worked with Roy. Roy says he plans to go back to Florida after he rounds up his errant cows.

Roy asked about Aleen Smith. If anyone has current information about her location, please advise me. I do have a mailing address, but her phone is no longer connected. So many have given up land lines and cell numbers are hard to confirm without paying a fee. The Internet used to be a great source for free information, but too many have learned how to charge for what was once free.

Next time there is more information to share about some of our classmates.

BLOG 147 ROUND 2 AND FAT SONGS

Blog 147 Round 2 and fat Songs

Classmate updates
Several more classmates checked in after the last blog. First, an apology, a correction, and a note!

Apologies to
Richard de la Garza
, whose response I overlooked, as it slipped in between a raft of ads. He wrote, “Just want to let you that I am still alive. Appreciate you keeping track of us and all your hard work. Lucky us, thank you!” For those who have forgotten, Richard and Servando are brothers, twins I think.

Correction:
Patricia Trimble Bryant
gently informed me that she does still drive, just not on IH-35. If you are living outside Texas, the Interstate traffic from San Antonio to Austin to Dallas is always heavy traffic. Trucks arriving from Laredo and delivering northward contribute significantly to the congestion.

Note: Several notified that the photos sent by classmates and posted in the last blog could not be opened. Those mentioned came from Apple iPhones. I can offer no explanation for the failure, as they were in the normally universal format.

Margot Rocha I am still alive. Thank you for all you do and keeping us informed. 

Peggy Page Murry

I continue to look forward to hearing from you. Your note is always greatly appreciated.

 Still here in Portland since retiring. One son and family here,with the other  son and family still in SA.

Thanks so  much.

Servando (and Amelia) de la Garza Present.

Glenn Tripp.  I’m 87 now, lost my wife Jo after 52 years together last year. It’s been tough without her. Not doing much, going to doctor visits, etc.  I have a mobility problem with my legs, just getting old, I guess.  

History….I went to SAC for two years with Clyde Sturgess and we both went into the Army.  He went to France and I went to Germany with the 3rd Armored Div.  Me and Irish girl while on leave and married her in 1958.

Came back to the US in 1960, had a daughter in 1969.  Got out of the Army in 1962 and came back to San Antonio.  Worked for a finance group for 9 years and was recruited by Texas Commerce Bank where I worked for 21 years, retiring in 1992 as a Vice President.

My wife and I bought a house at Canyon Lake, but did not like it so far out.  I sold it and bought RV.  We traveled all over the west US living in the RV till she told me that she had enough.  So, I built a small cottage on my brought 2 acres, and that where I live today.

That is a quick history of my past doings, so to speak.

My ability to get around is not good, so I’m limited to what I can do.  So, I’m not sure if I could meet with Danny, my old football partner.  I’d have to think on it. (This refers to a monthly lunch of jocks and wannabes organized by Dan Scaraiffa.)

Jerry StephensFor me, high school was not something I enjoyed, simply endured on my journey in life. Very few fond memories other than graduating prom with Harry James, math lessons from “D-1 Daniels,” chem lab assistant and driving my 1925 Model T roadster from Alamo Heights to school. I wasn’t a member of a club, wasn’t athletic, didn’t play an instrument and often had to run the ROTC “ouch” beltline.

 My 7 careers span petroleum engineering, government service (White House, Congress, OMB, 2 presidents, 2 governors, 2 senators and 5 federal agencies, Tx Legislature), political campaign management, marketing, IT consulting and currently regional broadband services and commercial real estate. At 86 I’m looking forward to the next career as a historical travel consultant.

 Other than 5-6 high school friends lost in time, I have no enduring relationships with classmates. 

I have been blessed with long life and accomplished every goal. On my tombstone it will say ‘Jerry had a full life and did everything on his bucket list. Mission Accomplished. Thanks be to God’.”

(Editorial comment: Jerry’s input illustrates that not everyone had a great experience in high school. Aside from the “in” group, most of us went about our high school career learning what we could or did what we needed to do to graduate. I have heard so many times over the years expressions such as “No one will remember me” or “I was just there in the background” or a similar sentiment. In reality, many of our classmates that “nobody remembers” are mentioned and asked about somewhat regularly. I appreciate Jerry’s comments and his agreeing to publishing them. Like several other of our classmates, Jerry lives in Georgetown.

Carolyn Pope BoitnotJohn and I are doing well and moving into a retirement home in Baltimore this summer. In addition to moving to a retirement community this summer one of our younger grandsons has been living with us this past year as he has started his teaching career. He is teaching geometry at Digital Harbor one of Baltimore City’s high schools. When we move, he will be sharing an apartment with his girlfriend as he spends another year at Digital Harbor and she works on her graduate degree in UM; rest of our family is well. We now have three great grands. We celebrated our son’s 60th and Johns 90th birthdays with our daughter and husband at Joshua Tree National Park this past March and enjoyed hiking in that unusual environment. Again thanks for keeping us in touch.”

Skipper Quick
Skipper’s wife, Carol, wrote for Skipper. (I think a fair number of us knew at least one of the other Quicks, and Carol has updated, so I am including that information.) “Skip is having many health problems but we were handling them. Peggy Quick Munsonand her husband, Houston, have both passed away. Skip lost his younger brother, Don, many years ago & his older brother, Tommy, passed away after Peggy. Skip is the only Quick left that went to JHS.

Skip & I will be married 66 years in August & we have 4 children, 10 grandchildren, & expecting great grandchild #10 in November.

We have moved to a Senior Community in Victoria to be closer to family & away from hurricanes we experienced too many times In Portland, Tx. This little duplex is all we need & everything is done for us for the maintenance, cleaning & cooking.

Skip has diabetes & isn’t driving anymore so I take him 3 times a week to dialysis. We are in upright positions which is a blessing but our lives are definitely scheduled. Even so, we thank God for this long life (with most of our abilities) to be able to enjoy our beautiful family. Skip uses a walker because of back problems & we were getting to know the EMS people too well that came to pick him up!

Thank you for keeping up with all of us old (I refuse to say elderly) people. Skip really enjoyed seeing the pics from the luncheon. There are several people we would love to know about. Broke my heart to hear about Nola & Doug Campbell. She & I went to Edison together.”

 

Comments Done. Those are the classmate responses to date. Should other replies trickle in, they will be posted. In the meantime, if you are still working full or parttime or recently retired, let me know. We have 6-10 that I know of and probably others whom I do not.

Politically Correct???
Closing out today, let’s look back at a time when everyone was politically correct because being politically correct did not exist.

Arthur Godfrey and fat songs! Most people of a certain age remember Arthur Godfrey as a significant radio personality during the late 40s and into the 50s. My grandmother lived with us and tuned in his daily radio program. I recall him as an egotistical fathead. And by today’s standards, he was so unpolitically correct. But back then, we probably all were with not a clue that we were denigrating all sorts of people. The memorable example from Arthur, who wrote and sang “She’s Too Fat For Me.”

Here is the chorus:

Oh, I don’t want her, you can have her
She’s too fat for me
She’s too fat for me
She’s too fat for me

If you care to hear the complete vocal search for the title on Google. There is no version by Arthur but you can listen to Bobby Vinton, who calls it The Too Fat Polka.

Hoagy Carmichael wrote Stardust,
Heart and Soul, Georgia on My Mind, and Old Buttermilk Sky but also saluted fat women with his “Huggin and Chalkin” song. Here are a couple of verses. Listen to Hoagy sing it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_QfAzJP2Zo

Oh, gee, but ain’t it grand to have a gal so big and fat
That when you go to hug her, you don’t know where you’re at
You have to take a piece of chalk in your hand
And hug a ways and chalk a mark to see where you began

One day I was a-huggin’ and a-chalkin’ and a-chalkin’ and a-huggin’ away
When I met another fella with some chalk in his hand
A-comin’ around the other way over the mountain
A-comin’ around the other way

Those are two examples of songs we laughed about back then, but I suspect there are more songs from that era about fat or skinny people and other topics that offend many today.

 

What follows has been around for some years but still causes a chuckle on hearing it again. A classmate found it in the newspaper and sent it along.


 

Till next time, thanks for reading.

 


 

Blog 146 Classmate Updates

Blog 146 Classmate Updates

Note: To those few of you who are not Jeff classmates of 1954 but who follow the blog, you may want to skip this one, as it is missing my usual inane dialogue and is a compendium of updates from classmates.

Thank you!
Thanks to all who replied to my recent request to be in touch base. I am sharing the various responses in this blog. This is almost as long as Gone With the Wind, but you might enjoy reading what some of your fellow oldsters have been accomplishing.

Who replied?
A third of you with emails on file responded and confirmed that we do not yet need a line to the Lord or a wireless to reach down to the nether land to find you. Add to that the fifteen or so who have been in touch in the past six month, and that still leaves a lot not heard from.

What did they say?
Some were brief. A bunch claimed to still be kicking, but no one said how high, and they were so busy kicking that they had not time to send any other news. A few sent a photo to show how well they have aged. Five checked in by phone, so I will summarize those first. Following are your replies in the order they were received. Phone calls first, followed by the updates. I have inserted a few notes/comments/parentheticals when appropriate. Full disclosure: many of you were effusive in your thanks for the continued conversations with our classmates. You are too kind. Generally, I tend to edit those comments out, but in some instances here, there would not be much left to report. Despite my inherent modesty, some of those comments are not excised. Finally, the nice thing here is that I don’t need to attempt to be clever or amusing. It was just cutting and pasting the comments.

Phone calls:
Dottie Schwope Griffin
is t
emporarily staying with her daughter as she recovers from a fall and head bump, but is anxious to return to her own home where she and Charlie lived for over half a century.

Patricia Trimble Bryant
called from Austin. She is doing well, living independently, no longer drives, but is ready to go when her grandchildren show up to chauffer her. She promised to reach and report on Susan Crawford LaVieux,
and Shirley Inselman Sterling, both of whom ignore emails.

Johnny Coyle
sent a photo somewhere below and said that he and Sarah )class of 57) are well and enjoying life in Boerne, participating in a variety of activities.

Esther Whitt Nelson
Esther called to check in. She is still alive and well. She did suffer a stroke a while back that affected her speaking and writing capability, but her brain works just as well as it ever did, and I noticed great improvement for conversing a while back.

Shirley Inselman Sterling
also called before they head back to Colorado for the summer with a quick flight to California for a grandchild event. They are driving to Colorado. Living in a Del Webb community in Georgetown, she and Bill whip up Interstate 35 to Dallas for doctor appointments, about 2 ½ hours each way. Most of us avoid I-35, as it is very heavily traveled with cars constantly changing lanes, jockeying for position to arrive 45 seconds earlier. (We all wish they would buy a car with turn signals next time.)Shirle;y was expecting Mary Ann Lothringer Windem for a couple of nights visit. We have not heard from Mary Ann in a very long time, but I learned from Shirley that Mary Ann is still playing tennis and is in a tournament in Austin. For those unaware, Mary Ann is an extremely accomplished musician, well known across the country for her performance on the organ.

Emails:

Harry and Cerene Wharton “We are still kicking above ground.  Some days are harder than others but we keep on trying.

We seem to stay busy going to doctor’s appointments.  This area (College Station/Bryan) is growing so fast that it is hard to keep up with all the changes and dodge the traffic.

Wishing you all good health and happiness.”

Here is a picture of Priscilla Weston Tate on her front porch in Belfast Maine. (Penny and I stopped in for a visit in 2011. She has a great vista in a serene setting. I asked Priscilla how many years has she summered in Maine.) “We bought the cottage in 1997 and after retirement in 1999 started going at the end of May/early June and staying until mid-October. I’m keeping up the tradition as long as I can! Maine is bittersweet—it is wonderful and holds sweet memories, but my dear Gary is gone, as well as several close friends.  Losing folks is one of the hard parts of aging.  But I have great neighbors, a special parish church, lots of friends, beauty, and peace.  Can’t complain!”

We bought the cottage in 1997 and after retirement in 1999 started going at the end of May/early June and staying until mid-October. I’m keeping up the tradition as long as I can!

Betty Davis Russell
“Hi to you and Penny.  I was just thinking of contacting you to say again how much everyone sends thanks to you for all the years of keeping us together.  John and I are enjoying our one-year-old great granddaughter.    Betty

Robert Huff
“Present!!”

Lon Carpenter
“Still present.”

Elna (Eleanor) Winder Thompson
What a great idea!  Feel like one of my former students except I have a few more joint replacements. Working at getting my (twin) brother, Dan, and his wife back from Australia where they currently have their citizenship.  It is a difficult battle we fight, but am looking forward to getting Positive results soon.  We are still traveling the states in our Airstream Interstate.  Taking our bed and bath with us is the way to go!  Staying active keeps us positive and in touch with family and friends!  Stay well everyone!! Love from Elna (Eleanor Winder)

(I asked more about Dan returning and Elna wrote) “Love to hear or read about any of our classmates!  We are fortunate to be able to move about (literally) with aid from a walker, but if it keeps me mobile and secure!  The only family and friends Dan has are stateside, so we all would like them to come home!”

Reggie Brooks
(class of ’53) wrote “I have to report Genevieve (San Marco)
fell Saturday before Easter Sunday and broke her right leg and cracked her upper right arm. She was operated on Easter Sunday and spent 6 days in the hospital and 21 days rehab. She is home now and getting around on a walker.  Our doctor had just told us at our age don’t fall.”

Ron Bridges
“Jack-we need another re-union. Don’t recall anything said about no more-As long as 2 are standing (You and me) we need to keep meeting. Let me hear from you.”

Bobby Hunt
“Checking in still alive and kicking. Have been fighting cancer for nine months. Had an operation to remove through and limp nodes went into remission but came back in my lungs. Am taking chemo now and everything seems to be working so will pray for the best outcome. Doctor said I can probably last another five or ten years or longer. Seems good to me. You have a great day.”

Barney Cline “I was just thinking about you, Jack, since our SA group gatherings have pretty much been on Covid-hold.  With the new variant taking root, this Covid-era may not be ending as widely assumed.

In March we managed a trip to Italy, great fun and trouble-free.

Happily, Nancy and I (yesterday celebrated our 52nd anniversary) are doing well. Yesterday’s anniversary lunch was at Mon Chou Chou at the Pearl.  Quite good, perhaps a bit overrated, not inexpensive.”

Bruce Cassell
“Scheduled to attend April 14 alumni function; It was cancelled.

Instead, we reengineered our schedule and visited OKC, San Antonio, Austin and Georgetown; Fourteen-day trip and ready to return home.

Hello to all. Hope to see you all at next alumni function.”

Rudy AlvarezBonjour Jack. There is an old saying, ‘Be careful what you ask for because chances are you will get it.’ Yes, I’m definitely still above water, still above ground, for however long Mother Nature allows.

Anny and I recently enjoyed lobster at Le Rhul, seaside restaurant on the John Kennedy Corniche, Marseille.



Note: Rudy and I have exchanged emails over the past few years. I featured photos of him over the years from a yearbook photo of a shy ROTC cadet to handsome hairstyles over the years until today when his hair has left him. Rudy spends about half his time in California and half at his apartment condo in France. Above, Rudy has just finished a lobster dinner, hence the bib.

Walt Graham
“checking in as requested. Showing my 86 years, but still around and very blessed. May God’s Richest Blessings Continue To Be Yours!

Ed BrownThanks for the update!”

Marcia Dickinson Hudson
“Hi from Marcia in Oregon. Have been exchanging letters with Patsy (Hatch)
In Tulsa. She is fine and me too. Taking 10-day vacation to Jackson Hole and Ft Collins to visit grandson and great granddaughter. Fun times!”

Bill Finch
here “just checking in. We are still vertical so far. The COVID thing messed up our pace although we didn’t get it. Things are getting back to normal now. We work out three times a week at the Y just to keep the bones from freezing up. I am not a jock so I don’t relish it. I do it because if I don’t it starts to make a noticeable difference. My doctor told me that people start to deteriorate rapidly at 84 so we’re all in that boat. Keep it floating or it will sink. If this seems like an obsession it’s not. I just skipped Monday so I’m feeling guilty.

Some fun. We’re so old that we got comped at restaurants twice last month. The pretty girls now open the doors for me. All the old people now call me Sir. My neighbors removed the tree debris from recent storm damage. Someone stopped by with their new chain saw and cut up a fallen oak for firewood. My daughter in law mowed the lawn and collected the leaves.

One other thing worth knowing … there’s a fine line between the numerator and the denominator!

Hi to all you surviving classmates.”

Bill CarlsDid you get this?  I got it and I’m still upright and still driving. Always glad to hear from you.”

Geri Guly Gabehart  “Greetings to our great class of 54 Always look forward to getting your letter. Last time I checked the old ticker is ticking, legs moving but not to fast and when I look in mirror, I wonder who the hell is looking back

I have new books getting ready to be published  It’s been years since I have written anything

With Wayne (Gabehart)
being sick it was hard and then house being rebuilt it’s just taken awhile to get in the mind set.  No sex no romance no killing just a sweet animal and the man who found him and the rest of the farm family and their new friends

Last checking Peggy Price Ivey
who lives in Miami is doing well. Has to use two poles to get around but gets around n does her thing

Ann Johnson McEwan
lives with her daughter in Bakersfield Calif doing ok. She does not drive any more.  Can’t blame her for that living in Calif

I get fab from Bob?  Who posts pictures of our old annuals Love driving it all hey really dressed back then. Makes us look like hobos”

Sam GranatoStill here and kicking. Thanks for taking time to keep track of us. Keep well.”

Laura Moore BrusenhanI am fine and see a few dear friends  of the past namely, Sam n Mary Helen, Fay Armstrong, Jane Cobb, and Patricia Trimble Bryant.  I’ll send you several pics of my granddaughter Milla Brusenhan’s wedding on May 7. (Note: Picture below of grandmother of the bride with son Harry Brusenhan, Jr. Such a strong resemblance to Harry Sr. for those who remember. Laura’s granddaughter was the queen of Fiesta this year and her first granddaughter was queen four years ago. Would that make Laura the dowager queen, and should we address her as ‘your highness’ of similar?)

The youngest granddaughter ,Ali, just graduated with honors from U of Georgia  n will be in  Fiesta next year .  Now all 9 of our grandchildren have graduated from college!”


Henrietta (Hank Boyer) Ruland “I am still in Albuquerque and chugging along.”

Bill Crocker Still standing!

Don Schoenfeld “Still kicking, Don & Nancy Schoenfeld.

I don’t know many people from Jeff because of transferring from Breckenridge and wasn’t there long.

Thanks for your newsletter, it is fun reading about some of the few I do know.

Keep up the good work,”  Note: I asked Don how long he was at Jeff and about his home in Aransas Pass, which was heavily damaged when the hurricane hit that area head on several years ago. Don replied

“Not sure how long I was at Jeff. A year or so is my guess.

We have rebuilt our house in Aransas pass since it destroyed over half of our house located by the water. Lucky we didn’t have high tides but it ripped off a lot of the roof and took two years rebuilding.

We are in transit to our house in Ruidoso for the summer.

Did you have any damage?”

Dorothy (Tas) Crawford McGraw
“Small world! I had lunch here at Adante (retirement home) last week and met one of our classmates, Joyce Skolnich Meyer.  She said she keeps up with your emails.  You have her daughter’s email and her daughter relays the information to her (sneaky way to keep in touch) She sold her home recently and moved into Adante in January.

I am adjusting to living in a retirement community but honestly really miss my neighborhood and my yard.

Moving on:::.”

Margaret Remming MetcalfeHello to all. I’m still alive and kicking–though not very high.”

Glenn Tripp
I’m here and kicking still.”

Toni (Ritter) Hair Hi Jack & all 3 of my friends from Jeff 54, or that I can recall – Sandra Gildart,, Joan Adams,  Mrs. Lloyd.

  I’ve been a widow about 20 years – John Hair, Central  Catholic High (4 children).  The best years were in Port Aransas in a home in the Marina that my brother-in-law bought us.  John worked at Lone Star Brewery, then retired to become a charter boat (Blue Water)  captain and good husband.

  I like the connection you keep with class of 54.  Thanks for your work.  Now I live in upstairs apartment with daughter and son-in-law, Georgia and Carl Boburg.  My 4th child, Cash Martin Hair is captain on American Airlines.  Aviation influence came from his grandfather, Dick Hair, flying instructor, Stinson Field.”

  Mary Helen Bell “Sam and I are doing fine. Sam goes to a trainer three times a week and the guy is like a marine Sargent. I go once a week. I play bridge twice a week and Sam plays gin rummy. We are going to LA in June for meetings and going to see our first great grandson this summer. Good to hear from you.” Note: I asked Mary Helen about her Covid experience. Her reply follows.

“I had Covid-19 very badly and nearly died. I was in the hospital for three weeks and on oxygen got five months after that. I came home on hospice. I have worked very hard on breathing and getting my strength back and now I am doing great!

We sold our LA condo last April. I was too weak and Sam’s meeting were on Zoom. Now we go 4 times a year for just a few days and that covers his meetings. We are enjoying being in SA for most of the time!”

Howard Denton “Still kicking!”


Delbert RichmondStill alive and kicking.  Healthy and active.  Houston remains hot and
humid.

Regards,

Deb”

Kay Matteson GregoryPRESENT….I know you know I’m still here but just want to make sure to stay on your email list!  Really look forward to the next blog and hope it will have many pictures!  Thanks for doing this!”

Sam Kersh “I’m still muddling along but not fast.   With Jack Van Vleck
and Lee Leopard (Class if ’56?) passing last year and Jim Warren
I’m beginning to feel my age.”

Frank HaganI reckon Frank means me. Therefore, want you to know I am still here and having a great time in Gig Harbor Washington . With a little bit of luck Roxy(wife) and I will be in San Antonio later this year when it cools off.  Thanks for all your hard work keeping status of the class of 54.”

Nancy Driesslein PierceI’m still here and upright though not taking long hikes anymore.    Glad you’re still here too.  Many thanks again for keeping us connected.”

Dorothy Putnam DarrahJust sent a picture! Still here and enjoying life! Hello to all still with us! Still going strong! Photo of me and my daughter!”


Sue Elo SettlesStill kicking but not as high! Just getting over knee replacement and going good it is sad that our numbers are dwindling but we all have our time to go so be Faithful and Joyful and enjoy every minute.

This is Johnny and Sarah Coyle,”looking happy as a couple of “Larks — right?”



Jo Clary Smithen “My email address still works. I still work in a preschool. Always happy to hear from you. I wish I could get to some of the luncheons but working conflicts.” Note, Jo is not the only one still working. Will identify others still working in a later blog.

Fritzie Connallychecking in. Haves good summer”

“Hi all this is Louise Dobbins Rawlings  am still above ground and keeping busy–am now a great grandmother–of two both are in kanas—-had a bad year last year–fell and broke shoulder–surgery and long rehab  left shoulder–am left handed—can”

Nancy Jones Simpson “Thanks for what you do!”   

Pete Sweet
  “I had begun to worry about you since it had been several months since you sent anything out. Glad to see that you are willing to continue to keep your classmates informed. Carolyn and I are doing well, just the normal daily ageing and aches and pains. We have all the boosters the doctors recommend. We still carry on as normally as safe and necessary.

Keep up the good work and stay safe and healthy, Pete and Carolyn Sweet”

Margaret Swarts “Thanks for checking on us, Jack!  I am well and still living in the same house in Houston where our family moved in 1975. I stay busy with church activities, exercise classes, and birding and walking with my daughter Katherine who moved in with me just before the pandemic.  I feel fortunate and am enjoying life.”

Charley Myers “Jack, You’re doing a great job. Sorry I’m not in San Antonio to be able to participate in some of the class activities.”

Pat White Smith “Something, I always enjoy is these updates; Since  I have lived in so many places but never near enough to attend the wonderful “get togethers”  I am doing well trying to adjust to my “new life,: I like my little cottage and am still trying to get settled with all the lost articles and/or buying new.  I don’t drive anymore and I am really bothered by that.  I am used to if I want or need anything, I go out to my car and go get it.  Well, not anymore.  My niece does all my shopping for me.  Because of so many falls, I use a walker all the time,  That is my last bit of independence. I am very blessed because I have nothing serious enough to worry about. My doctor is always happy with all the numbers on all my lab work.  Thank  you so much for doing this letter and doing it so well!!!”

Jeanine Kliefoth Price “Hi,  I’m still around.  Will send a photo when I can get someone to take it.  I don’t have a long enough arm to take a selfie.”

Heinz Loth “Thank you for your message. I just wanted to let you know that I received it and relayed the information to Heinz, who does not do email. Heinz has dementia with short-term memory loss etc. but otherwise he is physically well. We have travelled to Texas for 33 years and enjoyed visiting with our family, including Heinz’s twin sister Helga in New Braunfels. She has dementia as well. 

Travel plans changed in March 2020 when Covid hit. We have not been back since and have no plans now to return.

I am sending you some recent photos of Heinz. We live in a beautiful home on the shores of Lake Katchewanooka in the Kawartha Highlands, just two hours north of Toronto. Our daughter, Lisa, is just doing her PhD in Canadian and indigenous studies. Her partner is a PhD in education. We have two grandsons the oldest, Aidan just turned 19 and the younger one, Cohen, is 16.

Life is good. Thanks for doing such a wonderful job, keeping track of all the alumni.

They care and stay well,

Marlene Loth”


“Hi Jack…..it’s Carolyn Edgerton Stafford
checking in.  I made a move to Norman, Oklahoma from Wimberley, Texas to be with my large family (hopefully finished growing) this year and to be back in the land of the Sooners.  Also to check in on my old college friends.

Texas is still my beloved State and HOME and I truly miss it.

I lost my husband Stew in 2008 and several years later met a very nice man and we were together 12 years before he passed away.  I was very fortunate to have these fine men in my life.  I loved them both. My four sons are happy and still seeking life’s adventures with their own families but I continue to see them all often and watch with smiles as they go through raising their own children.

You have been a true inspiration in keeping up on the activities and classmates of Jefferson High and I’m in awe of your energy and perseverance. Thank you.  I would like to take your blog if you could tell me how.

Carolyn Stafford”

PAT HILEMAN SPARKSHERE AND STILL ABOVE GROUND. EVIDENTLY YOU ARE TOO.

GOOD TO HEAR FROM  YOU!”

Frances Folks Porter Still alive and enjoying living in Salado. Lots of family around and close by in Austin.

Mike Esparza Glad to hear from you. You could mark me “Present” but I’m going to lay a few lines on you. You may not believe me when I tell you I’m feeling good when I tell you of the medical appointments I have and the medicine I take. Haven’t had a cold since I moved here in 2019. Got all my shots to fight COVID-19, walk indoors daily, eat on a regular basis. Life in an independent facility for senior citizens is not that bad, except for the rent and the annual rent increases.

Take it easy and keep us posted,

Patricia Padgett Wiseman As always thanks for trying to keep us together (almost impossible).  I have no news, but count me among the living

Roselyn Mahaffey Cheline
We are well and doing fine. We love being in Colorado, even with an 8″ snow in May. We take drives on the back roads in the mountains every week!! I, of course, miss San Antonio. Stay safe, Roselyn

And there you have it. If you did not see the name of a friend, let them know. I will post any others that arrive.

 

Blog 145 Getting Your Money’s Worth

Blog 145 Getting Your Money’s Worth

Today:

  • Getting your money’s worth
  • How long has it been?
  • Obituaries and such
  • Pictures

Imagine this!
2024 will be as many years from 1980 as 1980 was from 1936, when most of us were born.

Getting your money’s worth:
I last blogged more than five months ago, despite composing a few in my head while driving the freeways. I even started several just to jot down ideas. Lazy cuss that I am, procrastination did its usual fine job.

Regrettably, procrastination has adverse side effects. WordPress carries this blog. They notified that my subscription would renew in April, and I dithered. I dithered about renewing, because inspiration had not been compelling enough to write anything, nor has any class news arrived. Should I renew or stop writing? When the credit card bill arrived, there was the decision I had not made: I paid my $18 for another year and will try to get my money’s worth.

How Long has it been?
This blog started in 2013 as a run up to our class reunion in 2014. Recalling memories of the good old times at Jeff High was intended to whip up enthusiasm for attending. Whether it contributed to attendance or not, we enjoyed one of the best class reunions ever.

The effort post 2014 to send along news of classmates and to acknowledge our mortality with news of classmates passing. No news is good news, so they say, and no one has notified me of their own or someone else’s passing since last November.

Obituaries and such…On my two-mile walk this morning, I was recalling the newspaper from past decades, when it was hefty and worth reading, compared to the puny San Antonio newspaper today. Our paper is now published in Houston and trucked over each morning in the wee hours, so any coverage happened before 6 or 7 PM the previous day.

Newspapers decades ago were could occupy an hour or more compared to the 10-15 minutes to read what is published today. The Sunday sports section covered college football games in depth. There was a society section that carried dozens of engagement announcements and wedding write ups as well as other social news. There was a listing of reports from the police blotter, a hefty entertainment section listing all the movies, and obituaries.

When you reach an age—I am not sure what that age is—most of us start reading obituaries. My mother did, and sure enough, I begin to peruse the pages a while back. But obituaries are out of fashion. The daily paper may publish one or two or three daily, with several pages in the Sunday edition. Probably the primary reason is that an insertion cost is outrageous, but probably also because of our nomadic society. With children and grandchildren all over the country, so many seniors have re-located to the same locale as their offspring, both to be close to the grandchildren and to have someone to look after us as we approach senility.

Having rambled here, I should propose that the final obituary should be an obituary for newspapers. Most are on their last legs and tottering.

Photos…I thought I would end this with some photos, but with our class photographer having migrated to Oklahoma, no photos have recently arrived. Readers, send a pic of yourself, please.

 

 

 

Blog 144 All About Jim

Blog 144 All About Jim

Three of our classmates have died over the past two weeks: Jim Warren on November 24th in Washington state. Marcia Pittman on November 26th, and Peggy Frazier Jones on December 2nd.

This blog focuses only on Jim Warren, because it is long. At the end, I have included photos of classmates that Jim sent to me in 2015 when compiling our class history. Many of you will wonder, who was Jim Warren? Unbeknownst to us here in Texas, Jim earned a national reputation in the 70s and 80s. At Jeff, I think Jim and I were the original nerds of that genre.

Remembering Jim Warren

1936–2021


Most of you know that I have a Facebook presence. However, I basically ignore it because I believe that Facebook tracks way too much personal information and is a significant contributor to much of the discord abounding in this country. Even so, I occasionally notice a post. One such post caught my attention: “Jim Warren passed away November 24th, age 85.” I don’t know whether we shall see a more formal obituary.

However, Sam Kersh
sent a reference to a lengthy article about Jim appearing in the New York Times. I cannot think of any other classmate who has rated an article about them in that revered newspaper, but Jim was quite a celebrity in the early days of the personal computer.

Jim lived in Washington state and was well known and well loved. The Facebook announcements had 125 comments expressing condolences, sorrow, memories, and more. Jim was an early adherent of the personal computer and influential in its gaining early acceptance as a useful tool. Here is a clip I copied from the Facebook page. It shows some very old photos of Jim and some recent ones. I hope it opens for you. It is a Vimeo video which you can click open as a guest.

https://vimeo.com/650549304

Now here is the article from the New York Times. I suggest you read all of it even if you are not heavily into computers. It includes a bit of titillation as well. The article mentions that Jim was a roller-skating enthusiast (and he was president of that club at Jeff.)

Jim Warren, Early Influencer in Personal Computing, Dies at 85

By Steve Lohr

Nov. 30, 2021

He personified the blend of technical enthusiasm and counterculture values that shaped the industry, launching the West Coast Computer Faire in the 1970s.


Jim Warren in an undated photo. He was a leading figure in the community that sprung up in the San Francisco Bay Area around the emerging personal computer industry.Credit…The Computer History Museum

Jim Warren, a charismatic trade show impresario, editor and activist who personified the blend of technical enthusiasm and counterculture values that shaped the early days of personal computing, died on Nov. 24 in Silverdale, Wash. He was 85.

His wife and only immediate survivor, Malee Warren, said his death, at St. Michael Medical Center, was caused by lung cancer.

In the 1970s, Mr. Warren was a leading figure in the community that sprung up in the San Francisco Bay Area around the emerging personal computer industry.

He was a regular at monthly meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of hobbyist who gathered to share ideas, design tips and gossip. He was the editor of Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia, an irreverent yet influential publication in that nascent field.

At the time, computing was still the realm of big, costly mainframe machines owned primarily by government agencies, universities and corporations. But that was changing with the development of the computer-on-a-chip microprocessor, introduced by Intel in 1971.

By the mid-1970s, dozens of companies were seeking to exploit the opportunity created by low-cost microprocessors. Most of the companies are now gone and their names long-forgotten, but notable exceptions are Microsoft, founded in 1975, and Apple, founded in 1976.

Computer conferences, where these fledgling companies showed off their wares, were just beginning to emerge when, in 1977, Mr. Warren staged the West Coast Computer Faire (the spelling a playful nod to the medieval spectacles of Elizabethan England). He calculated that the event, a two-day affair at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium, might break even if it could attract 60 exhibitors and perhaps 7,000 people.

But to his surprise nearly 13,000 people showed up, and the lines of people waiting to get in circled the building.


Steve Jobs manned Apple’s booth on the exhibition floor at Mr. Warren’s first West Coast Computer Faire, where the Apple II was debuted.Credit…Tom Munnecke/Getty Images

As recounted in “Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer” (1984), by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, the Commodore PET was introduced at that first fair, as was the Apple II. Stephen Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder and chief hardware designer, worked around the clock to finish the new machine in time. Steve Jobs, the company’s other founder and chief executive, manned Apple’s booth on the exhibition floor.

The West Coast Computer Faire became an annual event and thrived, becoming the largest computer conference in the world for a few years. As the event consumed ever more floor space, Mr. Warren performed his role as ringmaster on roller skates.

“The early fairs Jim Warren organized moved the state of the art forward significantly,” said Dennis Allison, a lecturer at Stanford University and a veteran Silicon Valley computer designer.

Mr. Warren was technically adept; he earned a master’s degree in computer engineering from Stanford. But to him and many others, the broader appeal of personal computing was its potential to put information and economic tools in the hands of individuals.

“It was the ethos of the time, to find ways to use these toys to make society better,” said Mr. Allison, a founder of the People’s Computer Company, a California nonprofit. “And Jim was very committed to that.”

In 1978, after serving as the first editor of Dr. Dobb’s Journal, published by the People’s Computer Company, Mr. Warren started Intelligent Machines Journal. He later sold it to a major computer publisher, International Data Group, which renamed it Infoworld. He also hosted a PBS television program, “Computer Chronicles,” for its first two seasons.


Mr. Warren, center, at the second West Coast Computer Faire in 1978, with Bob Reiling, left, who helped him organize the original convention, and Eric Bakalinsky, a contributor to an irreverent publication Mr. Warren edited, Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia.Credit…The Computer History Museum

Jim C. Warren Jr. was born on July 20, 1936, in Oakland, Calif., the only child of Jim Sr. and Gladys Warren. The family soon moved to Texas, where his father, a pilot, flew military transport planes during World War II.

Mr. Warren grew up in San Antonio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education from Southwest Texas State University and later, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Texas.

But as he explained to John Markoff, a former reporter for The New York Times and the author of “What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry” (2005), he felt confined by the conservatism of Texas in the early 1960s and was looking for wider horizons. Then he picked up a copy of Look magazine with a cover story on California as “The Golden State.”

Mr. Warren drove to California, arriving in the Bay Area in the summer of 1964. Encountering the freewheeling culture there, he thought, “I’m home, I’m finally home,” he recalled.

He embraced the liberal politics of the region, marching in rallies to protest the war in Vietnam and supporting the Free Speech Movement, centered at the University of California at Berkeley. For two years he was general secretary of the Midpeninsula Free University, an outgrowth of that movement, which not only offered free courses in storefront locations and in homes but also sponsored Be-ins and organized antiwar demonstrations.

Not long after arriving in California, Mr. Warren got a job teaching mathematics at the College of Notre Dame, a Catholic women’s school in Belmont, Calif., and became chairman of its math department.

His personal life was increasingly uninhibited, as he sampled everything on the counterculture menu, including drugs, free love and nudism. Word spread of the large parties Mr. Warren hosted at his house in Woodside. A BBC film crew showed up to shoot footage for a documentary on the “Now” generation.

When The San Francisco Chronicle published a front-page article on the wild parties at the home of an unnamed professor in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Notre Dame administrators learned it was Mr. Warren and asked for his resignation.

His math skills led him to a job as computer programmer at the Stanford Medical Center. He had only done a little programming before, on an IBM mainframe at the University of Texas, but he quickly picked up programming on the computers that the medical center used for sorting and analyzing medical information.

That traditional programming job, and others, paid well. But when personal computers began to appear in the 1970s, Mr. Warren jumped in. In his book, Mr. Markoff wrote that Mr. Warren was “emblematic of the cultural, political and technological forces that were colliding” in Silicon Valley.

His interest in the social and political impact of computer technology continued later in his life. In 1991, Mr. Warren founded and chaired the first Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference, an annual academic gathering.

In 1993, he worked on a California law — a model for other states — that required most computerized public records to be freely available. He conferred with legislators, rallied public support and even drafted some of the law’s language.

At the time, the internet was unknown to most people, so to assuage lawmakers’ concerns that the state would be giving away government records to a private company, Mr. Warren described the internet to them as the world’s “largest nonproprietary, nonprofit cooperative public computer network.”

Steve Lohr has covered technology, business and economics for The Times for more than 20 years. In 2013, he was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He is the author of “Data-ism” and “Go To.” @SteveLohr

Photos from Jim


Margaret Pratt



Ney Rieber


Ann Hinnant


Air National Guard, Summer Camp, Gulfport Mississippi 1957

Blog 143 GOD SAVE THE QUEEN AND OLD SONGS…

Blog 143 God Save the Queen and Old Songs…

        and Who are these People?

Not asking God to save old songs, just the Queen.

“It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow—that is leadership.” Amen. I heartily agree. That statement could stand alone for all aspiring leaders.

Queen Elizabeth’s comments came at the commencement of the recent global conference on global warming. She concluded her brief comments with “I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of the rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment and achieve true leadership.”

 

Songs for People Getting Older

In a couple of recent blogs, I lightheartedly dissed poetry, poets, and the teachers who taught poetry in high school. Yet I have repeatedly linked to a variety of songs that seem to reflect on our lives over the past many decades. More songs are on the horizon. Finally, I have realized that I like poetry when expressed in songs.

Speeding down the freeway last week, radio volume at alert, I perked up and paid attention to the song that ought to be the theme song for us oldsters: “Yesterday, When I Was Young.” A lot of people recorded it—Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield, and Roy Clark, who probably has the best-known version. It was written by a Frenchman, Charles Aznavour.

Reading the words, I thought that the metric of the words is awkward, so I recommend that you click on one of the two versions below and fully enjoy the message.

Roy Clark version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEY4LxORCeo

Willie Nelson version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q-CxOn2ubg

“Yesterday, When I Was Young”

Yesterday, when I was young
The taste of life was sweet
Like rain upon my tongue
I teased at life as if
It were a foolish game
The way an evening breeze
Would tease a candle flame
The thousand dreams I dreamed
The splendid things I planned
I always built to last
On weak and shifting sand
I lived by night and shunned
The naked light of day
And only now I see
How the years have run away

Yesterday, when I was young
There were so many songs
That waited to be sung
So many wild pleasures
That lay in store for me
And so much pain
My dazzled eyes refused to see
I ran so fast that time
And youth at last ran out
And I never stopped to think
What life was all about
And every conversation
That I can recall
Concerned itself with me
And nothing else at all

Yesterday, the moon was blue
And every crazy day
Brought something new to do
And I used my magic age
As if it were a wand
And never saw the waste
And emptiness beyond
The game of love I played
With arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit
So quickly, quickly died
The friends I made all seemed
Somehow to drift away
And only I am left
On stage to end the play

Yesterday when I was young
There were so many songs
That waited to be sung
So many wild pleasures
Lay in store for me
And so much pain
My dazzled eyes refused to see
There are so many songs in me
That won’t be sung
Cause I feel the bitter taste
Of tears upon my tongue
And the time has come for me
To pay for yesterday
When I was young

 

One for the record…78 rpm, that is.

I have one other ditty for you today.

as I was brushing my teeth. That takes two minutes with an electric toothbrush, so my mind was wandering (it has not wandered completely off yet), and I thought how boring it is to do this daily chore multiple times. It is just tedious. And into my mind popped the song below. It is more a monologue than a song. It too was recorded by a variety of artists, including Walter Brennon, Hank Williams, Jr., Peter Lind Hayes, Doc Watson, even the Muppets. The first up was Carson Robison in 1948.

Somebody tell me you remember this one:

“Life Gets Tejus’, Don’t It?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkLQsO3kXpU

The sun comes up and the sun goes down
The hands on the clock keep a-goin’ ’round
I just get up and it’s time to lay down
Life gets tee-jus, don’t it, hmm

My shoes untied but I don’t care
I ain’t a-figurin’ on goin’ nowhere
For I’d have to wash and comb my hair
And that’s just wasted effort

The water in the well just gettin’ lower and lower
Can’t take a bath at six months more
But I’ve heared it said and it’s true, I’m sure
That to much bathin’ will, will weaken you

I opened the door an’ the fly’s swarm in
Closed the door and I’m sweatin’ again
And in the pros… (a huchh) crack my shin
Just one darn thing after another

Old brown mule he must be sick
I jabbed him in the rump with a pin on a stick
He humped his back but he wouldn’t kick
Now there’s something cock-eyed somewhere

A mouse a-chewin’ on the pantry door
He’s been at it fer a month or more
When he gets through he’d sure be sore
‘Cause there ain’t a darned thing in there

 

Hound dog howlin’ so forlorn
Laziest dog that was ever born
He’s a-howlin’ ’cause he’s a-settin’ on a thorn
An’ just to tired to move over

The tin roof leaks and chimney leans
An’ there’s a hole in the seat of my old blue jeans
And I ett the last of the pork and beans
Just can’t depend on nothin’

Cow’s gone dry and the hens won’t lay
Fish quit bittin’ and it’s Saturday
Troubles are pilin’ up day by day
And now I’m gettin’ dandruff

Grief and misery, pains and woes
Debts and taxes, yea, so it goes
I think I’m gettin’ a cold in my nose
Life gets tee-just don’t it?…

A few more songs come to mind, such as “It Was a Very Good Year” from Frank Sinatra, “September Song”, and the one my grandmother was always singing, “Silver Threads Among the Gold.” Others will come to mind after this is posted, including one by George Strait that is buzzing in the part of my head where the recall button is supposed to be located.

Who are these people?

Here are a few photos from the vault, taken at various times over the years. Whom do you remember? As far as I know all are still with us, though one is on the lost list. If you cannot guess who they are, just ask. Or if someone wants to name them, just do it.