Many of us went to Fern Creek as junior high school students, which was at times traumatic, being in the same buildings with high school students and new classmates from other grade schools; but, as the years progressed and we became more adjusted to the larger institution, new friends were made, traumatic experiences decreased and positive experiences increased.
It’s difficult to remember many fellow students from Fern Creek. I’m glad that when I returned about 10 years ago to the home of my parents, before it was sold, I retrieved my 1960 high school annual from the closet of my boyhood bedroom. I’ve recently looked through the pages to identify classmates I didn’t recognize when I saw their names and commentaries posted on the Tiger Gazette web site. The web site has been very interesting and fun to view and I want to thank Jim Sullins, one of my old buddies I’ve known through the years.  
I remember Fern Creek High School days for the fun, but also the occasional sense of despair and alienation that I felt in that environment, which changed and got better each year. Regrets linger regarding my lack of initiative and procrastination with my studies, during the last two years at Fern Creek. While those four years of high school are less than 6% of our lives I’m sure we agree that their bearing on our future was very significant. 
I was fortunate to get enough of an education from Fern Creek High School that I was enabled to go further in life than I would have otherwise.  I don’t know if the quality of Kentucky schools has improved since that time; but, regardless of ratings, we were prepared for the opportunity to excel in life.  Evidence of this is shown by the impressive resumes posted on the Tiger Gazette web site.
Every year after Fern Creek was important, too.  Where we went, what we did, and what we became is the result of a complex equation, some of which we controlled and some of which was beyond our control.  It began with who we are, our DNA, and from there we were shaped by our parents, family life, teachers, the assistant principal, other students and their parental influence, peer group pressures, the cultural milieu, popular music, television programming, family financial conditions, economic forces and more.  
What we became depended to a great deal on having been in certain places, at certain times, the influences and powers over us, and what they did to affect our well being or otherwise.  It also depended on the decisions and choices we made.  
Since 1960 there have been wars, economic crises, political upheavals, and cultural changes that were unexpected when we received our high school diplomas.  To a degree, we were able to choose how to deal with those forces in our personal lives, with our individual knowledge and experience acquired along the way. What we chose to identify with and subscribe to, in terms of values, righteousness, responsibility and morality determined the paths we took and the paradigms we developed.
I look back on my days at Fern Creek High School as halcyon days.  We are fortunate to have good memories of that world, a culture that no longer exists as it was in those days of American Graffiti.  Fern Creek was a small town about 10 miles from suburbia, when I first attended school there as a 7th grader.  
I remember ‘55 Chevy’s, with dual exhaust pipes and glass packs, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, riding the school bus, the school cafeteria, Archie’s Eat Shop, the seemingly endless 7th grade core class, taught by Mr. Stumbo and then by Ms. Norsworthy in the 8th grade. 
I remember playing French horn in the band, wearing a uniform resembling those worn by organ grinder monkeys, with a hat so big it came down over my ears. There was a wonderful feeling of liberation each day, when the final bell rang, releasing hoards of students into the halls and out the doors. There was the cacophony of slamming locker doors, as we rushed to leave the building and board the school buses.  
In the 9th grade, social events began to increase.  There were parties in basements with the lights turned off and dancing to Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Tab Hunter.  In another two years we were old enough to get our drivers’ licenses and we began a new form of socializing, one of a more intimate nature. 
Louisville has a great system of public parks, with plenty of curbside parking.  At the end of evenings at sports events, parties, movies, or school dances many of us utilized the city’s system of public parks.  We “parked” with the parking lights on and the radio playing doo wop music. God forbid that, at the age of 16, we stay parked too long and ran down the battery.  It wouldn’t do to have to call our parents for help. Many of you will agree that “parking” was one of our favorite activities. 
On evenings when the guys got together without dates there was the ritual of driving around between familiar hangouts.  “Jerry’s, Ranch House, Bowling Alley, Putt Putt” was an actual incantation that we chanted over and over, through side-splitting laughter, as we cruised from one place to the other.  On a few nights we bravely gave in to the mysterious lure of the Club Sahara, stood at the bar and drank  Seven Crown mixed with Seven Up, hoping we wouldn’t be asked for ID’s.
My passion for parking was perhaps an omen I didn’t recognize in the late 50’s. What I liked to do the most, parking, became my career, starting as a parking garage manager in Louisville and then as the airport parking manager in Santa Barbara, California. Then, after a few years, I became regional parking manager in Arizona and in Northern California. I went back to Santa Barbara for a few years, as the city parking district manager, followed by a 17 year stint in Sacramento as the city parking administrator.  I worked three years as a parking management consultant, before moving to Eugene, Oregon as city parking administrator.  Finally, for the seven years leading up to retirement, I was the director of transportation and parking at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. 
Along the way, I received the California Governor’s transportation award for developing an innovative neighborhood parking program, was recognized as parking professional of the year by the California Public Parking Association, and was the California legislative chairman for the same organization. 
Parking was one of my passions during those high school years; but, for the rest of my life it was like the rock of Sisyphus. At retirement, I quit pushing it. 

Mark Morgan still looking preppy while at Lewis & Clark College.
Mark Morgan was the "prince
of parking" in high school, not realizing his destiny was a
Sisyphus parking career.
Biographical Sketches and Photos Supplied by '60 Classmates
Vol. 50, No. 1         FERN CREEK, KENTUCKY - Location of Friendliest School in the County        October 3, 2010
Front PagePage 2Bios 1Bios 2Bios 3Bios 4Bios 5Bios 6Bios 7Bios 8
Tales 1Tales 2Tales 3Tales 4Tales 5People ListsSnips 'n SnapsFern Creek 50FCHS PhotosEditor
Editor 2Editor 3Hall of FameRoss SimpsonMemorabilia1960 GazetteReunion PhotosGraduation 2011Site Map

Walt Larmee was a big dude, tipping the scales at 240 pounds. When he walked down the hallways at Fern Creek High School, the floor rumbled beneath his feet. 
There was only one person who dared confront him face-to-face off the football field, and that was Mary Collings, the indefatigable English teacher who also has been nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame, posthumously. 
Mrs. Collings had to stand on her tip-toes and pull Walt down into her face. Her bite was every bit as bad as her bark, and she brought the class clown to his knees on more than one occasion.  “My trolley’s going west and you better be on it,” she’d announce.
Walt along with the late Nancy Lain [Martin] was chosen “Biggest Clown.”After graduation, Walt went to work for Otis Elevators, but his career as a mechanic’s helper came crashing down when he was laid off after only 90-days on the job.  Next stop on the ladder-of-life was the Caudell Seed Co., where his future wife’s stepfather was the manager. 
“I lost 50 pounds lifting 100 pound bags of seed,” said Larmee, “and left the company for Western Kentucky University in the best shape of my life. But after only a semester, Walt decided college wasn’t for him. He was homesick, and probably love sick, at the same time. He and his girlfriend planned to get married when he got a “real” job.
        In 1962, Walt landed a job on the assembly line at International Harvester and married Kay Cundiff, his high school sweetheart. While working on the line, he noticed some guys standing around drinking coffee. 
“Who are they?” he asked a fellow worker. 
“They’re union officials,” replied his friend. Walt decided he wanted one of those cushy jobs and bucked the seniority system to get one. 
“I became the youngest shop steward at Harvester,” said Walt, as he recalled his climb up the ladder to “committeeman” in the United Auto Workers, where he handled personnel problems with management. Walt became a “problem solver,” and over the next two decades, learned that “ten percent of the people cause ninety percent of the problems.” 
        In 1984, Harvester closed its Louisville plant in and Walt helped union members find new jobs. CNN heard about the program and interviewed Walt, who continued to climb the ladder after 25-years at Harvester; but, one day while on a 40-foot extension ladder, painting a house, he looked down and wondered, “What would happen if I fell?” 
He didn’t, but a week later he was hospitalized with back problems. It was there his life changed. A man in the bed next to his told Walt, “You’ve got something that everyone has, the right to make a choice that will determine what happens to you the rest of your life.”
        After getting out of the hospital, a friend called about a man who had two businesses.  He wondered if Walt would be interested in a sales job for a company that stored documents and other items for companies. 
Years of dealing with people and their problems made the new job easy for Walt Larmee, When he returned the first day with two contracts in hand and asked about his commission, he was told there was no money to pay him. It was then a lawyer advised Walt to offer to buy the company and if his boss refused, the lawyer offered to grubstake Walt, so he could start his own company.
The owner offered to sell Walt 80% of the company for $17,000.  It might as well have been $17 million, because Walt and Kay, with two children in school didn’t have extra money.
        An uncle came up with about four thousand dollars. Walt’s parents and friends delivered the rest and he bought controlling interest in the company.
        Walt has turned the storefront operation into a thriving records storage company employing 14 people, including his son and daughter.  The Papa John’s Pizza chain stores its records in a climate-controlled underground vault at the plant, on Bittersweet Road just off Bishop Lane, in Louisville. Jewish Hospital, Norton Hospital and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are among other clients.
         Information Resources Inc. is also in the scanning business, but Walt says he can store a box of records for 30 years for what it costs his daughter to scan them into the system. 
“It doesn’t make sense,” said Larmee, “because companies only have to store records for 2 or 3 years, but we’re in the digital age.”
         Retirement is far down the road for Walt Larmee. He loves going to work, “because I learn something everyday.”
He also likes going to the casino across the river in Indiana. “Mr. Lucky,” as he’s known, has won a new car and lots of money. He occasionally runs into his old football coach, Kenny Arnold.
Walt and Kay recently moved into a new house overlooking the 18th green at Oxmoor Country Club. In addition to playing golf, Walt enjoys his three grandchildren.
Looking back on the past 50 years, “I’ve been lucky,” said Larmee. But he’s never had a free lunch in his life.

     Leadership is a skill perfected through trial and error.  Jim Lindsey, a member of the Class of 1960, learned his leadership skills under difficult circumstances, but the lessons served him well during a long, eventful career.  
Jim was a very quiet member of the class; a late bloomer like many of the rest of us, although it’s not where you start, but where you end up that measures the route.   
         The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels was struggling with its identity when Jim Lindsey came on board late in his career, as chief executive officer, shown as “Commanding General” on the Colonel’s website.  Under his leadership the group has been transformed into a non-political philanthropic fraternity, with chapters at home and abroad. For the past 14 years, the Honorable Order’s Board of Trustees, of which Lindsey is a member, has distributed approximately $1.4 million each year. The money is voluntarily contributed by Kentucky Colonels living in every state and in three dozen countries abroad. 
“More than half of Kentucky Colonels are not from Kentucky,” said Lindsey.  
Each year, a complete listing of the Good Works Program is posted on the Kentucky Colonels website.  Efforts made possible by the collective generosity of Kentucky Colonels include delivery of relief funds to the Gulf coast on the day after Hurricane Katrina struck, support of a Hazard, Kentucky organization that provides baby food, diapers and other things to families who are down on their luck, and funding for a playground at a homeless shelter and another at an orphanage.
It took Lindsey decades to find his way to the Kentucky Colonels and the story is an interesting one.
After graduation from Fern Creek, Jim enrolled at the University of Kentucky where he majored in marketing with a minor in economics.  Lindsey became active in a fraternity and used his social skills to boldly build his degree, “stealing” courses from the journalism department, to enhance his marketing and sales skills. 
He met his future wife Mary Alice at UK and married her after graduation.  She finished her degree in microbiology at Indiana University, when Jim took a job with Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana.  Cummins was a Fortune 500 company and Jim got to interface with some of the nation’s biggest advertising agencies in New York and Chicago. 
“It was a great opportunity to work with the best,” said Lindsey, as he retraced his steps to success for the Tiger Gazette.
     Facing the draft, Lindsey joined the U.S. Army in 1966,  in hopes of becoming an ordnance officer; but, when he saw tanks in action at Fort Knox, he wanted to go to become an armor officer.  Then, Lindsey lost his love of slow-moving heavy tanks when he saw what armored reconnaissance platoons were capable of doing on the battlefield. 
“They were self-contained units,” said Lindsey, “that consisted of three tanks, a squad of infantry, two scout sections, who were heavily-armed with a mix of .30 caliber and .50 caliber machine guns, mortars and artillery. 
     Following Officers Candidate School, Second Lieutenant Lindsey reported to Fort Hood, Texas, home of the 1st U.S. Cavalry.  It was there he volunteered to help form an armored reconnaissance unit for deployment to Vietnam.  Training lasted eight months. 
“We had the best officers and non-commissioned officers in the Army, and the best equipment,” said Lindsey, who wound up in I Corps, just below the demilitarized zone separating North and South Vietnam.  His operating area stretched from the South China Sea west to the Laotian border and south to Chu Lai.
      November, 1967 found Lt. Lindsey at Landing Zone Ross, a former Marine firebase near the southern end of the Que Son Valley on the Laotian border.  Lindsey was unaware of the danger lurking in the dense jungle surrounding the firebase, when the unit he commanded was ordered to escort a section of 8-inch self-propelled howitzers to the firebase.  
The commanding officer of LZ Ross believed the Second North Vietnamese Division was training in the area and didn’t want to wait until the division was fully-manned and ready to attack his hilltop artillery position.  Lindsey and the rest of B Troop were ordered to find the Second NVA Division, before it found them.
       “Almost immediately, we got into a running gun battle with a squad of NVA soldiers,” said Lindsey, who called in air strikes, as he pursued the enemy to its training base. What he didn’t know was his 50 men were actually facing 2,000 heavily-armed NVA troops. The battle lasted three days.
“By the third day, I had more vehicles burning than I had people to man them,” said Lindsey, who was wounded on the third day and later decorated with the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with “V” device, for valor on the battlefield. 
The Bronze Star Citation speaks of Lindsey’s leadership:  “On 8 November, upon locating an enemy base camp, Lieutenant Lindsey maneuvered his men in for the attack.  Although his platoon received heavy 75mm recoilless rifle fire, they continued to move forward and located a crossing site through a creek into the enemy position.  After crossing the creek, the Troop Commander was hit and Lieutenant Lindsey immediately moved his platoon to aid in cover for the troop to withdraw.  On 9 November when the 2nd and 3rd platoons became heavily engaged with the enemy, Lieutenant Lindsey moved his men to secure the landing zone.  His cool and steady actions were of the utmost importance in maintaining an aggressive attack that resulted in defeat of the numerically superior enemy force.”
In his book, “Search and Destroy, The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Vietnam; 1-1 Cav, 1967-1968,” author Keith W. Nolan writes about Lt. Lindsey on the day he was wounded. 
“Lieutenant Lindsey was hurled inside the hull when a mortar round exploded behind his own burning track.  Finally able to breathe again, Lindsey pushed the microphone button on his commo helmet, and saw blood running down his hand from a neck wound.  He thought himself a dead man, but came to his senses when he realized his throat had not been torn open.  Patting himself down, he found no other injuries; his flak jacket had saved his life, blown off his back in the process.”
This battle resulted in the award of the Medal of Honor to the executive officer of B Troop, a Distinguished Flying Cross to the Troop Commander, who stayed in a scout helicopter, despite being shot three times in the stomach, a Silver Star to another platoon leader, and twelve Bronze Stars to others in the battle, including Lindsey.
In three months, Lindsey’s reconnaissance unit lost seven of nine platoon leaders and suffered 200 percent casualties.    Lt. Lindsey, one of the survivors, was sent home to Fort Knox after his tour, to help rewrite the training manuals on armored reconnaissance units. 
“We did a lot of stupid things in Vietnam,” said Lindsey, “and we learned the armored recon tactics used in Europe during World War II didn’t work in the rice paddies of Vietnam.”
The Army promoted Lindsey to Captain and pinned his bars on the day his enlistment was ending, in an attempt to get him to stay on active duty, but he had other things he wanted to accomplish.
As his four year commitment to Uncle Sam was ending, Cummins Engine Co. called and made Jim an offer he couldn’t refuse, but by age 30 he wasn’t where he wanted to be; so, he started looking for a job in advertising.
He found it at Doe-Anderson Advertising in Louisville, where he spent 25 years, eventually becoming executive vice president.  While there, he helped developed national marketing and advertising campaigns for AMF, Frigidaire, Westinghouse, McDonalds, Winchester Arms, Mossberg Shotguns, Daisy BB Guns, Makers Mark Whiskey, NASA, Churchill Downs and the Kentucky State Department of Tourism and Economic Development.
Lindsey realized his life-long goal when he retired at the age of 55. 
“But, retirement was boring,” laughed Lindsey, who bought a chemical company that produced “TP-3,” a revolutionary, high-tech anti-friction lubricant. Only a little dab will do it. 
“I have only used a 35mm film canister full of it in ten years,” said Lindsey, but he became frustrated trying to market the product, so he wrote a book about the whiskey business. 
“Maker’s Mark” has sold about 40,000 copies.  At $29.95 per copy, it has been and continues to be a real money maker. 
In “retirement,” Lindsey also founded Saber Marketing/Saber Publishing and became director of marketing for Schmitt Sohne International Wines, a family-run German company that has cornered 80 percent of the U.S. Riesling wine market.
         Looking back on the past 50 years, Jim Lindsey, who isn’t really retired, says it was a tremendous gift to be able to grow up in the 1950s. 
“We were very independent thinkers with an attitude.”
As the sons and daughters of the "Greatest Generation, the Class of 1960 had to succeed, which is why members of the class didn’t waste any time in making their mark on society.  Jim Lindsey was one of those who led the way, starting out as a green lieutenant and now the Commanding General.
Today, his sons, David and Dennis, are following in their father’s footsteps.

Walter and Kay Larmee
Jim Lindsey
I’ve been in education for 45 years and have many experiences. My 19 years in the classroom in northern Kentucky and Monroe, Ohio were wonderful, for the most part.  My first year at Erlanger Lloyd High School made me think about leaving the profession and getting a masters degree, paid for by the State of Ohio in Youth Services.  I’m glad I had a principal who talked me out of that. 
After the teaching years, I spent the rest of my career in administration.  I was an assistant principal and principal in an inner city middle school with 1100 students.  I worked in the central office as an assistant superintendent, acting superintendent, director of curriculum, and in special education and programs for the gifted.  Currently, I’m a consultant for an Educational Service Center in Ohio.
While principal of the inner city middle school, I dealt with race issues, gangs, guns, drugs and other problems.  I helped close a crack house.  I had to identify the body of my student hit by a car on the way to school.  He was the son of a student I taught years before. 
I was involved in the lives of many wonderful young people, but the 13 years spent at Vail were probably the most memorable.  People thought I was crazy, when I said I loved it there, but I did. 
When I encounter former students, they often tell me of their wonderful experiences in my class or school.  Just this past week, I discovered I’m mentoring two new teachers who went through Vail when I was principal.  I hope to help them be successful and enjoy the teaching profession as much as I have.  
 Submitted by Peggy Karem McClusky
Add Peggy Karem McClusky's name to the roster of distinguished educators spawned by the FCHS Class of 1960.  Peggy had a rewarding, diversified career.
by Ross Simpson
by Ross Simpson