Twelve Missing days since last posting: The intervening time was invested in rounding up all the information to prepare the reunon packet for mailing. That included trips to the printer, printing envelopes, printing special stamps, and making one more pass to see that addresses are as correct as we can determine. Well, I guess that was pretty boring, wasn’t it? The good news is that the committee meets Monday to sign, stamp, and seal the formal invitation to our reunion. Look for it in your mailbox by the end of the week, and if it does not arrive, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a happy occasion to see that outgoing headed your way. The sad part is that a dozen or so will contact to say that they have misplaced the information and please resend it.
Error and Apology: I am uncertain how I managed it, but Jay Weidenfeld pointed out that Blog 5 was password protected. I have fixed that, and if you really want to go back to read it, scroll down to read it.
Benefits and memories: One of the benefits of keeping the data base is that I get calls from various classmates somewhat regularly, and there is a good opportunity to catch up. Yesterday Carolyn Taylor Cochram and I had good opportunity to revive an old memory. Vic Damone, the crooner, was in town, maybe stationed here at Fort Sam. Either he came out to Jefferson for an assembly (my memory) or he was downtown at Joske’s for a Teena Texas contest when Texas Nowotny was competing. As Carolyn tells it, she and three friends were sitting right down front, four of them occupying three chairs, so it was a bit crowded. Vic spotted the girls and asked Carolyn to come up on stage and reluctantly Carolyn did. With his arm around her, he sang Embraceable You. Carolyn claims she was mortified when he finished the song and kissed her on the cheek, but the rumor around Jeff is that she did not wash her cheek for a week. Does anyone recall the Teena Texas contests? It was a girl thing, so I don’t know much about it, but maybe someone can comment on it.
Registering for classes: Who remembers the large sheets that listed all the classes offered and the teachers, laid out by period? (Excuse the poor grammar—the classes were in an array and the teachers were not laid out by period.) Someone brought a schedule to a previous reunion (maybe it was Carolyn Pope), and we will have that copy in the hospitality room. What I remember is that we mapped out the classes we wanted, the teachers, and the period. When the bell rang, everyone went bounding or running or hurrying out to get the right class before it filled up. The teachers closed the classes when full, but I always thought they saved a few spaces back for their favorite students.
One of the keys to a successful plan was snagging a class that was close to the cafeteria just before lunch to avoid the line. And in the cafeteria, there were choices—going through the line to get “a healthy lunch” or rushing to one of the two islands to get a durned awful burger that probably was made of horse meat. Ben Williams and Jim McNeel both worked in the burger island. Does anyone recall who else might have worked there?
And here is what Jeff looked like on the drawing board:
Note the fancy dome on top!
Someone mentioned those after-school club parties with dozens of tamales and cases of Cokes. If I remember, the tamales came from Goas Tamale Factory on Culebra Rd. (but don’t ask me what I had for breakfast) in shining gold five gallon cans. Nobody wondered where all those cans might have come from. Later, much later, I realized that they were the packaging for lard – lots of lard. That’s what made those tamales so incredibly savory – and today would send your friendly neighborhood nutritionist right into orbit without a rocket! But weren’t they delicious!
In further matters culinary, Tuesday was chili day in the cafeteria and I wouldn’t have missed it. Those bowls of red caused a lot of flack from tables full of sixteen-year-old boys. Most of the comments would stand being noted here, but in later years I was able to shrug off lots of tough-guy table talk observing, “Well, I trained in a hard school.”
A few years ago a popular country song (Barbara Mandrell, George Jones) mentioned, ‘bein’ country – puttin’ peanuts in your Coke’. That, too, is memorable. Namely Tom’s Toasted Peanuts and nickel Cokes. NICKEL Cokes??? Yup.