Author Archives: jeffclassof54

Blog 155 Who Have We Here, What Have We Here?

Blog 155 Who Have We Here, What Have We Here?

Happy New Year! It’s another year in with fresh opportunity to excel, maintain, plod along, or resign and head downhill. When visiting my internist, in the past, the nurse taking vitals has always asked whether I have feelings of depression. Last week, she asked “Do you have feelings of depression or homicide?” I asked if she meant homicide or suicide, and she affirmed homicide. Now that is a downer if that is the 2023 question to be asked. Who is likely to say yes?

Who Have We Here?
Eschewing depression and homicide, let’s go back to 1949. Below is the sixth-grade mid-termer class photo from Travis Elementary. Whom can you identify?

First row: Left #1 Jack Stutts
#2 Nancy Cummings
#3 Jill Rudolph, class of ’55 #7 Jimmy Meek, class of ’55

Third row: Left #1 Paul Medley; #2 Charles Llevinson
; #3 Carole Hunnicutt #6 Marcia Pittman

Row 4 Far right Louis Holst

Travis Elementary is now a small high school that partners with San Antonio College.. Graduating students finish high school with an Associate of Arts degree.

What Have We Here?
I was looking through our yearbooks and noticed that each year, I asked three or four teachers to sign. They were usually those who were teaching current classes. While most just signed their name, Mrs. Davis signed C6H5COOH +CH3OH followed by an arrow pointing at her. I asked a chemical engineer friend to translate the formula. The formula is for benzoic acid and acetic acid (aka vinegar). I wonder what she meant by that—probably her sense of humor. PS. If the formula looks strange without subscripts, blame it on the company that posts the blog.

Thespian Island:
Can you recall the long curved sidewalk leading from Donaldson to the front doors at Jeff? Across from the foot of the walk is a triangular scrap of land named Thespian Island. When we were students, the island was two traffic lanes across the street from the foot of the walk. The perimeter had a hedge, maybe 4-5 feet high, and that is all I remember about the island. To my knowledge, no one was aware of its name, nor was anyone aware that hidden by the hedges was a dormant fountain. The fountain was a gift to the school by the drama department, hence the name Thespian Island.

A city bond issue passed in 2017 dedicated $35 million to preserving Jefferson (the great bulk was required for foundation work under the cafeteria, the gym, and the admin/Spanish wing.) Included was the restoration of Thespian Island and getting the fountain operational. Part of that restoration was expanding the footprint—now there is only one traffic lane separating the island and the schoolground proper.

This is the fountain in Thespian Island as it is today. The small dots running parallel to the fountain are a fledgling hedge at the edge of the island. The one lane street is not visible. Thespian Island was where busses waited to load after school was out.

Kids today would be amazed to learn that city schools did not have a transportation fleet of ugly yellow school buses. Those of us who could not walk to school rode city buses, which we paid to ride. A book of tickets was available in the school office. Each ticket cost 5 cents!!!

Suzie Terrell Hessong

Another class member recently died. I did not know Susie at Jeff, but she was active member of the reunion committee for the last several reunions. Her contributions were valuable and greatly appreciated.

Suzanna “Suzie” Terrell Hessong


Suzanna (Suzie) Terrell Hessong of San Antonio, TX died December 10, 2022 at the age of 86.
Suzie was born on March 31, 1936 in San Antonio to the late Gordon (Bill) Terrell and Paula Koepke. Her husband, Earl Hessong, her younger sister, Linda Terrell, her oldest daughter, Terri Hessong, her grandson, Andrew Droke, and her brothers-in-law Richard Hessong and Curtis Cates, also preceded her in death. Suzie graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She earned her Master’s degree at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Suzie always wanted twelve children but made do with four and all her students! In 1963, she began teaching at the ACCD San Antonio College campus on San Pedro. She served as a Math Professor for 42 years. The proudest achievement of her career was becoming Coordinator of Developmental Mathematics and establishing a Math Lab on campus. Suzie spent many extra hours helping students understand math concepts and believe they could be good at math.
In retirement, Suzie enjoyed traveling with her husband, reading, and spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Southwestern art was a passion of Suzie’s.
She collected pottery, paintings, and sculptures during their many trips to New Mexico.
Suzie is survived by one son, Steven Hessong; two daughters, Sharon Hessong (Peter), and Donna Hessong (Travis); three granddaughters, Jennifer Droke (Paul), Paulamarie Kemp (Samuel), and Sydney Hessong-Nedrich; two grandsons, Kenneth Gonzales (Alexandria), and Tallon Hessong; three sisters-in-law, Mary Wood (Robert), Marilyn Cates, and Annette Hessong; 8 great-grandchildren; 5 nephews, 3 nieces, and 8 great-nieces and nephews. Her latest great-grandchild, Noralynn Suzanna Kemp, was born on October 11, 2022.
Memorial service will be held at 10:30AM, Thursday December 29, 2022 at University United Methodist Church, 5084 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, TX 78249.

Blog 154 Happy News, Sad News

Blog 154 Happy News, Sad News

Greetings of the holiday season.
That would be Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, (blank) Kwanzaa, and I don’t know a Muslim greeting. I hope that is politically inclusive, and something for everyone. As we end still another year, I find greater and more frequent reflection on what has been, not only in the past year but in years gone by, and to a lesser extent, what is to come.

Are we living in perilous times, or extraordinary times? One sounds too dire, and one too positive. We have COVID, the flu, RSV, inflation, a war in the Ukraine, politically tense events in a devided, but we also have hope. Hope is what each new year brings to us.

It seems that as each year end approaches and the holidays near, so many people pass on.. Here are a couple of obituaries. The first is Bill Bristow. I was shocked to see his recent obituary in the newspaper, because according to my database he had passed away many years ago. I inherited this database maybe 25 years ago. One of our classmates very dutifully entered Oh classmate names addresses, and phone numbers. Over the years I noted found names of people who graduated in later years and removed them, but it never occurred to me to check the deceased list for errors. As a result, Bill never received emails and to my knowledge never attended a class reunion, as he didn’t know about them. I knew who Bill was, but I did not know him other than he was quite a good artist in high school.

William Arthur “Bill” Bristow





William Arthur “Bill” Bristow, artist, longtime Trinity University Art Professor and native San Antonian, passed away after an extended illness Dec. 1, 2022, at the age of 85. Bill leaves behind a legacy of exquisite artistic achievement, care and kindness. Through his life as an artist, educator and mentor, Bill met the world with great good humor. He touched the lives of thousands of students, colleagues, fellow artists, art patrons, family members and friends, whose successes filled his life with unending joy and love.

Bill was born in San Antonio’s Nix Hospital Feb.1, 1937. As he liked to point out, he was born only 100 years after the invention of photography, began to draw at an early age and, unlike most, never gave it up. Bill graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1954, spending his senior year with a full scholarship at the San Antonio Art Institute. He graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, with highest honors, from the University of Texas in Austin in 1958, and a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Florida in 1960. While at Texas, Bill attended an art history class and met the love of his life Wilanna Blanton, who became a highly-acclaimed and accomplished fabric artist in her own right. Bill and Wilanna married in 1958 and had a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, in 1963.

In 1960, Bill returned to his hometown of San Antonio to teach drawing, design and painting in the newly-reorganized Art Department at Trinity University, where he eventually assumed the post of chair from 1965-77. He also served for a time as an adjunct instructor at the San Antonio Art Institute. While teaching at Trinity, Bill very much was a working artist. In 1965, he was named Artist of the Year by the San Antonio Art League. His paintings and drawings found their way into the permanent collections of the Houston and Dallas Museums of Fine Art, as well as the private collections of then-First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, Texas Governor John B Connally and many others. He designed and executed the sculpture “Migration Fountain” at the U.S. Pavilion of HemisFair ’68 in downtown San Antonio. He was twice featured in profiles in “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” at the time one of only two artists to receive such an honor. He published regularly in arts and academic journals, focusing on the present and future of the arts and arts education. He achieved full professorship at Trinity University in 1979, and served in that role until his retirement in 1998.

Bill was an artist his entire life, but his greatest professional joy came in awakening the artistic abilities of his students. He resigned as chair of Trinity’s Art Department in 1977 to devote more time specifically to teaching. It is a common refrain from students throughout his career that Bill awakened artistic abilities they didn’t even know they had. He served as chair of Trinity’s Academic Council, helping craft the school’s liberal arts curriculum. For his work and dedication, Bill received both the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Award and the Dr. and Mrs. Z.T. Scott Fellowship for teaching and academic excellence. Bill was an honorary lifetime member of both the Coppini Academy of Fine Art and the San Antonio Watercolor Group. He was absolutely committed to the education and well-being of his students, and took great joy in their continued success, serving as a mentor and friend long after they had graduated. It is not an exaggeration to say that he remembered and was always there for them all. Teaching was a lifelong commitment to Bill, who shared his artistic knowledge and skills to all comers up to and including the week that he passed. His former student Ansen Seale, a fellow San Antonio Artist of the Year, said that Bill’s gentle, kind and academically-based critique of his students’ work guided many of them into a lifelong pursuit of the arts.

Bill will be deeply missed by his many family and friends, whom he loved unconditionally. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years Wilanna Blanton Bristow, who passed in 2011, as well as sister Catherine and brother-in-law James C. Reilly Jr. He is survived by daughter Elizabeth Ann Bristow Krouse, and husband Pierce Krouse; grandchild Andy M. Krouse and spouse Jordan Mark; nephew James C. “Clancy” Reilly III and wife Donna, nephew Earle Allen “Bubba” Reilly and wife Vickie; great niece Shelby and husband Eric Olsen, great niece Kristin Reilly, great niece Brandi and husband Jasen Wallace, great niece Shanna Reilly; great great niece Enora Wallace; and devoted companion and friend Loretta Sawyer, as well as her son Richard Alba.

The family would like to give special mention and thanks to those who made Bill’s final years ones of relative ease, notably Helen Adamson, Pearl and Billy Sheffield, Ansen Seale, Francis Huang, Joe Zoidel, Spencer Brown, Kat Johnson with Family Tree Private Care, Karen, Frank and Brittney with Axiom Home Health Hospice, and the entire staff at Arden Courts of San Antonio.

An informal gathering to commemorate Bill’s life will be Monday, December 12, 2022, from 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Coppini Academy of Fine Art, 115 Melrose Place. A memorial service will be Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 1300 Wiltshire Avenue. In celebration of Bill’s bright life, everyone is encouraged to wear colorful attire whether you can attend or not! Honorary pallbearers are Ansen Seale, Clif Tinker, Frank Lacey, William “Bill” Thompson, James C. “Clancy” Reilly III, Martin Hajovsky, Theresa Gregory, and Thorly James Ward. For those unable to attend, you may watch the livestreaming from the link within his obituary page at In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Coppini Academy of Fine Art in memory of Bill Bristow.
You are invited to sign the Guestbook at


Carole Joyce Hunnicutt Ogden
is the other death. I met Carole in the sixth grade, when she joined my class at Travis Elementary. (Incidentally, the sixth-grade teacher was Edith Rogers, wife of T. Guy). At Jeff, Carole was not particularly active I don’t believe that very many knew her, although she and her husband did attend the large reunions and to the lunches in recent years.


My memory of Carole from Travis is that she was quite plump and that she perspired a lot. I lost track of Carole at Mark Twain and Jeff, but we spoke from time to time over the years. You will notice from the photo below that she became an attractive woman in maturity. I found that she also had a very wry sense of humor. My favorite memory is a comment she made at one of the lunches. Carole wore some long danbly earrings and wore glasses attached to a chain around her neck. At one point, she started to put her glasses on, and the chain got tangled in her dangling earrings. Carol said, “it is so hard to be sexy when you catch your glasses chain in your earrings.”


Carole H Ogden

JULY 30, 1936 – NOVEMBER 3, 2022


Carole Ogden, passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2022.

A visitation for Carole will be held Friday, November 11 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Sunset Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78218. A funeral service will occur Saturday, November 12, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, with a graveside service to follow.

Happy New Year
to all. Next time, I intend to include a photo of the sixth grade class from Travis Elementary, so that you can see a halfj-dozen classmates as twelve-year olds.

If you have any reflections on the year past, there is no cost to post them on here. Please do.




Blog 153 Those Midtermers

First, a couple of message/updates from classmates, some memories of days  as a midtermer, and then the obituary for Warner Fassnidge.

From Elliot Bilhartz:  If interested I am still doing well.  In good shape for my age.  Keep active doing yard work and taking up new activity when new interests catch my attention. One item of interest is how many names you note I don’t recall because of our large class. Sadly just about all I ran with have 

passed on. 

From Nancy Jones Simpson:  We are in Missouri City–adjoining Houston and Sugarland.  We built our home about 17 years ago–small enough for two and a beautiful view.  We are blessed with reasonable health considering the accumulated years.  

Midtermers:  I was a mid-termer.  For those who don’t recall, way back when, schools started a new term in January for those with birthdays after Labor Day.   Reading Warner Fassnidge’s obituary (appearing below) caused me to think back to my earliest days at Jeff as a midtermer. 

Because of overcrowding at Horace Mann Junior School, ninth graders transferred to Jeff in September 1954  and became the first ninth grade class.  I went to Mark Twain., but T. Guy Rogers, offered the opportunity to move to Jeff early.  So, on a January afternoon, a very scared, soon-to-to-be fourteen-year-old sneaked into the front doors and saw a line and went to stand in it.  The line was moving very slowly, and some kind students questioned me and suggested that I was not in line for the office.  Suspecting trickery from them, I stuck it out and about an hour later, at the head of the line, I found that I was in line to report lost or damaged textbooks and that the office was indeed around the corner just where I had been advised that it was.    

Barbara Anderson, the secretary, summoned Mr. Rogers, who commented that he thought I had changed my mind (it was just after four PM by then.)  He said, “Let’s put him in a good advisory.”  After a minute’s thought, he said, “Put him in Mrs. Doolittle’s.”   Thus I was enrolled at Jeff. 

For the first time in many years, I pulled out the 1951 Monticello and looked at the tenth-grade midtermers from Mark Twain (40 pictured) and the ninth graders from Horace Mann (47 pictured), plus Edward Davis and me. 

Warner Fassnidge was one of the first to befriend both Edward Davis and me.  (Edward transferred from Page Junior School.)  Warner’s family was one of the first whom I knew with a television set, and on many evenings, I was there with Warner watching wrestling—one of the few early entertainments on TV.  We did not stay close but that first year was great fun for us naifs.

As a midtermer, we were presented with three graduation options: a. graduate in January b. “post” an extra semester and graduate in May with the class a half year behind c. Go to summer school and take two credits to earn enough to finish a half year early with the class a half term ahead.

Fourteen from my starting class of 58 scooted ahead to finish with the class of 1954.  I don’t know how may “posted” and finished with the class of 1955, because some names in that group photo ring no bells at all.

From the 48 Mark Twain 10th grade midtermers who joined Jeff in January ’54, 23  posted and graduated in June.  Connie Mays was  one who left in January and has commented on various occasions that she wished she had posted..

One person not pictured with the ninth graders was Brad Hosmer.  Does anyone remember Brad and have any information about him?  I recall spending phone time with Brad figuring out homework answers for Miss George’s world history class.  What I recall is that Brad’s dad was in the Air Force and he moved away early.  He may have transferred in from elsewhere.  I did a Google search for Brad and found a Lieutenant General Bradley Hosmer, born in San Antonio in October 1936.  He was in the first graduating class of the US Air Force Academy and was later its Superintendent.  And he was a Rhodes Scholar along the way.  I strongly suspect this is the Brad Hosmer from our class.  Memories, anyone?

Time to move on.  Maybe next time, I will list those midtermers by name, and tell of my first and only bullying experience.  Now, on to Warner. 

Warner F. Fassnidge

December 26, 1936—October 2, 2022

Obituary of Warner F. Fassnidge

Warner Frederick Fassnidge was born December 26, 1936 in San Antonio, Texas and raised in the beautiful Woodlawn Lake area north of downtown.

He graduated with honors from Thomas Jefferson High School 1954. Earned degrees at Trinity University San Antonio and The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law.

He enjoyed his career as an Attorney in Real Estate Law with the City of San Antonio and as Professor of Business and Real Estate Law at UTSA.

Dad was always an active supporter of his community. A member of Coker United Methodist Church & Alamo Heights United Methodist Church Chancel Choirs, a Bexar County Master Gardener, Stephen’s Ministry, Jefferson HS and Trinity University alumni programs and ROTC.

His real passion was teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio and cheering for his Texas Longhorns Football!  He proudly served as an officer in the US Army.

Warner was a lifelong San Antonian and loved Texas!

Devoted to his Daughters & Grandsons’ lives!

He is survived by Wife Joann Webster Fassnidge. Joann’s son Brian Webster, daughter Sarah Carter and their families.

His beloved daughter Heather L. Miller and husband Richard A. Miller, Grandsons Grayson, Chase, Logan, Colman & Barrett Miller.

Daughter Hayley Ann Fassnidge and husband Kevin D. Miller.

Warner is preceded in death by his parents Geraldine Stone Fassnidge and Milton Marvin Fassnidge and.sister Beverlie Fassnidge O’Dell.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alamo Heights United Methodist Church Choir and Music department.

Memorial Service

5:00pm Tuesday, October 11, 2022. at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78209

Internment will be 3:00pm Thursday, October 13, at Sunset Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, Texas 78218

Blog 152 Jeff’s Evolution

Blog 152 Jeff’s Evolution

Ninety years and counting.  When we reached Jefferson’s portals in 1951 or ’52, the thought never occurred to me that just the school was only twenty years old.  The school opened its doors in 1932 and graduated its first class that same year, yet to me it had been there forever.  The new smell was gone.  Now it is ninety years old! Who has thought about that?

Since we graced the halls, two wings and a band building have been added.  Land was purchased across Donaldson behind Jefferson Methodist for soccer fields.  I drove by yesterday and was amazed to see portable classrooms on the corner of Donaldson and Wilson in what was once a parking lot. 

What’s amazing to me: When we were students, we were only twenty plus years removed from the Roaring Twenties and the jazz era.  We all knew who or what flappers were, many of us could do the Charleston, and our parents could talk firsthand about prohibition.  We were there for the tail end of the big band era and slow dancing in the gym, squeezing our date tightly on the dancefloor.  We were on the cusp of the rock and roll era just a few years out.  I think we lagged the rest of the country a bit, because when I arrived at college in September of 1954, so many of my fellow freshmen were already into songs like “Long, Tall Sally” or “Good Golly Miss Molly” and Little Richard. 

It’s a whole new ballgame!  Seeing the new portable classrooms piqued my interest enough to poke around a bit and (attempt to) find out more about the school today.  Enrollment now is almost identical to ours.  Vague memory is 1625 enrolled in our years there.  Today, enrollment is listed at 1664, but the similarity stops right there.  The Jefferson website advises that it is part of the International Baccalaureate School Programme.

This isnew concept to me, so checking the website, I lifted the following explanation:

Thomas Jefferson IB World High School has become one of the newest members of an ever-growing global community of 5,027 schools offering the International Baccalaureate in 147 different countries. Jefferson has chosen to join this growing international community as IB has a positive impact on students, schools and their wider communities with learning going well beyond the classroom. Its unique and innovative approach to learning means both students and teachers are genuinely engaged with the programs and benefit from being a part of an unparalleled global network. Students are able to participate in international conferences and educators work with their peers internationally to ensure that the IB remains at the cutting edge of international education.

Delving further into the website, students compete for enrollment slots.  Jeff offers a long list of specialized classes that includes:  architecture, animation, business management, construction management, criminal justice education, interior design, media (audio visual production), STEM computer science, STEM health science, junior ROTC, and dual language.  Wow. 

The student enrollment of the 1664 may be a bit low, given the portable classrooms, but what I found online is that when the statistics were posted with that number, the ration of students to teachers is 16 to 1.  Quite a change from our day with around 30 to a class.  Two other statistics were given:  minority enrollment is 98% and the graduation rate is 93%

Before moving on from Jeff, I checked out the school website listing of the dress code.  It is long and left me wondering about some of the described items of apparel.  Life was so much simpler back when.  But even so, I recall very well that one day in Spanish class, Miss Wright decided that one girl’s blouse was a bit too sheer for Miss Wright, who made her find a sweater from somewhere and put it on.  Could that attitude explain why Miss Wright was still a Miss and not a Mrs.? I don’t remember who the embarrassed girl was, except she had dark hair. 

While on schools, a recent article delved into San Antonio junior school history.  The article revealed that in 1923, San Antonio citizens passed a bond issue to build eight junior high schools.  That placed San Antonio as one of the very earliest in the country to adopt the junior high or middle school concept.  The original eight were to be named after poets.  Those names chosen included Page, Longfellow, Lanier, Emerson, and Mark Twain.  I intended to save the article for reference here, but the paper went out with the trash, and I do not recall the other names.  Personally, I am not sure all were poets, but what do I know?  Those schools all still stand but Lanier morphed into a high school before our time.  Some have other missions today, but I will try to find out more for next time.  See you then.

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 › 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.

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

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.

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

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   


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


You are “The Last Ones.”

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

   the best of times!”




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

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

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

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.

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

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.