Tag Archives: Don Martin

Blog 47 April 16, 2015

It has been a while since writing. I suppose the 25-30 of you  who were following have moved on to other more interesting thoughts. I have been remiss, but there are  many interesting time occupiers and some mundane that must be done.

Harry Jones: Over the years, I probably received more queries about Harry than any other one person in our class.  Yesterday, Harry was laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Park on the Austin Highway. Our class was well represented at the event. Bobby and Phyllis Tate came down from Austin, Billy and Bettye Sue Dube, Danny and Irma Sciaraffa, Don Martin, Charlie Griffin, and I were there, along with Connie Orr from the class ahead. It was a simple and heartfelt service, with a good visit after, as we exchanged memories of Harry. Harry’s daughter, Lee Ann, and son, Gene, were there and Harry’s brother, Dudley. Many sent me their expressions of sympathy or condolences. I have promised Lee Ann that I will send her those emails.

A denial: Someone commented to me that I keep people in touch by sending out notices of who has died. It is not my intention to always be the bearer of sad news. Recently we have had several deaths. Two were to update the list in the history book, as Jan Cox and Robert Lacey had been on the lost list. Harry was a “person of interest” and that is why I broadcast his passing. But I do deny that the purpose of my communications is to pass on news of other losses.

Reminiscing: Yesterday, someone remembered Harry and also George Pierce taking over and teaching a class—maybe geometry. I recall how Harry was the favorite of Mrs. Davis in chemistry class. That was so obvious that it must have embarrassed Harry. If anyone wants to share other memories of Harry, please comment.

Further reminiscing: A group was chatting recently about the movies back in the day. For a quarter, you could go to the movie, buy popcorn, and a drink. For that, you got to see a movie, a few serials, a cartoon, previews and the feature. Then we remember the “News of the Day” from Movietone or “News on Parade” from Paramount. Part of the lead-into one of those two was a montage of various activities. The one that sticks in my mind were girls clad in shorts doing jumping jacks. Does anyone else remember that? Then someone remembered that there was often a sing-a-long, where you followed the bouncing ball. I may not be all that sophisticated today, but singing along at the movie and the bouncing ball seems so cornball today.

I do hear from a lot of you guys for one reason or another. I pretend not to be a gossip, but I do think it is appropriate to pass along some of the comments and news. One flash is that Jerry Harris has recently become engaged after being widowed eleven years ago.

I intend to be a bit more regular with the blog—won’t comment about other things. The newspaper has been running a feature about events in SA over the past hundred or so years—I will include some of that in the future.  Till next time….

Blog 39 December 6, 2014

Can you believe? In 1940 San Antonio’s population was 200,000.  WWII brought a surge of new people and by the 1950 census, the city had grown to 400,000. How many of you remember that the post office printed on all outgoing envelopes a message that read “America’s fastest growing major city”? Growth continued, and it always intrigued me that after returning to SA in 1979 people on the phone (i.e. telephone order takers) would frequently ask in which state we were located, despite a population of around 800,000. Population is now approximately 1.2 million. Earlier this week, I read that growth is expected to continue and that by 2050 it will double. The city is already too big, so maybe it is a blessing that we will not be around to see it. There will not be enough water!

Harry Jones: Over the past couple of years, a lot of us who know Harry have lost contact.  Emails bounce back, the phone is not connected, and when I wrote recently, the letter was returned with the unable to deliver notice. Fortunately, Bob Tate found a telephone number for Harry’s daughter, Lee Ann, and this morning she and I had a cordial conversation. Harry is in a long-term health facility in Lockhart, Texas in poor health. He is no longer on the computer nor phone. Like many of us, his memory is not as sharp as it once was, but Lee Ann says that he does relish mail. If any of you care to write Harry, I will send you a mailing address.

More memories:

  Jim McNeel and Doug Campbell


Bill Solcher, Don & Patsy Martin, and Harry Wharton


Jane McRoberts, Betty Stensland, Bettye Sue Conrad, and Louise Dobbins

Blog 34 September 9, 2014

As the class coordinator/moderator/amanuensis/cat-herder, the best part of this job is the frequent opportunities to communicate with other class members. This morning, I had a super-nice, fun phone call with Beverly Cole Phillipp. We reminisced quiet a bit about the good old days and more recent events. I asked Beverly about the Class Day program event in which she and Bobby Rios did a reading from Saint Joan of Lorraine. She said she was Joan of Arc, burning on the stake, giving her impassioned plea to the French people. Bobby was a French guard. She sends greeting to all.

The Tobin Center has opened. You all remember the Municipal Auditorium, from which we graduated.  It burned in 1979, was reopened circa 1984 and pretty much fell into disuse around 2005. It has now been completely rebuilt at a cost of $251 million and re-opened this week. It is unique. The hall we knew held 5,500 people seated. The rebuilt facility was torn down, except for the front façade and now houses two separate theaters. The main auditorium has 1759 seats and a small black-box theater can seat 330. There is also a open air river plaza that can hold 650 seated or 1100 standing. The two inside theaters are two separate buildings with a 3 inch gap between to prevent sound transfer. The unique aspect is the floor, which and accommodate seven different configurations, from flat floor to a tiered seating to a rake seating as in a regular auditorium. It can change within 25 minutes. There are only three such configurations existing today—one in Vancouver, one in Spain, and the one here in San Antonio. I am going to include some renderings and some photos below.


Note the superstructure behind it, also known as the veil. It is aluminum 18,8 separate aluminum panels weighing 111,000 pounds. It has LED lights that can be programmed with various colors and designs. The façade above is the only original part of the building.

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On top is the original configuration. Below is the current configuration while under construction.


And here is a rendering of the river walk side. Originally an 18-foot wall  separated the auditorium from the river walk. The pillars up the right side commemorate the 32 medal of honor recipients from San Antonio.

This is truly a beautiful facility. Some of you took a hard hat tour while it was under construction during our reunion. I will be giving tours and ushering some, as will Don and Patsy Martin.


Pat Freeman, Aleen Smith, and Connie Mayes after the hardhat tour was over.


Betty Ann Canfield Pennick and Tinsley


A moment of mirth: Betty Sue Conrad Dube, Doug Campbell, Betty Stensland Saunders, and Warner Fassnidge